With Sierra Mountaineering Group, we climbed the Jefferson Park glacier route with its famous knife-edge ridge crusted with rime ice and snow - it was an exhilirating and fun climb, well worth the effort. We opted not to ascend the final summit pinnacle owing to time, and descended the Russell Glacier which turned out to be a solid plan.
Fun climb with The MVP and Montana. The snow traverse was melted out and the we were able to skirt below this steep exposed area on the worst rock and scree imaginable. I was happy to have a rope and a few pieces of gear for the last bit. Familiarity with the route from a previous attempt and an early start from Shale lake were instrumental in our success.
Started in from Woodpecker TH as a free-parking alternative to Pamelia Lakes TH (with the added bonus of another 7 miles rt). Hiked into a small snow-melt lake on the flats just north of Goat Peak on Saturday. Left at 1:40am on Sunday, and made the top by 8:30am using the South Ridge to Red Saddle, making the west face traverse to the North Ridge and up the scramble to the summit. Such a long tedious day on the return to the TH. I had blisters and sore feet just from the return hike.
After Glacier Peak we drove down to Oregon and climbed Jefferson, again great weather but this time we used full gear - crampons, axe, pickets, and rope. We camped in a small saddle just off the climber's trail, hiked up the ridge to the glacier and took that in a loop around to the south side, again climbed the ridge, traversed around the two steep snow slopes and then climbed up the rocky ridge from the north. Nice scramble up to the summit, Smiley did belay me up one steep spot just below the top. We returned the same way, hiked down to the shelter and camped near that on day 2, back to the car the next morning.
There was still snow on the PCT above 5400 ft or so, even in August when I did it. I bivied at about 7800 ft next to a snow field. I did a S-SW ridge loop. The traverse was pretty hard ice, which was nice. The summit block was still iced up in spots.
Decent on the SW ridge was not fun - some of the worst scree and loose rock I have encountered. It was hard to stay on the ridge, and hard to traverse below it. I ended up scree skiing down into the drainage to the N.
Third time is the charm after finally heading left of the scary bergshrund at the top of the glacier.
Good climb, great group. Trip up to Red Saddle tedious. Trip across traverse slightly anxiety-provoking, but great summit, nice conditions. Melted out pro on the way back across the traverse was super fun to deal with. Long day, tough climb but a blast..
In via Pamelia Lake. Enormous avalanche debris in Milk Creek. Snowshoed up to about 6500'. Tons of snow this spring. Postholing and slow going on the West rib, bailed about 7800'. Headed down to the Sisters and bagged MS.
This peak is just as hard as it looks - maybe harder. The first time we got weathered off by that fantastic orographic lift down there, but this time it was pretty straight forward. We all agreed to bring some rock-pro instead of free climbing the summit cone next time - that's quite the drop.
My dad is 59 and climbed the Whitewater Route like he was 30. Go dad!
I am planning on climbing Jefferson this weekend. Has anyone climbed it recently? I was wondering if the red saddle had any snow.
Had high hopes of completing the Jefferson Park Glacier, but alas, it was not to be (this time)... Faith & I somehow overshot Jefferson Park (still covered in snow- snow line was approximately 5,200' (!)), & ended up somewhere a little bit below the glacier, ~6,500'. Got to bed a little late, but we were still optimistic. Sometime around midnight, though, winds picked up, & didn't let up. Steady 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph (guesstimate). This didn't please me, & I didn't feel like pushing our luck up higher (where the breeze would likely be much stronger), where the climb goes over a sizable glacier, then up to a knife-edged ridge, before the summit pinnacle. This at least allowed for a leisurely day to return.
Returned after an unsuccessful attempt last year (rime ice coating the summit). Definitely one of the hardest Cascade volcanoes.
Snow free the entire way, sent and returned in 11 hrs to Pamelia TH.
Wonder what that pinnacle would be like under rime ice? As it was, she was not the wicked ogre that everyone made her out to be.
This is a rather long climb, but not too strenuous if you are in pretty good shape. We tried to climb the in June, but got snowed (and thunder stormed) off the mountain. There was much less snow July 2nd than there was June 12th.
We camped at 6800' just South of the Southwest Ridge in a basin type area. This was less than a mile from the trail, I think my GPS said about 1/2 a mile. So it was very steep after leaving the trail, but put us in a nice spot for climbing in the morning.
Left the tent at 3:30 in the morning, hit the red saddle at 7:00. This took longer than we thought it would. We were on top around 8:30 (maybe 9?). This too took longer than we hoped. The traverse was snow, pretty good condition on the way up, much less so on the way down. We set pickets across the traverse. The summit horn still had some snow and ice but it was not that difficult (the traverse wasn't that difficult either with the conditions we had). Left the summit at 9:30ish, didn't make the saddle until nearly 11:00 (again this took longer than I had hoped). Made camp at 12:00 and the car at 2:00. I wouldn't plan on being at the car 3 hours from the saddle including breaking camp on the way, but I had somewhere to be that evening.
One of the best alpine experiences you can get in Oregon. Jeff has beautiful scenery, and a challenging and rewarding climb.
Only able to get permit for one day, so we went for it. Hint: Do not hit the ridge to early, terrible bushwacking. Instead go up and down in the basin between the two ridge spurs before they meet up. The forest is much more spaced out. Also don't bring a full length climbing rope...they are heavy! Upper traverse and climbing make this route amazing. Love the oldgrowth at the bottom as well.
aesthetic peak, arduous suffering!
2pm start-approached via Pamelia Lk trail head (elev.3,000ft) to Milk Creek to PCT (head south) about a mile to the first major gully. followed poor climbers trail up steep to approx 5,600ft -camped still in trees with about 50% snow coverage at this point. 6am start- low temps only to the 40's caused loose snow conditions- post-holing and kick stepping interspersed with loose scree stumbling. As I live at 7,000ft I expected to find this climb easier but instead it seemed and enormous amount of work. upper slopes involved postholing thigh deep and burring your axe and hand and forearm. 1pm- we debated at the "red saddle" (completely white for us) & decided because of the exposed traverse and poor snow conditions as well as the worsening weather that we should skip the remaining 330ft and descend. glissaded as much as possible, broke camp and back to the car by 8:30pm, Good Beer and Pizza at "sammy's" in Detroit Lake. see vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qECnSi1Ugh4
Made it across traverse but got to be too late and summit block was too icy for safe climbing. Decided to head down and try another day. Long strenous climb. Great mountain. Climbed with Chemeketans out of Salem, Oregon.
Why? Why did I go back here? Great fun with great friends and nice camp festivities. No shenanigans on this trip at least, except for my clumsy scree slip near the base and a cut finger. Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! A drencher of a packout the following day. Why?
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!