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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Finger of Fate, South Face

Finger of Fate, South Face. In mid-October 1966, Fred Dunham, Dave Mahre, Tom Hargis and I climbed the 700-foot south face of this prominent spire on the ridge connecting Chimney Rock’s north and main peaks. We reached the glacial cirque below the rock face by climbing the Chimney Rock Icefall, a route first climbed by Gene and Bill Prater in 1964. Several pitches in the icefall required difficult moves on hard ice, including one traverse of nearly vertical water ice inside a crevasse. On the spire’s south face the first three pitches above the glacier proved to be the most difficult. The final five pitches to the notch between the spire and the North Peak were completed on third-class rock. We descended diagonally across the main peak’s south face and reached the glacier below in darkness.

James F. Wickwire