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Fuhrer Finger/Thumb

Fuhrer Finger/Thumb

Fuhrer Finger/Thumb

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 46.85280°N / 121.759°W

Object Title: Fuhrer Finger/Thumb

Route Type: Snow/Glacier Climb

Time Required: A few days

Difficulty: II

Route Quality: 
 - 16 Votes


Page By: vertx

Created/Edited: Oct 6, 2003 / Mar 23, 2004

Object ID: 159008

Hits: 38932 

Page Score: 75.8%  - 6 Votes 

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The approach is from Paradise. Follow the Skyline trail for about a mile to the Glacier Vista (6300 feet). Descend to the Nisqually Glacier. Cross the glacier. On the other side of the glacier there is a snow chute that is marked on the right side by a large rock buttress known as the Fan. Gain the Wilson Glacier via the chute. Continue up 25 to 40 degree slope. Establish camp below the Wilson Headwall (about 9200 feet) on the west side of the Wilson Glacier near a large rock buttress.

Route Description

From camp at 9200 feet, traverse the Wilson Glacier to the right below the Wilson Headwall. Fuhrer Finger is a wide couloir with an hourglass funnel on the eastern face of the Headwall at 10,000 feet. Climb the couloir (30-45 degrees and 2000 feet) and gain the west side of the Nisqually Glacier. Follow edge to the top of the Wilson Headwall at 13,300 feet. From here the slope becomes easier to the crater rim. This is proclaimed by many as the fastest way to the summit.

Another option is the Fuhrer Thumb route. This route takes the narrower couloir immediately west of the Finger and meets the Finger route on the west side of the Nisqually Glacier at about 11,500 feet.

Both routes are about 5 to 7 hours from camp to summit. The total elevation gain from Paradis is approximately 9000 feet. The recommended decent is not back through the Finger, rather the Kautz Glacier, or via Ingraham Glacier or Disappointment Cleaver through Camp Muir.

Essential Gear

Standard mountaineering gear for high altitude, glacial travel. You will need a tent or bivy sac as there is no shelter (structure) on this route.

First Ascents

The first ascent of Fuhrer Finger was by Hans Fuhrer, Joseph Hazard, Heinie Fuhrer, Peyton Farrer and Thomas Hermans on July 2, 1920. The Fuhrer Thumb was not done until May 27, 1972 by Jim Wickwire, Charlie Raymond and Tom Stewart.


Routes from Wilson GlacierMount Rainier, Fuhrer Finger & Fuhrer Thumb.Fuhrer Finger. Mount Rainier.The Wilson Headwall can be...Booting up the FuhrerAaron Marshall flying down the NisquallyCJ Whittacker skiing toward the Wilson Glacier
Basecamp on the edge of the Wilson GlacierSummit of RainierThe crew in the summit crater of Mt RainierSkiing the Nisqually GlacierCrossing the Wilson