My hiking buddy Rex and I hiked Three Fingers again. The weather was very uncertain, so we decided on the exact date only a day ahead of time.

Three Fingers is a brutal 7.5 mile hike each way with a mile of elevation gain. There is a price to pay in your body, but the views are incredible, and you can stay in a cabin at the destination.

20070927_ThreeFingers0 We started out early. As we took the turn-off to the trail-head, we saw the moon going down.

20070927_ThreeFingers1 There were four of us on this trip: Davey, Rex, myself and David.

20070927_ThreeFingers2 After a couple of miles we had our first view of our goal. I was a bit worried because there were some clouds around the top - even though they were moving.

20070927_ThreeFingers3 We passed through woods and meadows.

20070927_ThreeFingers4 The mountain blueberries were ripe and delicious. I have never seen as many as this year. A patch by the trail was often a good reason to stop for a moment for a snack. As I write this, my fingers are still stained with berry juice.

There seemed to be two types of plants: a bushy kind like this one and another one that grew only a few inches high.

20070927_ThreeFingers5 We reached Goat Flats. It is a beautiful meadow area with some ponds and camping spots. Three Fingers is in the distant clouds.

20070927_ThreeFingers6 This point was more than half way, so we stopped for lunch.

20070927_ThreeFingers7 The red is mostly leaves of the low-growing blueberry plant. We climbed the hill.

20070927_ThreeFingers8 And then went along it's side.

20070927_ThreeFingers9 As we climbed, we passed from fall into summer into spring. The flowers were in full bloom here.

20070927_ThreeFingers10 They were in all colors.

20070927_ThreeFingers11 We went up the switch-backs to tin-pan gap. The cabin is on the distant peak on the left. Sometimes it looked impossibly distant.

20070927_ThreeFingers12 At the gap we took a break. Again, the cabin is on a tall peak in the middle.

20070927_ThreeFingers13 Up from the gap was one of the few snow crossings. However, this one required care.

20070927_ThreeFingers14 We went along the top of this ridge and then to its back side.

20070927_ThreeFingers15 Finally we came to the last climb to the summit. Clouds were still obscuring things sometimes.

20070927_ThreeFingers16 At last to the lookout cabin. Some people are frightened by these ladders.

20070927_ThreeFingers17 They are actually secured very well to the rock.

20070927_ThreeFingers18 At the end there is a little scramble to the 'front porch'.

20070927_ThreeFingers19 We made it - tired, but very excited.

20070927_ThreeFingers20 It is hard to convey just how vertical everything is! There is a back porch, but you cannot walk on either side of the cabin to it.

20070927_ThreeFingers21 You have to go through the cabin to it. (See the open window.)

20070927_ThreeFingers22 The drop-offs are vast.

20070927_ThreeFingers23 This actually created an amazing effect called brocken spectre. We were able to look down on wet clouds below us. The sun cast a shadow into them and also made a rain-ring.

20070927_ThreeFingers24 The cabin is cosy with chair, tables and a bed. The device in the middle was used to locate forest fires.

20070927_ThreeFingers25 There was some reading material - quite eclectic. The table was where we cooked.

20070927_ThreeFingers26 There were so many mountains to be seen! They were in and out of the clouds at first.

20070927_ThreeFingers27 As the day ended, the shadows lengthened. The clouds started to clear up.

20070927_ThreeFingers28 We could see the Puget Sound as well. The setting sun lit it on fire.

20070927_ThreeFingers29 The sunset was gorgeous.

20070927_ThreeFingers30 The moon came up as the sun went down.

20070927_ThreeFingers31 And then we could see the lights of the cities.

20070927_ThreeFingers32 Next morning, we had the same show from the other side.

20070927_ThreeFingers33 Mt Rainier was glowing on it's eastern side.

20070927_ThreeFingers34 We left after 8AM and slogged our way back to the car. This was a last look back to the cabin.

We were tired, but all agreed that the work was worth it.

Epilog: The clouds were coming in as we went down. That evening, snow levels dropped below Goat Flats and snow fell.

Pictures taken by David and I.