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The Cascade Kid

[TR] Three Fingered Jack - South Ridge Ski 3/26/2016

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Trip: Three Fingered Jack - South Ridge Ski


Date: 3/26/2016


Trip Report:



With an iffy forecast up and down the West Coast tschef and I decided to take a jaunt out to Three Fingered Jack for some Central Oregon backcountry fun.


Our trip report is here (w/video/photos): bit.ly/casclimbTFJ


Most of the info out on the web suggests that skiers (and climbers) should wait until May when the road to Jack lake trailhead opens up. I suggest that the 3 mile approach from Santiam pass is pretty darn easy, and you should go whenever you want to.


While the weather didn't exactly pan out for us, the skiing did. The east aspect of the south ridge of TFJ offers 20-40 degree skiing down to the three lakes which lie below the ridge. They're not super-long runs, but skiing through a burned out pine forest is worth the trip.


Gear Notes:

Atomic Ultimate 78s with race skins. Beer at the car.


Approach Notes:

From Santiam pass travel N/NE through the burn area until you connect with the S. ridge. This is a good place to go skiing. If you want to access the upper mountain, pass to the East of the ridge and travel the lower terrain until reaching the upper bowls. The ridge itself is significantly wind-effected and corniced.

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Nice, thanks for sharing. I have done this trip twice this winter, once with a campout.. Should do a TR..I said I would on TAY..


You turned lemons into lemonade.. I find the low angle an easy approach but you really have to go higher for anything decent, the lower runs are very, very short. The skiing back to the car can be less than thrilling.. If I lived in Sisters or something ok, but to trek from Portland without gaining the SE ridge at ~7k, hard to sell me on that in the future.



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I can see how if you skied in the wrong spot, it'd be a short run. The skiing back to the car was indeed "less than thrilling", but it's at least downhill and didn't require any skinning, which is a rarity round those parts it seems. It's a long drive from Portland. We'd planned on maybe going to Mt Washington the following day (even longer approach), but the weather forecast kept getting worse.

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