Jefferson Park Glacier provides a more varied and alpine route than is found on most of the volcanoes. Depending on the time of year and conditions, the bergschrund can be extremely challenging and steep narrow ice and / or rock climbing from 5.0 to 5.2 may be encountered on the narrow ridge above the headwall. Everett Darr, Jim Mount, and Barney MacNab made the first ascent of Jefferson Park Glacier in 1933.
Jefferson Park Glacier is best approached from Jefferson Park on the north side of the mountain. From Highway 22, take USFS Road 2243 to the Whitewater Trailhead. Follow Whitewater Trail 3429 to its intersection with Jefferson Park Trail 3373. Follow Trail 3373 east to its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail which then leads northeast to Jefferson Park. The total hiking distance is about 5 miles.
From Jefferson Park, ascend to the glacier, approaching it on its east side. Climb the glacier via the line of least resistance to the bergschrund, which may be quite difficult to cross depending on the time of year and conditions. Climb the headwall above the bergschrund (normally steep snow & ice) to a saddle at the head of the glacier between the prominent point to the north and the main body of the peak. From this saddle, go south to the narrow ridge that climbs steeply eastward. This narrow ridge is the interesting part of the climb and may be completely ice, completely rock, or an interesting mix depending on the time of year and conditions. The most difficult rock pitch should be no harder than 5.2 and many sources rate it easier. Once above the narrow ridge, ascend easy ground along the north ridge to the summit pinnacle and climb it by the route of your choice. (The routes on the summit pinnacle are 4th class or steep snow & ice depending on conditions.)
Glacier gear, several long runners, and perhaps a couple of nuts or cams.
Here is a "photo album" of a climb of this route with less snow and ice on the narrow ridge - some nice pictures.Cascade Climber