Fuhrer Finger 2012

July 18

No recent reports from the Finger lately, but it still looks to be very climbable. Expect increased rockfall later in the day as the route warms up. Also expect the route to change rapidly as it gets more sun than almost any other place on the mountain.
 
June 14

It looked good today from the Wilson glacier as we came of of the Kautz.  See the Kautz post for conditions above the Finger.



May 22

Here is a conditions update from three climbers from Utah who were up last week. Thanks for the beta and photos guys.


Three of us from Salt Lake City, Utah started out from Paradise on Thursday the 17th. We made good time skinning up the snow field and dropped down to the Wilson glacier. We then made our way through the open crevasses up to our base camp. (Usually found around 9,400' on the Wilson Glacier/Turtle Snowfield border - MRCR)

We moved efficiently past the huge bergschrund at the base of the finger and up to where the glacier ended and snow field started. We un-roped for the finger proper...tried to follow a boot track, but the heat from earlier in the week had all but erased the existing track. In the hard snow we found it easier to make zig zags across the finger as we climbed.

We decided to climb next to the rocky ridge on climbers left as opposed to picking our way through the upper Nisqually. This made for some fun steep snow and partial rock climbing. After we topped out on the ridge we traversed back towards the Nisqually past a few HUGE openings and on up to the summit. 

We were wanting to ski from the actual summit, but the high winds and cold temps made the snow/ice completely un-skiable off the top. We walked down to about 13,500 where we were out of the stronger winds and  decided to try and ski from there down. The cold temps made the skiing difficult so we put our crampons back on walked down the upper Nisqually until it tied back into the rocky spine above the finger. Since the snow was so hard we were forced to down climb the steep slope near the spine directly above a large bergschrund. It was very slow going as we had to pound in our ax take three or four steps, remove the ax and pound it in again. We probably could have rappelled from the rock spine as an alternative to the down climbing. There is a sling around a horn where it appears others have done this. 

Once past this steep section, travel was fairly easy down to the finger. One of our team tried to ski down a little bit and decided to switch back to crampons for the finger as the snow was still too hard and skiing was very difficult. Near the bottom of the finger the snow finally softened enough to ski out the last 1,000 ft to our camp.

We woke up Saturday and the temps were much better for skiing and we were able to ski great corn all the way out to the parking lot. I am sure the finger and much of the upper mountain would have been much better skiing Saturday.

While the weather was a little too cold for skiing the day we hit it we still had a blast. If you can pick a slightly warmer day the skiing would be great top to bottom. Great route on a great mountain!


May 9

The Fuhrer Finger, Fuhrer Thumb and Wilson Headwall all appear to be in great shape. Access for these routes is best done by crossing the Nisqually around 7,200' and then ascending the Wilson to 9,400' where there is great camping. As with all spring climbs early is best, especially when temps are warm. 


Fuhrer Finger

Lower Nisqually and Wilson Glaciers



May 2
Wilson Headwall, Fuhrer Thumb, Fuhrer Finger