08 Mar Outing Report: Three Fingered Jack BC Ski
Six club members skinned up the south ridge of Three Fingered Jack on February 23, 2014. Mike Caccavano organized the trip. Pete Linscott, Bruce Lakin, Frank Florence, Matt Ebbing and Matt Denney and Darby the dog came on the trip. After a little confusion about who was Bruce and who was Matt, we all met at the Santiam Pass Sno-Park (4,725′ elevation). We headed out a little before 10:00 a.m. All were on alpine touring skis except for Matt D. who had rented tele gear. The rented gear proved to be a problem and after a mile, Matt had some hot spots. He chose to play around in that area before heading back down. The rest headed north gradually angling towards the ridge top. The snow was hard, but all hoped it would soften up under the bright sun. We reached the ridgeline at 11:30 (4,875′) after dodging rime bombs that the sun and wind dislodged from the snags along our route.
The ridge line was sculpted by the wind with some challenging gullies. There was a large crack running along the cornices that had built up from the snowfall a week earlier. After stopping for lunch, we continued up the south ridge. The ridge gets pretty steep in places. Mike and Darby had to stop at about 6,300 feet because Darby was postholing. Matt E., Frank, Pete and Bruce continued up the ridge. Snow pits showed that the snowpack was stable. Matt, Pete and Bruce eventually made it up to about 6,900′ and dropped onto the south facing slope at the agreed upon turn around time of 2:30 p.m. They made some nice turns and rejoined Mike, Darby and Frank who had skied down from a slightly lower elevation. By that time, the weather was rapidly changing. The warm sun disappeared and was replaced by wind, clouds and wet snow. We worked our way down off the ridge and enjoyed some fun skiing on the lower slopes which had softened up nicely. We made it back to the sno-park at 4:30 p.m. after covering roughly 8 miles round-trip.