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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Three Fingers, East Face Couloir

Three Fingers, East Face Couloir. On August 16, Jim Stoddard, Ted Carpenter and I made the first ascent of Three Fingers via its east side. From High Camp at timberline above Squire Creek we contoured south over easy terrain, continuing across snow slopes below the east face of the mountain to a point just beyond the south peak, the culmination of a massive wall almost 2500 feet high. Here a long broad 35° snow couloir (hidden to view from the north) rises diagonally north, cleaving the east face into two great segments. This couloir was ascended directly to its steepened upper end which exits onto the snowfield on the high northeast shoulder of the mountain. We crossed the snowfield to the notch between the middle and north peaks from where I climbed the north peak by the chimney of the usual south ridge route. Jim and Ted traversed below the normal route onto the west face proper, climbing a tricky, flaring Class-5 chimney which connects with the heather ledge above the chimney of the usual route.

Joseph Vance