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jstluise

Warm conditions on Jefferson...go or no-go?

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We were considering tackling Jeff Park Glacier this coming weekend, but it is looking like it will be pretty warm (freezing level shooting up to around 13k).  That may steer us away to another objective, but I'm looking for advice from others that have been up on the route around this time of year.  I anticipate the rockfall to be quite active while trying to cross the shrunds, and the north ridge to be sloppy.  Thoughts?  Thanks! 

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You'll want it to be cold for getting up and down the summit pyramid, but with a good freeze and an early start I would think you could keep it manageable with a 13k FL.  If you don't get either, it is an awesome place to hang out on a long weekend and well worth the hike in and out of basecamp.  I was pleasantly surprised by how great a climb it was on a 4th of July weekend a few years ago....

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I think you will find the glacier portion to be okay if the shrund can be crossed. But given the overall snow conditions (poor) the ridge is going to be choss. Getting to the summit will probably be okay but then there is the descent. Which is going to be sloppy.

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Thanks for the responses.  Unfortunately it is looking like the forecasted overnight temps for the summit may not even get into the 30s on Saturday morning, so yeah...sloppy.  Sounds like it may be doable, but we may bail and save it for another time.  The next couple days would probably be much better with freezing levels at 10k.

Quick question on the route, specifically getting off the summit and onto the Whitewater - I've read accounts of rapping off the summit (Which direction? South to Red Saddle?) as well as retracing the route to the base of the summit pyramid and then doing the steep traverse along the west side to Red Saddle.  And also rapping off the east side from the base (north side) of the summit pyramid?  Seems like there are a few options to get onto the Whitewater...just curious what the preferred way is.

Thanks again!

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3 minutes ago, jstluise said:

Quick question on the route, specifically getting off the summit and onto the Whitewater - I've read accounts of rapping off the summit (Which direction? South to Red Saddle?)

We rapped to the SW, I believe.  It seemed like the only reasonable route in the conditions we found and wasn't tricky to figure out.  Since most everything was buried in rime we added a station below the summit to reach easy snow below.  I think it was 2 single raps.

Yeah, you definitely want a good freeze before embarking on that route. 

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We did a single rappel to the west. Which seems pretty standard as from there one can traverse to Red Saddle via the west side of the summit pinnacle. Regarding a descent. We headed down the Mill Creek Glacier which was wet and sloppy. But then gained the Russell Glacier which we traversed to the Jeff Park Glacier. Not sure it was any better than going via the Whitewater Glacier but we did get a great bum slide in. 

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Thanks for the info.  We thought we were going to forego Jefferson and head up to Glacier Peak instead, but it's looking like some weather is moving into the Glacier Peak area this weekend and the forecast for Jefferson has slightly improved.  So we're going to give Jeff a shot.

Good to know about the Russell, and being able to traverse over to Jeff Park Glacier.  Wasn't sure about that and didn't want to camp too high.  Seems like if you camp around 6800' you should be able to get back pretty easily...higher up at around 7400' I'm not sure.  Was planning on the Whitewater, but we'll scope it out when we're up there, the descent down Mill Creek Glacier and getting over to the Russell does look steep which could be interesting in the slop.

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I can not remember how high we camped but we were not too far from the toe of the Jeff Park Glacier. Maybe around 7k??? The Mill Creek facing west can be interesting and will have the potential for wet slides.

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