Hiker/author Malcom Bates

Hiker/author Malcom Bates

Malcom Bates on the Darrington-area hikers of yore

In 1987, Malcolm Bates published the book Three Fingers: The Mountain, The Men and a Lookout. Three Fingers Mountain is the most recognizable peak seen from nearly anywhere in the I-5 corridor of Snohomish County, though non-hikers may not even know its name.

Bates recounts the history he learned while researching the lookout atop the South “finger.” A chance encounter with Harold Engles, the man whose persistence is responsible for the placement of the lookout, while Bates was running a fifty mile trail run through the Glacier Peak Wilderness. In the years to follow Bates and Engles would met for an interview that was the spark plug for the book.

The way that Bates describes his meeting of the major role players of these early days in Darrington and the surrounding mountains is unforgettable. In one of our most talked about podcasts, hear him describe Harold Engles, Harry Tucker, Harland Eastwood, Ed Towne, Harold Weiss, and the Bedal sisters Edith and Jean.

Listen to the podcast here:

Rudy Giecek of Arlington is the host of the Cascade Hiker Podcast. (More about Rudy here.) You can find the entire archive of podcasts and support his work at his website. Or email him at rudy@cascadehikerpodcast.com.

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