Plan was start at Whitewater trail head and attempt a summit from Jefferson Park Glacier. Late start at 8am made the snow too soft and I had no ice screws. Down-climbed from 8,800 to 8,000 and made camp at a flat spot on the east ridge of Jefferson Park Glacier. Slept in bivy and no sleeping bag through some light rain and hail. Lightning overhead gave a slight concern.
Next morning at 9am headed east for a Whitewater Glacier summit. Lots of crevasses and only my buddy on the other end of roped glacier travel, but seemed pretty safe. Traversing steep scree was slow and wasted energy on the way to the south ridge but made it by 2:30pm. Winds constantly gusting to maybe 80mph. Goggles required.
Started across the terrible traverse too high, near the last remnants of snow, and we both nearly fell to our demise. Probably started up the summit pinnacle too soon as the climbing was about 5.6 and was done in my boots with gloves on and an ice axe in hand. Made the summit probably around 6pm, my watch had died. Summit was in the clouds all day and visibility was about 50ft with 70mph gusting wind still present.
Wasn't familiar with the west ridge on the narrow trail so we decided to descend as quickly as possible via south ridge. Back over the terrible traverse, this time lower and much safer. Estimated 7,500 ft at the last glacier as the light was completely gone. Camped an unplanned night and ate 1 packet of Ramen each.
Next morning bushwacked to the trail towards Pamilia and caught the PCT to Whitewater trail. The trip had us circle the entire mountain on little food, but we managed. Pack weight around 40lbs.
My first mountain summit!
South ridge is a boulder/talus/scree/dirt fun fest. The traverse was melted out except a small tongue that we could skirt low. Left steepish, welded mud and rock to climb to get around to the North side but nothing as horrifying as I'd expected. We still encountered a bit of spontaneous rock fall that would have ruined our entire day had it hit one of our party. Scramble to the summit was easy 3rd on good rock. If you find yourself on loose or difficult rock coming up the pinnacle from the North side, you are off route. No rope, no pro made for nice light packs. Brought crampons and axes and neither were needed.
It was an Obsidian club trip, and all eight of the participants were at least intermediate level mountaineers. everybody was able to pitch in on technical duties and made life a bit easier on the trip leaders. The route does a 360 degree corkscrew around the mountain. We had spectacular weather and great sunsets and rises due to forest fires a couple of miles to the east. Definatly one of the better alpine climbs in the Oregon cascades.
Nothing special about this slog route. Ugly snow free traverse below the pinnacle. Met Mr. Bolton en route, see his entry below. I'm the guy with the war wounds. Apparently, a large block was loosened up by climbers in front of me, and when I breathed on it, the whole mass set loose. Rather than subject my legs to possible broken bones from the impact, I blindly jumped back and down and did a nice face plant in the sloped debris. Suffered a few scrapes, but nothing serious. Final summit scramble was decent, but that's about all. On traverse descent, random falling bomb nearly took out a couple of others making their way across.
tried a different rte one winter and had to abort at the summit block due to rime ice fall from thawing temps. back again and did this route. slept very little...in a bivy sac and down parka and still froze my butt off.
This was my second serious attempt on Mt. Jefferson and with the help of Greg Slayden and Edward Earl's fixed rope, this time I got across the infamous traverse and gained the summit. Also included in our group were Adam Helman, Duane Gilliland and Richard Carey. After hiking in from the Pamelia lake trailhead the previous day and camping at the 6,800 foot level, we got an 8 am start the next day and made the summit at about 2. Lots of rime had formed overnight above about 7,500 feet but by the time we summited, it had melted off. Great day and great views!
Long dayhike with Matthew and Rick, part of a 9 day Cascade tour. Trip Report
excellent route in primo condition.
Did in 15 hrs car to car.
Descent via Russell glacier was efficient.
Great climb with a great group of guys. Even ran into a friend (dkantola) on the summit pinnacle, small world! :-) Shale Lake made for a great base camp, very nice area. Large boulders on the south ridge were surprisingly solid making for an enjoyable and less tedious climb. Traverse wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought, but not to be taken lightly. Smallest summit I have ever been on (3FJ takes the honor now), not a lot of room to move around. Thanks Brian for getting us all together and leading this thing, and thanks to Dennis and Cory, I thoroughly enjoyed all of your company. Only thing missing on this one was Dean, we missed ya, but you'll get it!
Followed on Brian's rope as described below. Crossing the snow field before noon definitely advisable. Be prepared for the skeeters at Shale Lake. Get on Brian's rope if you have a chance, he's a real pleasure to climb with (as are Tom & Dennis).
At the traverse, the top inch of snow was soft enough my crampons didn't bite in well. Below that was hard enough I couldn't plant the spike of the ice axe very deep or kick steps. After a foolish first 20', I ended up cutting steps with the adze and felt significantly safer. I figured better to remain in the path of falling debris longer than join it at the bottom. That was about noon on a moderately warm day. I agree with dkantola- it would be wise to plan to set up a belay with pickets. From the far N end of the traverse, I crossed back to the S side of the pinnacle as I ascended before crossing back the last few feet to the top. There was a small amount of ice in some of the shaded areas above 9500'. On the descent, which I found less fun than the assent, I got on the wrong ridge a couple of times. Other than snow, the last water would be at Milk Creek or Pamelia Lake. 3hr 37 min from car to summit, 6hrs 33 min round trip- probably not a record, but I was pleased.
We left Jefferson Park at 5:15 a.m. and scrambled up a loose gully next to a stream in the dark to reach the Whitewater Glacier. Roped up there and did the rising traverse across the glacier until we hit the southeast ridge at 9000 ft. 1200 vertical feet of scrambling on the ridge brought us to the Red Saddle. The snow traverse had great steps and the pinnacle scramble was third class on solid rock, so we didn't even need to break out the rope. Without steps on the traverse I would consider setting a running belay with pickets. We met Brian Jenkins et al. just after the traverse on the ascent and again at the Red Saddle on the descent. Reached the summit at 12:45 p.m. After a long descent we made it back to the Whitewater trailhead at 8:30 p.m.
Climbed with fellow summitposters Tom Snuffin (Cornvallis), Cory Crebbin (cjwhat) and Dennis P. (losman90). Started up at 3:30 am from Shale Lake. Bushwhacked up to the ridge in the dark and then slowly, slowly up the steep south ridge. Made Red Saddle about 10 am I am guessing. Roped up and did the traverse on solid icy snow with nice steps kicked in. I got to lead the route and conditions made it really nice and not as bad as I thought it would be. Towards the ridge it steepened a bit but once over the ridge it eased off and then was only a small amount of snow until you hit rock. There is a nice 3rd class route to the summit from there, but, of course, I missed the last little bit when you come back over a ridge the last 30 or so feet to the summit. So, we did a short pitch of rock that was like 4th to 5.0 class to the summit.
This was Dennis' last Oregon county highpoint so it was especially satisfying for him. Summitposter Dean was supposed to join us too but he had broken his hand earlier in the week on Whitney. Anyway, everyone rapped down and then I wrapped the horn and rapped that. The rope got stuck so I reclimbed it (found the easy way though this time) and then the rope got stuck again when I threw it down and I had to reclimb half the rock part to get that down (so do I get 2.5 summit credits?). ;- )
Long hike out, back to the car in the dark at 9 pm. Was a great fun climb with these guys. Hope to do more with them.
Found the route to be in good condition. Steeper snow turning the upper bergschrund on the far right was a highlight of the climb for me. The "knife edge ridge" provided some enjoyable moves though the belayed climbing here was more brief than expected. This was an enjoyable route which remained interesting from base to summit!
Turned around just 100 feet below from the summit but having done the traverse I feel I can sign in here. The last bit of rock was still covered in too unstable snow/ice which forced us to make a hard decision. The Whitewater route was very nice and straight forward but quite long. The crux was obviously the steep traverse, where we used a running belay with 3 pickets on the way up and 4 on the way down. Climbing in and out of the runnels on the travese made things more challenging. Overall was a great experience and the hardest thing I have done on snow.
main pct trail had patchy snow. approach trail snowed under. conditions on the mountain: windy and icy as heck. snow soft and deep on the lower ridge. visibility at 50-75 ft at the top so that you didn't know when snow stopped and cloud began. crampons were on half way up the ridge. roped in at the first ourcrop at the top (including the dog) and had the rope waving in the wind. Reached the base of the pinnacle and turned around without risking an ascent. clouds broke as we decended.
Will try again july 4th weekend
Currently a favorite hiking area. I would like to summit and am in search of partners to do so.
Hiked to the vicinity of Shale Lake on Saturday Aug. 16 from the Woodpecker TH since we didn't have a Pamelia trail permit. Our 4-person party started from camp Sunday morning at 4:30, arriving at the Red Saddle at 10:30. We had connected with another 3-man party on the ascent and decided to tackle the traverse and summit together. The traverse had no snow until most of the way across. We decided to stay high instead of dropping down to the snow as it looked not very deep, and therefore might not work very well with an ice axe. The mountain is extremely unstable on this traverse. At one point the guy in front of me (from the other party) put a little weight on the "wall" above us and down came a bunch of rock and mud. I lunged backward out of his way, and he lunged toward me. The rocks and mud shot down through a little chute, then somehow he lost his footing and started down after the mud. I tried to grab him and he was scratching and clawing at whatever he could grab. Thankfully he only went down to about his waist and was unhurt except for some abrasions on all four limbs, and possibly some bruises as well. We then set up a belay for the people behind me, and then worked our way above the snow on very loose junk before finally arriving at the west ridge. From there the route was very easy and felt downright solid by comparison to the traverse. On the descent we avoided the worst area on the traverse by actually rappeling over the too-shallow snow down to some terra infirma below the snow, traversing underneath the snow patch, then climbing back up to the original traverse level. One basketball-sized boulder whistled down from above and passed between two of the group who were climbing back up to the traverse. We were all very relieved to be back at the Red Saddle. I had the luxury of being able to take Monday off, so while the rest of the group hiked back out to the cars Sunday evening, I got to stay in camp and hike out in leisure on Monday.
Set up camp at Scout Lake and headed for the summit at noon. Started on the rocks of Whitewater Ridge and around 8,000 ft. we moved onto the Whitewater Glacier because the rocks were starting to hamper our progress. On the way to the summit pinnacle, we ran into Dean and rfbolton (nice lads), summit post members who were busy with their county high points climb.
Reached the base of the summit pinnacle (approximately 9,500 ft) at 5 PM and aborted a summit attempt for several reasons: 1) on the way to the summit pinnacle we encountered loose rock fall that went from bad to ridiculous. Pebbles, sand, rocks, scree-you name it, it was coming down with every step taken and the pinnacle itself didn't look any better (found someone's prusik sling in the jumbled mess); 2) throughout the day, clouds buried the summit pinnacle which would make routefinding arduous; 3) started the climb late in the day. Will try another attempt from the south or southwest ridges sometime in 2004.
Started up Pamelia Lk Trail, made it Milk Cr. in about 2 hours. Camped up the gulley on snow. One waterfall to pass, not too bad, went around to the left and then gained the West Rib. Originally wanted N. Milk Creek gulley but it was too warm, the runnels were very deep and rockfall was evident. Went straight up the rib, zigzagged through rockbands with little troubles. Moderately steep, 45 degrees at most. Never used crampons or rope. Made the summit in just under 6 hours, snow was quite slushy but still busted out the summit pinnacle. Steps were easy to kick, but a little worried about snow slides coming off. Ice axe was pretty essential because of amount of snow on the pinnacle. We skied/boarded all the way down milk creek, lots of sluffing, runnels were like rivers of loose snow. Back to camp in 2 hours, back to car in another hour+. Excellent climb, only saw two others via S. Side.