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| | |-+  May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
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Author Topic: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR  (Read 3041 times)
Timstirling
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May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« on: 05/05/13, 09:10 PM »

Having ticked off most of the prominent peaks near and south of my new home, Eugene, the list of unclimbed and unskiied peaks pointed towards Jefferson as the next objective. I've avoided Jefferson until now because it is remote, high, has an unskiable and some what technical true summit, involves a lot of vertical from snow-free low altitudes, requires permits and online beta is relatively sparse.

Saturday I left for an optimistic recon mission with the hope of getting to around 10,000 ft. Several sorices point to approaches form the norhtern side to ski Jefferson-Prk glacier but from looking at mas this looked like a lot of horiztonal for short vetical before the glacier cressases up at around 8500ft and summiting becomes much more technical. Pamelia lake access looks better, lower but closer, and crevasse fee (crevasses scare me after seeing some close enounters in the alps). However, I couldn't make up my mind on taking the north Mill creek gully and climbing west rib, which looked direct but somewhat exposed to any snow and rock fall, so I finally decided on the SW ridge which looked longer but very safe.

When nearing the turn off I had my first view of Jefferson and it wasn't pretty. Large textbook lenticular clouds stretched over the summit, you could clearly see the contrails. I hoped my initial assessment would prove to be wrong but upon arriving in the car park it was clear that it was windy, with blustery gusts I even in the sheltered forest. Still, there was plenty of time for the win to ear off so at 6:30 I left the car on foot, well in running shoes.

The plan was to hike in comfy shoes until snowline. Wichi thought I found at 3800ft where fairlycomtinuous snow appeared so I changed to ski boots and stashed the shoes behind a tree. Sadly 10 minutes later at the lake the snow vanished not to reappear for over 1000ft and several miles. At the lake the wind was very strong and I knew unless something significant changed then I would get very high.

I followed the trail to the Mill creek, then followed PCT trail in the hopes of reaching snow. Eventually I found continuous snow at 4900ft where I lef the trail and headed straight up. The map seemed to show gentle slopes and open trees but I managed to find a steeper denser patch that let to lots of curses and a broken ski pole. Within minuets the forest opened up and I was making quick, if limp (1 ski pole makes for strange skinning) progress. I felt strong and energetic as I reached tree line, before the wind started to do its best to push me back down hill as if it is not tiring enough trying to climb 7000+ft .

At 7200ft I hid behind a rocky ridge line for 20 minutes renergising, waiting and hoping for a slight change in weather, to no avail. It ws clear that I would have to turn back now if not soon but I thought I would creep a little higher in hopes of getting a view of the west face. I pushed on carefully to around 8800ft and sheltered behind a big rock. By this point the wind was strong enough to knock one to the ground.

I admired the views south, sisters, three fingered jack, mt Washington and diamond peak. The weather seemd to deteriorate rather than improve so I clipped in and Skiied some great corn  with the win behind me even the flats Skiied nicely. Had to be careful the wind would push me over the ridge onto the more SW facing bowl (I had slowly skinned onto the more southerly facing slopes). Without skins on the skis it was very hard  to defend against the wind. Another 1000ft of mush through the trees back to the PCT and then a long march to the car.  Took about 5.5 hours to get to my turn back point including several longish breaks as I waited for the wind.





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Koda
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/13, 09:25 AM »

Same conditions on Hood, winds beat us down all day and made every attempt at grabbing gear requiring a split in the group for a 2 hour ski retrieval (successful, UL touring skis not ideal in high wind…).  Made it to 10K much later than planned and called it good it was late enough already. It was a labor of love for ski mountaineering.
As we climbed in the windy onslaught I looked across to Jeffersons lenticular and wondered if anyone there was getting punished like we were….   Good on ya for getting out.


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lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2
RaychelK
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #2 on: 05/06/13, 09:27 AM »

Sorry to hear you got stuck in those conditions. BUT...thanks so much for posting this. It's tough to find TRs from folks in this area (I'm also from Eugene). Much appreciated.
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Hawthorne
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #3 on: 05/06/13, 03:01 PM »

Kids and I wanted to get top of Palmer to base of Flood on Saturday.  Winds were gusting 60mph in the lot and lifts were closed out at 11am.  Mountaineering skill builder class in the overflow lot was having a hard time on low slope ropes. 

I have Jeff on my list.  Thanks for the report. 
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Stupid Hurts...Ask Me How I Know...
blackdog102395
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #4 on: 05/06/13, 03:16 PM »

Headed to Timberline for my son's birthday also planning on hitting the Palmer to Flood vert fest.  I knew we were in trouble when my son literally was blown over in the parking lot.  Got to the lifts just in time for the big shut down.  Spent a few hours playing ping pong and eating in the lodge.  Lifts never restarted.  A long way to drive for a game of ping pong.
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Timstirling
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #5 on: 05/06/13, 08:17 PM »

Same conditions on Hood, winds beat us down all day and made every attempt at grabbing gear requiring a split in the group for a 2 hour ski retrieval (successful, UL touring skis not ideal in high wind…).  Made it to 10K much later than planned and called it good it was late enough already. It was a labor of love for ski mountaineering.
As we climbed in the windy onslaught I looked across to Jeffersons lenticular and wondered if anyone there was getting punished like we were….   Good on ya for getting out.


I waste try worried I would loose some thing to the wind, nearly lost my hat a couple of times. Luckily my lunch spot was very protected, a godsend when trying to put skins away!
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Timstirling
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #6 on: 05/06/13, 08:22 PM »

Sorry to hear you got stuck in those conditions. BUT...thanks so much for posting this. It's tough to find TRs from folks in this area (I'm also from Eugene). Much appreciated.

Yeah, not much get posted about the local stuff around here, you are often heading into the unknown with regards to road and snow conditions. Jefferson ski info is especially sparse for such a big mountain,,plenty on summer hiking and climbing the summit pinnacle but no detailed info on suitable skiing routes.

The smaller peaks barely get mentioned. This winter I ticked off Maiden Peak, Odell Butte, Malaks mountain and mt Fuji amongst others.  Maybe I'll make a retroactive TR for some of these to help share my route choices on these relatively unskiied peaks.
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KLW
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #7 on: 05/07/13, 10:23 AM »

Yeah, not much get posted about the local stuff around here, you are often heading into the unknown with regards to road and snow conditions. Jefferson ski info is especially sparse for such a big mountain,,plenty on summer hiking and climbing the summit pinnacle but no detailed info on suitable skiing routes.

The smaller peaks barely get mentioned. This winter I ticked off Maiden Peak, Odell Butte, Malaks mountain and mt Fuji amongst others.  Maybe I'll make a retroactive TR for some of these to help share my route choices on these relatively unskiied peaks.

They're not unskiied. Just unreported.

Thanks for posting up!
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JohnBox
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #8 on: 05/07/13, 06:01 PM »

I'm having a tough time figuring out the Pamelia Lake permit system.  Any advice?
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Timstirling
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #9 on: 05/08/13, 09:00 PM »

I'm having a tough time figuring out the Pamelia Lake permit system.  Any advice?


I meant to add a note in my opening post to clarify my findings because I also found it not very clear. What I learnt in a round about way, and confirmed at the TH (but only in very small font and barely visible) was that a permit is not needed before the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. After that you must have a permit, even for day trips, even if not going to the summit (e.g. The moment you leave the TH). There are different permits for day, overnight and large groups. Seem to be 20 day-only permits per day. You can/must prebook permit online. At Detroit ranger station you can get a day pass if any spare, but no advance booking. You cannot get any permit at parking lot.


You also need a forest pass or national park pass to park. Hope at helps. I ne re found any definitive statement that a permit is not needed before memorial weekend but when trying to book online it wasn't possible before that weekend  so asus,Ed it was fine. Confirmed at trail head this was the case.
« Last Edit: 05/08/13, 09:04 PM by Timstirling » Logged
DG
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Re: May 4th, 2013, Mt Jefferson, OR
« Reply #10 on: 05/13/13, 10:20 AM »

Here's a photo of the west face of Jefferson, taken on May 1st from the Milk Creek Junction.  A lot of good ski terrain in there, but as Tim mentioned, it's kind of a slog to get in there from the Pameila TH, and that coupled with the steep trees on the approach, at least to the SW side, make for a long day.  I didn't get nearly as high as thought I would, after running into frozen conditions in a steep drainage.


* 02_Jeff.jpg (90.62 KB, 800x600 - viewed 383 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/13/13, 10:24 AM by DG » Logged
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