Tuesday, September 16, 2008

you don't know jack

Three-fingered, Jack that is. But you will know more about the fabled central Oregon peak after you read this blog.

Since Greg and I survived our rock-climbing training, I decided to do some research about the actual mountain we'd be scaling. There's no lack of Internet info on Three-fingered Jack. I think every hiker/climber who summitted and lived to tell about it has posted pictures on the web. The most awesome (and terrifying) photos are copyrighted, but I'm posting a few for your viewing pleasure. (The one on the left shows the sheer drop below the Crawl).

The hike up to the top is said to be a grueling 12-mile round-trip. The trek gets really interesting, however, when you reach the infamous "Crawl," which is a narrow ledge that crosses the exposed south side of Jack. According to my Internet sources, the Crawl is a very scary scramble across a scree-lined slope--which just happens to overlook an 800-foot drop. I read of at least two hikers who fell to their death while traversing the Crawl.

But they weren't roped up, as we shall be.

After the Crawl, you arrive at the 40 foot chimney (tall, skinny rock that takes you to the top), which is rated a 5.1 for climbing difficulty. I have no idea what that rating means, but I'm pretty sure it translates into "cheating death again".

And then you have to come back down . . .

After doing my research, I emailed Joel (the experienced expedition leader and our good friend)and told him he was crazy, that there was no way Greg and I--with our age and injuries--would be able to make this insane journey. I told him I'd read several posts that emphasized this wasn't the best route for novice climbers. In case Joel hadn't noticed, that would be us!

But Joel emailed me back and squashed all my excuses. His response? If you can hike Hamilton Mountain, you can tackle Jack.

So, that's that.

We take on Hamilton Mountain this Friday. I'll let you know how it goes!


Tristan&Beth said...

Wow! Shawn you're brave! This sounds quite intense and definately scary! (bue also really exciting!)

our blog is: mohagenadventures.blogspot.com - i'm not posting much lately but I'll get back into it.

Who links to my website?