5 strong Obsidian climbers started up the Woodpecker Ridge Trail with aspirations to climb Mt. Jefferson. We were headed up the West Rib route, the shortest route up the mountain. After a few easy trail miles we started up the Milk Creek drainage. Rumor has it there is a climbers trail that leads up Milk Creek - all we found was brush, sand, and the start of a country western song - 'Sidehillin' on Scree'.
With only a couple miles from camp to the summit, how hard could this climb be? The climbing team got an alpine start with hopes of tagging the summit and hiking out in the same day. The climbing was slow since we had to use ropes and pickets to protect much of it because of the steep terrain and ice. We made slow, but steady progress with Marge and Danni swapping leads and were at the base of the summit pinnacle shortly before lunch. Danni had a great lead up the mixed rock and ice summit block. We enjoyed a brief pause at the summit before working our way back down the mountain. Downward progress was also slow, making sure we kept protecting the rope team until the fall danger was minimized. The exhausted team made our way back into camp and barely got a hot meal in before enjoying a second night out. This one is always heavy on the “type 2 fun” but we safely and successfully put 4 strong climbers on the top. Our climb was a reminder that there is no easy way up Mt. Jefferson.Members: Danneille Harris, Marge Huseman, Maryanne Reiter, Charles Warren, Mikel Rhodes.
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