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.
This area is nothing like anything else in Oregon. Very green, reminds me of Washington North Cascades. Made it to the red saddle just before the summit pinnacle, early sunset and no snow made travel slow . Brought crampons and ice axe but never got on snow...all scree on the way up. Lots of lose rock.
What a climb!
No snow on Milk Creek (ai, ai, ai that rock is loose...) or around the corner, just a bit on the pinnacle. Thanks to Sebastian for a great lead.
No entries in the summit register since three weeks before.
Finally summitted all peaks within view of Portland.
This montain has got my name and consistently tears up my feet. I wish I knew the solution. The hike into camp at Shale Lake was mostly uneventful until the thunder showers started. Definitely interesting with the thunder booming and lightning streaking across the sky. Then the rain came down in buckets for awhile and soaked us. Hadn't really paid all that much attention to the forcast so I didn't have a pack cover and wasn't looking forward to setting up camp in the rain. Luckily it subsided somewhat and our camp under the trees provided some relief. Summit day was beautiful with the weather cooperating most of the day. Unfortunately, one in our party had forgottten his crampons back at camp. This made the traverse from the Red Saddle a little more interesting. On the way across we chose to go low below the snow pack and climb the scree. Big mistake! Too much rock fall. Two of us ended up climbing unprotected and then belayed the other three up to our point on the shoulder. On the way back we opted to cross the snow field and put picket protection in. Probably not the best protection I've ever set but it was better than nothing. I ended up having to cross it three times in order to bring crampons back across to the buddy who had forgotten his. Summit stay was short since we were sitting in a cloud and didn't have much of a view. We signed the register and read through the logs since we had been up there last year. The descent down was uneventful. We split up toward the bottom, some took our ascent line back down and I went in search of the true trail that gains the ridge near Goat Peak. I found it but don't think I could find it again in the dark. We got back to the camp in about a 12 hour roundtrip. We stayed another night and hiked out the next day. Great weekend!
Start from Woodpecker Ridge, camp at high meadow near Shale Lake. Walking by 3a, Red Saddle by 8a, summit about 10a. Descent at 12p, camp by 3p. Scree ascent (yuck), but scree descent (yay). Great mixed climb.
Traverse was backed up by a hand line, snow was hard, clear scramble to summit.
Great views, smoke from wildfires obscured as morning wore on. Full house to the north, to Broken Top to the south.
Climbed with Hammer and others. Long scree slog. The traverse was not as hairy as I thought it was going to be. The pinnicle was easy scrambling up the north and west sides.
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!