Mt. Jefferson

July 14-16, 1989

On July 14, six adventure seeking souls set at Pamelia Lake Trailhead for an attempt at the summit of Mt. Jefferson. We were prepared for a lot of snow and were set with a snowline of 5400 feet while still on the Pacific Crest Trail. We soon gave up looking for tree blazes and set a course towards the mountain. We found a patch of bare, reasonably level earth at 6000 feet and decided it would be our new home for two nights.

An early morning cover of mist and moisture made us somewhat uneasy but we soon broke out into beautiful sunshine around 8500 feet. The climb went well to the Red Saddle and the traverse was relatively easy due to near perfect snow conditions. That’s when it started getting more precarious! The west side and the chute were completely filled with ice. What is normally a 15-minute climb to the bottom of the summit chute took us at least an hour. We started up the chute and chopped steps where we could, but progress was incredibly slow. On the last pitch Jerry slightly touched a rock he was considering for a belay anchor and it literally popped out of the mountain and rolled over his leg as he tried to escape! With only 10 vertical feet to go we terminated the climb due to rotten vertical ice and three hours over our time limit.

The climbers were Jerry Crosby, Michael Cooper, Karen Carter, John Pegg, John Hudson and Tom Donnelly (leader).


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