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Mount Jefferson Climber's Log

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HammerRoute Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: September 8, 2001  Sucess!


Afer some date changes due to permits, we were finally at the trailhead to climb Mt. Jefferson. This being supposedly the most difficult summit in Oregon, there was much anticipation from our relatively inexperienced and large group (12). I had been climbing quite a bit this year and felt comfortable with the endeavor. Our plan was to hike into Shale Lake and camp, summit, camp, and then Hike out on the third day. This plan made it seem all the more positive in reaching our end goal. Unfortunately, this many days and nights means heavy packs. I thought this would not be a problem since I had just put new footbeds in my boots. How wrong I was!

We hiked leisurely into Pamelia Lake which was supposed to be just beautiful but due to the low snowpack this year the water level was almost nil-not a pleasant sight.

Shortly after leavin Pamelia Lake, I started feeling a pinch in my heel, figured it was just a bunched up sock. How wrong I was! After an hor or so, I decided to take care of it and protect it. After removing my boot I was surprised to see a nasty, raw blister. I doctored it up and continued on to Shale Lake.

When we arrived at Shale Lake we set up our tents and started filtering water for that night's meal and the next days summit bid. We enjoyed our dinners as we sat around and talked about our climbs throughout the season. Overall a great time. Everyone headed to bed pretty early since we would be up at 0230 and be on the trial at 0330.

When we woke there was a stiff wind blowing that had us thinking that it would be cold up high. Packed the down jacket and off we headed. For the first few hours we trudged through broken trail in the dark. We got off trail slightly and bushwacked our way up to the ridge. Once obtaining the ridge we could really feel the wind. We continued up the ridge as we could see the sun starting to come up in hopes that it would dissipate the wind a little. We joined the Southwest ridge and the terrain got steeper and the trila got nastier. We were having to slog up very loose scree with occasional good size rocks that would tumble down periodically. After some time, which seemed like forever, we finally got to the Red Saddle. Most of the group got comfortable as the leader and I set a fixed line across the traverse.

About 2 hours later it was set and everyone was across. We made our way around and up the pinnacle and enjoyed a crowded summit with our team of 12. After pictures, we were on our way down. What seemed like forever and a couple of makeshift snow glissades we were back on the lower ridge. Unfortunately, we lost our trailup and couldn't find our path that we had taken on the way up. We once again had to bushwack for a while and traverse southeast to gain the climbers trail that we had lost on the descent. Finally at 1745 we were back at camp. My feet were hamburger! By 1830, I was asleep and din't wake up until midnight that night due to being hungry and thirsty. Oh well, I rolled over and went back to sleep. The next morning most everyone slept in and by 0800 everyone was up and breaking camp. I was dreading putting my boots back on. My feet hurt!

Finally, after gaining some courage, boots were on and we were hiking out. I was surprised to feel as well as I did and me and Zambuco made good time on the trail out.

Overall, it was a great climb, long but definitely enjoyable. My first experience with blisters and one that I would rather not repeat!
Posted Sep 21, 2001 6:07 am

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