Mt Jefferson

June 30, 2002

Mt. Jefferson is the second highest peak in Oregon (10,497 feet). It is more remote than Mt. Hood, and there are no easy routes up the summit pinnacle, so it is much less frequently climbed. We were there midweek, and had the mountain entirely to ourselves.

It was a heavy snow year, and we weren’t able to drive all the way to the trailhead. Because of the snow, it took us about 3 or 4 hours to hike about as many miles and set up camp at the base of the mountain. A view of the mountain from base camp. The summit is not visible. Jefferson Park Glacier, which was our route up the mountain, is just visible over the right shoulder. On summit day we left camp at about 4am. These two shots were taken on the Jefferson Park Glacier. The shot on the right shows the bergschrunds at the top of the glacier. On the left my brother has just made it to the ridge at the top of Jefferson Park Glacier. My brother is also in the picture to the right, although he is a tiny speck indicated by the red arrow. The picture is taken looking back at some of the difficult climbing along ridge between the glacier and the summit pinnacle. The ridge is normally 5.1 rock climbing, but we found it covered with snow and rime ice.

The summit pinnacle, and on the far right a closer shot of the summit pinnacle with my brother in it. Two shots taken on the summit. Some rappel webbing around the summit horn on the left. On the right: looking down the steep gulley I ascended to reach the summit horn.

We reached the summit at about 1pm, at which time clouds started coming in. We decided to descend via the easier Whitewater glacier route. To get to it, we had to take the so-called “scary traverse” to get to the south side of the summit pinnacle, and then descend the rocky ribs and snowfields on the SE side of the mountain. These two shots were taken on the Whitewater, a vast and fairly flat glacier on the east side of the mountain. On the left, looking up at the summit. On the right, me, with Mt. Hood in the distance. This last shot was taken on the hike out. The clouds momentarily cleared, give us a good view of the Jefferson Park Glacier. Unfortunately, my camera had fogged up by this time.

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