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!
Were you really making Jeff Park Glacier on Jeff your first ever climbing project? Bold my friend. Bold indeed.
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.