3 Fingered Jack Snow Levels

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
Post Reply
User avatar
buckwheat
Posts: 104
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Location: Corvallis

3 Fingered Jack Snow Levels

Post by buckwheat » June 4th, 2021, 8:48 pm

Just popping into see if anyone has been up there in the last week or so. I was going to try to hike around the mountain soon, and heard reports of snow early May, but don't know if its scattered or plentiful. I can deal with a mile or two of snow and postholes, but I don't know if I can do 20 miles of it.

Thanks! Even just someone driving by looking at the hills can give me a clue. I'll update whenever I go there with how things are doing.

User avatar
BurnsideBob
Posts: 471
Joined: May 6th, 2014, 3:15 pm
Location: Mount Angel, Oregon

Re: 3 Fingered Jack Snow Levels

Post by BurnsideBob » June 5th, 2021, 5:53 am

Still be quite snowy today, June 5.

Keeping in mind that Hoo Doo is at a lower elevation, their web cam feeds may inform. Also, they usually have one camera aimed at the south side of 3FJ. Momentarily this view of 3FJ is obscured by the cloud deck.

http://skihoodoo.com/the-mountain/webcams/
Untitled.jpg


BurnsideBob
I keep making protein shakes but they always turn out like margaritas.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2501
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 3 Fingered Jack Snow Levels

Post by Chip Down » June 5th, 2021, 9:54 pm

The Santiam Pass PCT access is 4800'. My guess is that one can only drive to that point courtesy of plows. I would imagine the trail is entirely covered.

I remember a year when PCT at TFJ was still under deep snow well into August.

User avatar
buckwheat
Posts: 104
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Location: Corvallis

Re: 3 Fingered Jack Snow Levels

Post by buckwheat » June 8th, 2021, 10:31 am

Update:
Me and my friend hiked the loop on Saturday.

The eastern half was pretty much snow free (a few small clumps maybe 5-10 ft across and 1 ft deep). Once we hit Wasco lake and climbed up to the PCT, we had scattered snow for the first mile. Then the next 6 miles around 3FJ was heavy snow (no trail, no blazes). Depth seemed to vary quite a bit between like 1ft and 10ft, but most of the hillsides were steep, so you had to kick in to get footholds, pretty exhausting. It was also super cloudy/foggy, so only 100-200ft visibility most of the time. Once we descended below ~5800 ft snow disappeared pretty quickly. Back to a few scattered ~10 ft patches.

We went about 1mph through the snow (trail/route finding via the gaiagps app that seems to work well even in airplane mode). Rest of the trail was 2.5-3mph. Overgrown between square lake and jack lake, but pretty easy otherwise.

Hike is totally doable, but plan for an extra two hour or three to cover the snowy section. Took us ~13 hours to do 23 miles (with ~6 miles of snow).

It seemed to be melting rather quickly based on the streams and runoff, so I'd guess by end of month the western slopes then will look like the eastern slopes did now.

Post Reply