Mt. Jefferson—South Ridge

September 10-12, 1976

Met at 19th and Patterson at 12 noon 1:00 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, and three cars drove to the trail head at Pamelia Lake. Hiked the two miles to Pamelia Lake, then right on the old Skyline trail to Hank’s Lake and camped at Hunt’s Lake. Up at 4:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and left camp in the dark at 5:15 a.m. on a very warm day. Started up the South Ridge of Mt. Jefferson via Shale Lake, across the new Skyline trail to Goat Peak. Followed the South Ridge up into high winds at about 8000 ft. level, but still clear to the south and west, clouds high to the southeast. Reached the Red Saddle at 11:00 a.m. after two of our party turned back with leg cramps. Two other parties on the mountain got ahead of us so we scaled the south side of the pinnacle on belays, moved to the west higher up and into high winds, 60–80 mph, and into an ominous lenticular summit cloud. All off the summit by 3:00 p.m. No view, and an icey descent as the freezing level lowered to less than 8000 ft. Party split into two groups of 5 for the descent. First reached base camp at Hunt’s Lake at 10:30 p.m. and the second at 11:30 p.m. after 18 hours on the mountain. No serious injuries but all wet and tired. Slept in Sunday, left Hunt’s Cove at noon, reached cars about 2 p.m. Had lunch in bright sun at Marion Forks Restaurant on the back porch, home by 5 p.m.

Mt. Jefferson is “the biggest” and seems the most formidable. Leader was Dr. Robert A. Moffitt, with Alice, John, Larry and Mike Moffitt, Ken Daletas, Steve John, Rob and Rick Scherer, Robert Walden. Lee Hatch and Mitch Daletas climbed but didn’t reach summit.


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