Ascent of Mount Jefferson on 2011-07-07

Climber: Les Zollbrecht

Others in Party:Jared Wolcott
Date:Thursday, July 7, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Jefferson
    Elevation:10497 ft / 3199 m

Ascent Trip Report

July 9, 2011 (exceptionally high snow year) Entire climbing route on snow, rime or ice.

The Hike
Left car at Whitewater TH, Wednesday at 1:00 PM and hiked through mixed trail and snow to Scout Lake. Arrived at 4PM.

The Climb
Left tent at 2:00AM, and ascended via snow fields to the lateral moraine below Jefferson Park Glacier and traversed to the North Ridge Route. Ascended snowfields and through the upper moats of the Whitewater Glacier to the false summit head wall. Climbed steep snow, crossing some trigger point avalanches running through 2-3 foot runnels. Climbed diagonally to the uppermost snow ridge just west of the false summit. After attaining the ridge, post-holed our way through multi-layered snow and ice to the summit block, often sinking into our waists.

The Summit Block
We roped up for two 80'pitches of rime, and one decent pitch of WI 2 staying as true as possible to the north ridge. The final fifty feet we broke out of the snow on the eastern face and scrambled up bare rock ramps to the summit at 11:00AM

After a perfectly clear day, cumulus clouds appeared around 10:00 and began to stack up on the western flanks of the mountain by 11:30. We descended our route using belays and upon reaching the top of the false summit faced winds of 50 miles per hour. Retracing our steps down the head wall we were engulfed in whiteout conditions with sleet and now 70mph winds. We only had about 400 feet to descend but we missed the proper chute and traversed too far to the west and found ourselves in the line of fire for horrendous sized rocks and sloughs. We retreated to the east, still hoping for a window in the clouds. We descended about 200 feet down the face and found ourselves blocked by enormous bergschrunds of the Jeff Park Glacier (still too far west). We retreated east and finally found our gully and descended into the fierce winds and blowing rocks to final few hundred feet to the North Ridge. We then dropped onto the Whitewater Glacier and traversed it to the North Ridge and descended to camp. 5:00PM

Hike Out
We made some tea, ate some food and put on dry clothes as we warmed up in our sleeping bags. Hiked to trail head in 2 hours
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6397 ft / 1950 m
    Route:North Ridge
    Trailhead:whitewater trailhead  4100 ft / 1249 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Extremely Windy, Partly Cloudy
Hot most of the day, then extreme wind and whiteout conditions on descent. Some sleet.
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:30 Hours 

This page has been served 1270 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2018 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service