Seven Finger Jack

Cherry and I aimed to escape last weekend's heat wave by climbing above it. We headed up to Leroy Creek Basin, camping at 7,800 ft just below the Maude / Seven Finger Jack col. I'd seen the ridge traverse between Jack and Fernow when climbing Maude a few weeks before, and though it's not mentioned in Becky, thought it might go.

Scrambling Seven Finger Jack is very pleasant. Becky's sumit description, IMO, is out of date. If you trend toward the Maude / Jack col, then work up and left around the south buttress of Jack to the point on the horizon line where the scree slope meets the rock, you join a nice climbers path that sticks to reasonably solid rock and talus to the summit. Becky's description leads up a more crumbly section of gully slightly further north. Neither is hard. If you find yourself on anything stiffer than class III you're off route.

The traverse to Fernow is harder. If the summit of Seven Finger Jack is the 3rd finger, it took me an hour to get over the 4th, and another hour to get over the 5th. By that time I was starting to really hope it would go so that I wouldn't have to backtrack all the convoluted sketchy moves I'd made to get there -- always a bad sign. I poked around the 6th finger for a long time but couldn't find a safe way up, so bailed and reversed my route.

If anybody's done this I'd love to hear about it. This would probably be a fun route to try with a quiet-footed team of 2 with rock gear. Definitely bring a helmet. Ice axe and crampons aren't necessary this time of year.