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Hi Lisa, I think I met you in Leroy basin a month or so ago. I was just coming back from climbing Fernow with my dad and we stopped and talked to you and your partner.

If you’re thinking about climbing it from Leroy basin (I assume you are, based on our conversation), I don’t think there is a way to skirt that glacier remmant that you will need to descend. The snow was pretty steep there when you first start descending (I’m guessing 25-30 degrees) and it was hard the morning we were there, so I was glad to have my mountaineering boots on. Still light hikers teamed up with aluminum crampons would be a good light option if you were so inclined.

Have a good climb.

Here are my notes from the Fernow climb.


DATE: 6/22-6/23/01


The approach – After 3 miles (approx 1 hour) you cross Leroy creek, a good size creek. On the other side you’ll find a trail leading up to the basin. It’s a direct steep trail, you’ll get a good workout.

The bivy - plenty of camping in the basin. For Fernow there are also some bivy sites at the 7,100 col before dropping down on to the glacier.

The route – Seven Finger Jack is straight forward. Just make sure you climb the right finger, which is on the far left of the summit area. Don’t get sucked into climbing the ones further to the right.

For Fernow climb from the basin up to 7,100 foot col. You’ll find the 3rd class rock that will allow you to access the glacier about 200 feet to the left of the col. Descending the glacier and climbing the wide gully is straight forward. The gully has easy heather and slabby terrain down low and then bad talus up higher. At the very top of the gully is a broad col, do not climb quite that far. Immediately to the left of the broad col climb the first narrow gully that leads to the ridge crest. Here you’ll find wide easy ledges that lead across the south east face to the last 75-100 feet of 3rd class scrambling to get to the summit.

The descent – For both climbs just reverse the route.

The rack – No gear, no rope. You may want to bring crampons for the glacier on the way to Fernow (especially if late season).

The time: Approach 3 hours to Leroy creek basin.

Seven Finger Jack Route 2-3 hours up. 1-1.5 hours down.

Fernow 5 hours from camp to the summit. 4 hours back to camp.

Another 2 hours back to the cars.



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