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[TR] Mt Jefferson - Soutwest Ridge 9/11/2015

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Trip: Mt Jefferson - Soutwest Ridge


Date: 9/11/2015


Trip Report:

Did the southwest ridge of Jefferson last Thursday and Friday, September 10-11 with my buddy Eric and brother-in-law Tim. We had a fun time on the mountain. For Tim, it was his 10th Cascade Volcano over 10,000ft. Eric and I have spent our climbing trips this season in pursuit of the most possible scree slogging we can find for the least/easiest rock we can climb. This route in September has an astounding ratio of scree to easy rock!


In my hunting for beta there were a couple of bits of info that would have been helpful so I'll pass them along.


Probably most important to us was the availability of water. We tanked up at Pamelia Lake, not knowing what we might encounter for water on the route. There is a great snowfield at 7777 feet (we thought it perfect). It required climbing down from the southwest ridge 100 feet or so to get to the bottom of it. We were hopeful that the snowfields on the maps would hold out through this hot summer after a bad snow year. We had running water at camp.


The traverse from Red Saddle around to the north side of the pinnacle was not bad. We were able to pass below the remaining snow. It was loose and steep getting up to the first shoulder, but doable for us.


The whole thing is loose, sandy, horrible scree that will have you asking why you bothered. We rather enjoyed ourselves.


This shot is from our camp at 7777ft. Running water is just behind the tent. The southwest ridge comes in from the left and meets the south ridge coming in from the right.



This is from further up the mountain looking down between the south and southwest ridges. You can see several snowfields remain. Ours was the rightmost.



The traverse in the morning shade. Didn't get a better pic:



Approach Notes:

We came to the climbers trail up to the SW ridge after just 20 minutes on the PCT. We didn't think we were going too fast so it surprised us to be there so quickly. Just as Jeff Thomas describes it is a small open meadow in a canyon. The trail begins right in the draw.

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Nice! You guys beat me to it by a couple days. I went up the South Ridge Tuesday and came down the SW ridge. I am still coughing up pieces of scree!


Here are a few more shots of the traverse. I went high (above the snow) on the way up which proved to be a mistake. It was....sporty. Took the lower traverse on the way back and it was fine. Carried crampons all the way up there for nothing!



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Jefferson is a giant scree factory -- that water at 7777 ft was miraculous! Great TR Paul . . . except you forgot to mention the descent method we refined of "screessading." Good times buddy -- another summit to tick!

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