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[TR] Mt. Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier 1/19/2014

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Trip: Mt. Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier


Date: 1/19/2014


Trip Report:

With a three day weekend I couldn't bring myself to submit to the banality of mere cragging. The low snow, warm temps, and everything else condion-wise about this crappy winter made me decide that I should try a late spring mountaineering route. I also wanted some peace and quiet so I skied into Jeff Park Saturday night and climbed the Jeff Park Glacier to the summit of Jefferson Sunday morning. I left camp at the base of the glacier at 4:30am, topped the glacier at 6:15am, summited around 8am, and returned to camp via the Russel Glacier by 10am.


On the approach the snow was variable and skins did not stick on the ice once the trees thinned out. Up on the glacier the snow varied between rime blobs, firm and crunchy, breakable crust and a few inches of loose stuff. I found good, if steep, snow bridges across both schrunds, sustained 45 deg sections with a few slightly steeper rimey bits where the uphill slope rolls over into a crevasse.


The knife edge was the technical crux of the route and has snow and rime on it, multiple feet thick in places. I rode it horsey style for the most part. The gendarme was really rimed up and a little sketchy. I was able to downclimb steep snow and rock on the back side.


The summit pinnacle took some figuring out. I think I basically followed the fourth class route but I wouldn't know as this was my first time on the mountain. I tried and backed off of 3 separate rime chutes before finding a good gully at the far right of the pinnacle's NW aspect. I down climbed the pinnacle (didn't bother to bring a rope or pro, not that there would have been a good place for it).


I contemplated descending the East Face route but after looking at it decided that rock fall and unstable snow made it too dangerous. Instead I went down the North Milk Creek Gully (gully north of the West Rib) and then traversed various gullies to the ridge above the Russel Glacier (40-45 deg snow). From the top of the Russel it was an easy slog down to camp at the base of the Jeff Park.


Definitely a super fun route and the best ice/snow climb I've been on. Although the knife edge is a little scary right now, the glacier is definitely easy and given the good weather I'm afraid it might count as a giveaway winter ascent.


Other questions for the collective genius of CC: The Mohler Tooth NF is dang impressive. Any ascents? What about the gully L of Mohler? Looks like a good potential ice line but maybe it doesn't get enough snow above it. Cerro Jeffe definitely has some cool terrain and relatively solid rock!


Pictures and more specifics of the climb on my blog: Mountain Mischief


Gear Notes:

Two tools, two eyes, two balls and a brain (preferably covered by a helmet). And no, I did not see anywhere that would have taken pro... its called RIME ICE MUTHA FK'r!


Approach Notes:

Whitewater TH: FS road has some snow, was able to drive to within a mile of the TH. The trail itself is mostly bare dirt for the first couple switchbacks, after that it's good snow cover. I used my AT setup and did not regret it.

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kudos. Haven't been able to get out in 2014 (injury) but have been wondering if in lieu of not great skiing, climbing was good. Winter ascent of Jeff is impressive! congrats, well done. btw thats quite the pony ride to do along ridge..

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the praise. Already looking forward to the next climb.


Water, I would say that lower angle and ridge objectives are in decent shape. However, warm temps and underlying ice/weak layers are a problem so I don't think steeper headwalls or ice climbs are very doable right now.


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