Three Fingers Mt.

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member

This was taken on an attempt to traverse from Big Bear to Whitehorse Mt. a few years ago. As far as I know we would have been the first to do it if my crampons hadn't given me a terrible blister on the 2nd day. This was late on the 1st day as we raced the setting sun to the summit of Three Fingers.


This is Three Fingers in winter taken from the north. The summit is actually the 2nd peak from the right. I got my blister from strapping my crampons too tight when descending the steep gully just right of the summit. The snow was very steep and hard in the early morning and we only had one ice axe each, so a slip of the foot would have been fatal (with two axes you always have an anchor when you remove one).


Three Fingers as seen from Lake Stevens (from the SW)


I love the scene in the second image.

The story behind the shots here describes a spirit of adventure and risks that is far beyond activities I have engaged in through the years. The scene in the first image really doesn't offer clues to where this is without the second image for perspective and the second one doesn't really offer much scale without seeing the first one.


Staff member
That view in #2 Jim is really awesome! It's too bad you both didn't have a 2nd ice axe with you. But still you came away with some really cool shots from that trip.

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
Jim, our traverse attempt was in the summer when there wasn't a lot of snow. We hadn't anticipated much steep snow/ice work, so saved weight by bringing just a standard axe. That gully we descended isn't the normal route, but we thought it would work as a good short cut for the traverse. It wasn't until we were committed that we realized how hard the snow was and steep the lower section was. I was actually more worried about my partner than myself since he's more of a skier than a climber. I was so focused on the climbing that I hardly felt the pressure on my heel until I was out of the danger zone, but by then it was too late.


Here is a shot of Jeff on top of what we called "The Thumb" which is a peak along the ridge between Big Bear and Three Fingers. You can see it to the right of the summit in the third photo. No trails lead anywhere near here so we don't know if it had ever been climbed. We had been hoping to follow the ridge over to Three Fingers, but came to a huge drop off that would have taken many rappels with our single rope so we climbed back down the way we came up and traversed along below it. This whole endeavor is an example of the wild challenges still available right here in the Cascades.
Top Bottom