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My wife Koren near the base of the route.
An excellent topo is posted in the photo section. This description is a supplement to that.
Pitch 1: Head up fun, well protected 5.6 warm-up terrain to the base of the corner proper. Hand jam for 10 feet, then through a short wide section(#4 camalot useful) to a decent ledge. Beautiful. Gear Belay. 190'.
Pitch 2: Another longer wide section off the ledge(#4 again, but small nuts protect crack out left, along with semi-tipped out #3 at top work okay) puts you below a crackless roof. Clip an optional sling belay anchor and smear out the face.(2nd best move of climb) Continue up easy blocky terrain to a slung chockstone. Belay here or gear belay up 10 more feet is more comfortable. 190'
Pitch 3: This pitch is a gimme. Tunnel up through a whole in the rock, avoiding the gaping chimney on the right,then up left on 5.5 terrain to the top of the dihedral onto the saddle. Great view! Gear belay or sling chockstone. 150'
The topo shows the next section as pitch 4, but it is a ropeless 3rd class scramble, so I will not call it a pitch. Scramble up right to the highest point in a notch. Belay here on fat ledge. 100'
Pitch 4: Highest quality pitch I thought. Climb the beautiful hand crack that tends right up to a ledge, over the hundreds of feet below. Proceed left up a 5.5 slab to another fat ledge. (Note: this last slab section is very easy, 30-35 feet long, but there is no pro available. A fall here would be very serious, but it is quite easy as long as you did a good job with runners so there isn't much rope drag. Plus this is good prep for the next pitch!) 100'
Pitch 5: Most unique of the pitches. Climb straight up from your belay to a big whole in the summit block. Tunnel through either the right hole(smaller but better for rope drag) or the left(bigger, but worse for rope drag)to the other side. Then comes the coolest part(or scariest) of the climb. Make a 5.8(topo says 5.9?) move off a fat ledge and lieback the unprotectable arete for 30 feet to the summit. Like the previous section, this could be bad if you fall, but the hardest part is right off the deck. The last 15 feet are 5.4 or less, so its only about 20 feet you need to worry about. We did not see the fixed pin mentioned on the topo. 3 bolt belay(1 bomber, 2 old). 120'
Sign the register and enjoy the super cool summit!
Descent: 3 raps. Rap off the summit block directly west(the way you finished the climb) down to another saddle. Hike from here due west along ridge down to a fat tree. Rap once from here to either of two more tree anchors. Rap one more to ground. 2 60m ropes will get you down in one. Hike back to the base of the climb to your gear.
If you drove to Upper Hell Roaring Trailhead, hike 1/4 mile to the confluence with the main trail that started at the lower trailhead. If you started at the lower trailhead, hike 2 miles to this point.
From the two trails intersection, hike 2 miles to Hell Roaring(HR) Lake on really flat terrain. Upon reaching the lake, a view of the finger can be seen for the first time by looking directly west.
From the lake, find the trail that leads to the toilet(marked) and follow this trail(not super distinct, but good enough) all the way to the west end of the lake. It skirts the lake quite closely. (Note: This is not the trail that leads to Redfish Lake, which is marked upon arrival at HR Lake)
When you reach the west end where a stream enters the lake, head north on the same trail up very steep terrain for about a half mile. You will eventually reach a pond, and then a bigger blue unnamed lake. The finger will be quite close now.
From this lake, hike around the south end on a trail, and take the path of least resistance up the drainage southeast of the finger, avoiding the cliffs east of the finger. Skirt the base of the finger heading north, then west up steep scree to the base of the route, which is the obvious clean 45 degree corner/diehdral on the north side of the finger. Time from trail intersection: 2.5 hours, (4-5 miles?)
1 60 meter rope. Standard rack is more than adequate. Most will want a #4 camalot or equivalent, but not required. Lots of runners. Topo shows their gear recommendation.
The last unprotectable summit pitch up the sweet a...
Rapping off the summit block.
Pitch 4's 5.5 slab.
Topo of route
Looking down from midway up pitch 2 just above roo...
Approaching end of 2nd pitch just past the blocky ...
Good look at the finger from the unnamed lake area...
BETA PHOTO: Over view of the route
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5
The Finger from the unnamed lake to its east.
|By Ryan s Nelson|
Jul 17, 2011
Fantastic route, beautiful granite and loads of hand jams make this route. Didnt see the fixed pin, there are now TWO bomber bolts along with the two old bolts on the summit.
|By Mike Engle|
Jul 22, 2011
Hey Ryan, did you climb it recently (this summer?)? If so, how was the snow in getting to the climb?
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 26, 2011
I just talked over the phone with a local guide company as well as a forest service employee who works in the park. The guide told me that they have been taking people up to the Perch and Finger recently, both sources told me the river crossing was sketchy and to be extremely cautious when trying to cross. Still lots of snow up there and melting fast, not sure if snowshoes/crampons will be needed. Anyone else have some good approach beta?
|By Courtney Pace|
Jul 31, 2011
Mike and Cron-
As of 2 weeks ago the approach was not an issue. We were on snow very little. The stream is easier to cross up higher when very close to the finger rather than trying to cross down lower by the lake. No crampons or axe necessary. Also, we parked at lower trailhead and walked in instead of driving the heinous 4WD road which I hear takes years off your vehicle. We were able to go light and do the route IAD sans camping gear.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 1, 2011
Climbed the Finger last Friday. Approach wasn't an issue at all. Snow is covering the first 20' feet of the climb so it's a bit of a head start. Sliding down the snowfield in the decent gully was fun!
From: Boise, ID
Jun 24, 2012
Stellar rock, splitter cracks, and a spicy boulder problem right at the end, it doesn't get much better than this!
From: Boise, ID
Jun 24, 2012
I should add that the description above is pretty good. One thing to note is that the lengths of the last two pitches are much shorter than noted. We easily linked them with one 60m rope and had plenty of rope to spare. This made for a SUPER pitch that started with a splitter hand crack that still has me smiling the next day, then a "no pro" 5.5 slab with lots of exposure, the cool tunnel-through, and finally the exposed and scary "you better not fall here" summit block boulder problem that was both the technical and mental crux of the route. That said, I wouldn't recommend doing this as the rope drag on the final boulder problem was heinous. I ended up pulling up (with great effort) enough slack to climb the entire summit block before I started climbing, which added to the headiness of the finish.
Also, if you want to sign the register, bring a pen, paper, and a ziplock, as the pen was out of ink and all the paper was soaked.
|By Ezra Ellis|
Sep 20, 2012
Loved this route a real classic,
Highly reccommend taking a 4 and 5 camalot (new sizes),
and doubles in 1,2, and 3 camalots
P1= 170 feet
P2= 190 feet
P3 100 feet
P4 100 feet
P5 90-100 feet
|By Jesse Wees|
Apr 12, 2013
Spencer- I think your description of the last pitch is a little off. You didn't see the pin because you climbed the west side of the summit block.... the pin (and route) go up the east side. I assume this is why you didn't mention the "leap of faith" move after the summit block tunnel. Committing, but fun! To avoid the leap of faith move you can traverse (hand or foot) right (or east) on a very thin ledge/feature. There is also a small crystal pocket after the pin that will take a small tri-cam. Great route.