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beta for Mt. Jefferson and Three-Fingered Jack?

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beta for Mt. Jefferson and Three-Fingered Jack?

Postby MacKenzie » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:11 pm

Hi all,

Since I've somehow become addicted to soloing the Cascades, would love some beta on Three-Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson???

MacKenzie
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Postby billisfree » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:55 pm

And I tried soloing Mt. Jefferson last month... to the point of doing it safely and alone.

For Mt. Jefferson, I drove to Salem, took Hwy 22 toward Detriot Lake. At the Detroit
ranger station (on the Hwy) I got my free Pamelia Lake permit and continued on. There's
a limit of 20 people PER DAY allowed to go in via this trailhead. So... call in advance or
go during midweek when permits are likely to be available.

Image

From Pamelia Lake trailhead, I hiked to Shale Lake, cooked some dinner, then continued up to 7000 ft where I bivouaced for the night.

Image

Leaving my bivy site, I climbed snow, loose scree, unstable sand and reached the Red Saddle at 11:30 am. I carried crampons and ice axe, but never used them. I wore a helmet just in case. The scree was easier to walk up than the snow, so I bypassed the snow fields.

Image

The last 400 ft was mostly bouldering. Mostly I went around them. A couple of places I went over them. The drop-offs to right and left are definitely steep. Just be sure-footed and don't stumble. The boulders are solid and secure. The snowfields on either side is also quite steep - 50 to 65 degrees.

Image
Image

I made it to the Red Saddle at 10,200 ft - no problem.

The final 200 feet involves the most dangerous part:
Image
The "Terrible traverse" needs to be crossed to get to the far side. Snow slope is 45 to 60 degrees and it's a LONG LONG slide to the bottom.

That's as far as I cared to go alone.

If you want to solo that final part... carry some snow stakes and rope. Belay yourself carefully. There's nobody around to help you if anything happens.

I've heard people have climbed the final 200 feet, without ropes - when there was no snow on the slope. It's late August now, the snow will likely be gone from the monolith, but I assume there will still be snow on the Terrible traverse.

Pictures were generated by Google Earth. Red line is my GPS-generated path. My pictures were all taken July 28, 2010. Expect less snow.

***

Two other routes, from Jefferson Park on the north side, Jefferson Glacier and Whitewater Glacier seem less safe. Jefferson glacier is a risky climb with creavasses and steep slopes near top. Whitewater glacier on east side, is a long snow climb and traverse on steep slopes to the Red Saddle. I tried soloing Jefferson glacier, but it didn't seem prudently safe.

I've also tried soloing Three Fingered Jack last year and that too, did not seem safe to summit alone. Until I take some rock climbing classes, I'm happy just getting near the summits.
Last edited by billisfree on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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TimmyC

Postby TimmyC » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Bill, that might just be the most awesome response to a request for beta EVAR. Seriously.
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Postby Moni » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:52 pm

3 Fingered Jack is not one I think should be soloed - the top part is very airy with the most god awful rock ever - it's something I believe should be belayed. People have done so, but people have also died from falling off the top part.
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Postby Snidely Whiplash » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:47 pm

TimmyC wrote:Bill, that might just be the most awesome response to a request for beta EVAR. Seriously.


Agreed. Very well documented and great pictures.
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Postby EastKing » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:14 am

Nice beta Bill. I have wanted to go up Jefferson for a while now I know exactly what to expect. Anyone have a rope and want to tackle Jeffereson next year please PM me. I want this peak!!!
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Postby Snowslogger » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:47 pm

Keep in mind most all of the Jefferson route info above is basically for the approach, the climbing starts where the info leaves off. Bill's last photo is a great shot of the snow traverse (pickets useful). The other thing is the summit pinnacle has two horns, the north horn is higher. To get to the most straightforward way up the pinnacle traverse the steep snow field past rock of the south horn, the west gully, and rock of the north horn (around the left skyline in Bill's photo), and pick your way up. Keep in mind the pinnacle often has rime ice until summer.
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Postby billisfree » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:54 pm

I thought just climbing to the Red Saddle was an awesome experience.

It gave me a chance to scout out the area.

Besides, any climb is a good climb, summit or no summit.
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Postby Snowslogger » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:58 pm

billisfree wrote:I thought just climbing to the Red Saddle was an awesome experience.

It gave me a chance to scout out the area.

Besides, any climb is a good climb, summit or no summit.



Didn't mean to be negative, got stopped at the Red Saddle my first time up there also (rime on the pinnacle). It is a long way up (and back) with lots and lots and lots of talus. Good pic of the steep snow traverse too.
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