Mt. Jefferson

August 7-9, 1981

It was the hottest day of the year that greeted the Mt. Jefferson climbers as they began the long hike from Pamelia Lake trailhead to Shale Lake on Friday afternoon. Starting the hike in at different times, it was after dark before the whole group of ten came together beside that beautiful mountain lake with a shimmering reflective full moon across its surface.

After a good night’s sleep, the group saddled up at 6:00 a.m. for that long tedious hike up the south ridge. With the possibility of another hot day facing us, water for the climb was a real concern. No problem though since snow fields allowed us to replace water as fast as it was consumed.

A noneventful climb brought us to that rocky area immediately below the Red Saddle after being on the move for eight hours. A steep snow field had to be crossed so while most of the group rested, a scouting party went to the saddle to check out the traverse area below the summit. Snow! Soft, mushy snow from the saddle all the way to the north side as well as up the chute between the pinnacles. A party of three just returned from the summit and advised us to stay off the snow. There was no doubt but what their advise was good so we made the nasty decision to return to camp and come back some other day—a real disappointment after spending eight strenuous hours getting to this high point on the mountain.

After another four hours of boulder hopping, a ¼ mile glissade and some bushwhacking, we arrived at camp for a well deserved rest, dinner, swim and sleep. Sunday morning the group split and hiked out in small groups. Attempting the climb were Mary Burke, Marilyn Milani, Tim Cook, Fran Gnose, Rich Litchfield, Ken Reiser, Gene Thaxton, Peggy and Bud Proctor, leader. Protecting base camp from sasquatches was Marilyn Reiser.


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