Mount Jefferson Climber's Log

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Diggler - Jul 20, 2010 1:39 pm Date Climbed: Jul 5, 2010

Ah'll be back

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.


Snowslogger - Dec 28, 2009 12:31 am Date Climbed: Sep 2, 1993

Labor Day labor  Sucess!

Returned after an unsuccessful attempt last year (rime ice coating the summit). Definitely one of the hardest Cascade volcanoes.


ronyay - Sep 16, 2009 5:07 pm Date Climbed: Sep 15, 2009

SW Ridge in Sept  Sucess!

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.


millsb40 - Jul 24, 2009 9:07 pm Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2009

SW Ridge  Sucess!

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.


apachedino - Jul 5, 2009 2:47 pm Date Climbed: Jun 29, 2009

South Ridge in a day  Sucess!

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.


markguycan - Jul 2, 2009 6:51 pm Date Climbed: Jun 17, 2009

Tierra Infirma

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:


oregonmtnman - Dec 11, 2008 12:36 am

South Ridge

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.


thundercloud - Mar 23, 2008 8:16 pm Date Climbed: Aug 18, 2007

South Ridge Again  Sucess!

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?


redpoint5 - Sep 7, 2007 12:17 am Date Climbed: Aug 30, 2007

Long way up  Sucess!

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!


cluck - Oct 11, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Long way up

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


cluck - Aug 21, 2007 4:05 pm Date Climbed: Aug 18, 2007

steep dirt in August  Sucess!

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.


cascadetraveler - Jul 26, 2007 11:26 pm Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2007

Whitewater glacier  Sucess!

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.


thundercloud - May 25, 2007 5:07 pm Date Climbed: Aug 17, 2003

South Ridge  Sucess!

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.

highice - Feb 1, 2007 7:51 pm

jeff. park gl.  Sucess!

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 a bivy sac and down parka and still froze my butt off.

Don Nelsen

Don Nelsen - Aug 2, 2006 6:20 pm Date Climbed: Jul 30, 2006

South ridge  Sucess!

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!

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Jul 22, 2006 2:11 pm Date Climbed: Jun 5, 2006

South Ridge from Pamelia Lake TH  Sucess!

Long dayhike with Matthew and Rick, part of a 9 day Cascade tour. Trip Report


cdog - Feb 24, 2006 1:36 pm Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2004

Jefferson Park Glacier  Sucess!

excellent route in primo condition.
Did in 15 hrs car to car.
Descent via Russell glacier was efficient.


Cornvallis - Aug 12, 2004 2:48 am

Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: August 8, 2004  Sucess!

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!


cjwhat - Aug 10, 2004 3:22 pm

Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: August 8, 2004  Sucess!

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).


olsenn - Aug 9, 2004 8:14 pm

Route Climbed: SW ridge Date Climbed: 7 Aug 2004  Sucess!

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.

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