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Ascent of Seven Fingered Jack on 2020-08-08

Climber: Brad Hefta-Gaub

Date:Saturday, August 8, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Seven Fingered Jack
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:9100 ft / 2773 m

Ascent Trip Report

Fast and light, almost Car to Car, with a short shiver bivy slam of the 8th, 12th, and 15th highest Bulgers, all 9kers.

My original “overly ambitious”/“foolhardy” plan was to tag Fernow, 7FJ, Maude, and Spectacle in a single push. I realized this plan was completely unrealistic when I got back to the Leroy Basin Pass about 2 hours behind schedule.

What I ended up doing was: Left car at 1am, summit of Fernow 9:30am, summit of 7FJ 6:10pm, bivy at the confluence of Maude/Carne High Route at 10:30pm, summit of Maude 5:30am, back to car 12pm. 35 hours car to car with 4 hours of bivy.

Most of you will probably already know the following bits of beta, but for those interested here is more detailed info:

Fernow - There are a couple of cairns on the ridge between Leroy Creek Basin and Big Creek basin, they mark a very easy class 3 scramble down into Big Creek basin that you will need to cross. Apparently there's some beta floating out there to "go down to the tarn"...Fortunately I didn't see that beta, because the other teams that attempted Fernow on Saturday that had that beta got turned around. Instead "stay high" I crossed the basin at around 7,200ft, I was able to stay on rocks for most of the traverse. I only had microspikes and the snow was a little sloppy even at 7am. There was a pretty easy class2/low 3rd route up to the upper basin at that point. You can then traverse from there over to the final gully of the climb. This places you well above the upper snow basin and the large waterfall. This is the way! As you climb the gully you will have to cross the waterfall eventually to get to climbers left. There's a safe crossing around maybe 7,500ft that's marked by cairns. It's a wide, flat section so although the rocks are wet and slippery, it's a relatively easy spot to cross. The final summit scramble SHOULD BE 3rd class, if it feels harder than that (like the couple sketchy exposed 4th class moves I had to make) then you are off route, look around there's a bunch of cairns marking the easy route. There's an awesome 2 person sized bivy at the summit.

Seven Finger Jack - my beta was all wrong on this. What I realized after the fact is, there's a super mellow class 2, practically class 1 trail that goes all the way up to the final short low third class summit block. If you are in anything harder than that, then you are not on the route. Summit post describes going up the couloir or just to the left of the couloir for the easy 2nd class ramp. Well, this totally depends on where you are on the couloir. The easy 2nd class ramp starts on climbers right of the couloir. In fact, I'd say most of the lower section of this route is on climbers right of the couloir. Also, I couldn't find the high traverse from Fernow to 7FJ, too bad because I saw another group of climbers that had found it, that would have saved me a couple hours of descent/disappointment/ascent.

Maude - STAY ON THE SNOW! - The "secret" to Maude is to "gain the ridge for and easy 2nd class route to the summit"... yeah, that's the secret. But don't be too eager to gain the ridge, because the lower part of the ridge is ungainable (it's a freakin rooster comb) and the side slopes are just a bunch of choosy bullshit so you'll be side hilling unstable crap. Instead, the smart move is to drop down onto the snow, and stay on the snow until you see a super obvious 3rd class scramble that comes down to the snow from the ridge. It's really obvious once you see it. Once up on the ridge, there's a trail to the summit.

Gear:
- Salomon ADV Skin 12
- 2x 500ml Salomon Soft flasks
- Altra Lone Peaks
- Microspikes
- Ice Axe Camp Corsa
- Trekking Poles
- Helemt
- Ruta Locura bivy sack
- Kymlit Inertia X Lite sleeping pad
- Nike running shorts, Kühl Short sleeve shirt, Arc'teryx Procline Hybrid Hoody, lightweight wool base layer, Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket, OR Helium II Jacket, smart wool socks.

Food Consumed:
- 4 Dick's cheese burgers, 2x TJ's Chocolate Covered Almonds, 1x TJ's olive packs, 1x cliff bar, 1x probar peanut butter with sriracha, 1x TJ's trail mix.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Part of Trip: Fernow, 7FJ, Maude Slam (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Mount Fernow2020-08-08 
2Seven Fingered Jack2020-08-08 
3Mount Maude2020-08-09 



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