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[TR] Mt. Jefferson - Jefferson Park Glacier 5/24/2014

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Trip: Mt. Jefferson - Jefferson Park Glacier


Date: 5/24/2014


Trip Report:

Ok, so I’m way behind on TR writing, but this seemed sort of timely, if not too late given the snow year.


Last memorial day my buddy Chad and I decided to take a little road trip down to Oregon as the weather looked bad for our originally planned Glacier Peak ski (I think someone posted a wet TR of that trip anyways). It looked like a bit of a window for Mt. Jefferson and neither of us had been there before.


We piled all the gear in my 1977 Chinook and cruised on down the road. We got our permit and a map at the ranger station and decided that based on the snow pack we might have a better start via Woodpecker Ridge than Pamelia Lakes. I'm not sure why this approach isn't mentioned more as it got us higher with the snow conditions and worked well. We drove 90% of the way there before hitting a decent sized snow patch in the road that I was sure the little Chinook wouldn’t make it through. We had time though and two shovels so after 45 minutes of digging and putting the chains on, we were able to make it all the way to the trailhead to spend a drizzley night.





We woke to clearer skies and began hiking with the skis and boots on our back. After a couple miles we hit the PCT and some more snow, but the aspect and the trail side slope made for somewhat annoying travel and we decided not to ski yet. We continued hiking north past a small tarn originally heading for the Russell Glacier but at Jefferson Creek we saw a great snow field heading straight up so we stashed our approach shoes and started skinning. It was a beautiful but hot 3000 ft climb up to a bench around 8500’ where we found snow melt puddles and a wonderful spot to pitch the megamid. We decided to chill there and climb the next day, enjoying an amazing sunset.












In the morning we skied onto the Russell Glacier and then booted up an icy slope and over the shoulder to the Jefferson Park Glacier. After some more skinning we ditched our skis at the bergschrund and continued up the final 1000’ or so. We hit the rime covered ridge and roped up for a couple of pitches of fun scrambling in deteriorating conditions. The crux was a single ~8’ step of gently overhanging rime that I somehow overcame to reach easier slopes above. Without the rime it’s probably 3rd class but I was glad I had a second tool. Chad followed and we celebrated the summit in a whiteout.














After a short break on the summit we reversed course and rappelled off a horn in the gulley to avoid reversing the ridge. Some steep downclimbing brought us back to our skis and we clicked in for the fun part. The upper part of the glacier was still scratchy but we had a few good turns lower down and were able to nearly ski all the way back to camp.










We broke camp quickly and continued our ski down with a wonderful 3000’ run back to our shoes. We managed to leave the skis on for some of the PCT section back and made a final camp just for fun near the junction with the woodpecker ridge trail. We could have gone the last two miles but we had food and didn’t need to be back so soon.






In the morning we made the final hike in a drizzle and then cruised on back home. Although there was a little bit of hiking with skis on the back, I thought this was a great ski adventure and worthy of more attention. The little bit of climbing to the summit added that perfect spice too!



Gear Notes:

Light skis, a few nuts, 2 link cams, 2 screws, 1 picket, ice axe and short 2nd tool. Used the axes, picket, one nut and one cam.


Approach Notes:

Woodpecker Ridge worked given the snow at that time.

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