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| | |-+  May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
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Author Topic: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)  (Read 3121 times)
DG
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May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« on: 05/19/07, 10:46 AM »

Mt. Jefferson is my favorite of the Oregon volcanoes but I'd never skied on it before.  The forecast for benign weather on Friday was more than enough motivation, so with a day off from work secured, I left Portland Thursday afternoon at an even 70 mph.

I hiked in to camp at Pamelia Lake on the SW side.  The trailhead is low (~3,000 ft) so I expected that I'd be spending a lot of time with the skis on my back, which turned out to be true.  My only company at Pamelia Lake was a very stoned but friendly fellow who couldn't seem to grasp what I was planning ("Hiking in Ski boots?! Maaan, that sounds like such a drag")

I was up and out of the tent at 5:30.  I followed a spur trail up to Milk Creek and then took the Pacific Crest Trail towards Shale Lake.  In retrospect, a direct bushwhack up the side of the hill from Pamelia Lake would have been quicker, and I elected for that route on the way back down.  I didn't hit continuous snow until around 5200', and when I did, left the trail and began heading straight up towards the SW ridge.

Views soon opened up and I found myself alone with the mountain, and did not see another soul all day.  I found it easier to skin straight up the SW bowls rather than take the ridge.  The snow was very well consolidated and by late morning, turning to a nice corn under the abundant sunshine.  Winds were light to non-existent and great views south highlighted Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and the Sisters.

A self-imposed turn-around at noon put me around 8,500 ft - 2,000 ft below summit, just as a series of clouds began to roll in.  The ski down was a blast through the open SW bowls and then fairly thick trees back to the PCT.

A really nice trip, probably even better in April when it might be possible to ski most of the way out.  Sorry for the
lack of ski pictures - I still haven't taught my dog that trick yet!


* p1_Jefferson_above_PameliaLk.jpg (45.02 KB, 600x400 - viewed 940 times.)

* p2_MtJeffSummitPinnacles.jpg (34.82 KB, 600x400 - viewed 924 times.)

* p3_Ski_JeffSWBowls.jpg (56.03 KB, 600x400 - viewed 925 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/19/07, 11:19 AM by DG » Logged
toby_tortorelli
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #1 on: 05/21/07, 05:23 PM »

Thanks for the report! How was the Pamelia Lk. trail after last Novembers flood? It seems like most of the damage occured between the TH and the lake. Is that the case?
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DG
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #2 on: 05/22/07, 01:15 PM »

The trail up to Pameila Lake isn't a problem at all to follow, you just have to watch your footing when hiking in a couple spots.  There is considerable debris (mostly large rocks) from the November floods but the USFS went in and marked the trail course with pink flags wherever it is remotely confusing to follow.   Their sign at the trailhead states that they are going to clear it out in late spring, so it may be a moot issue soon, anyways.  I'm not sure about the PCT crossing of Milk Creek - they said there is damage there also, but you don't need to cross it to get up to Jefferson unless you are coming in from further North (ie. the Whitewater trailhead).
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kjack
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #3 on: 05/22/07, 01:23 PM »

DG, I believe the word is "mute."  A mute point.  Trust me.
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Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me twice... you fool me, can't get fooled again.
jd
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #4 on: 05/22/07, 03:22 PM »

Kjack, you shouldn't speak about a mute point.
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stoudema
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #5 on: 05/25/07, 12:39 PM »

Thanks for the report - this one's been on my radar screen for awhile too.  Did you do any skinning up higher, or just pack your boards?  I'm thinking that with the long approach it might not be worth bringing my split board because it's a little heavier, unless I went earlier when there was snow on the Pamelia Lake trail.  Thanks,

Matt
« Last Edit: 05/26/07, 09:39 AM by stoudema » Logged

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt
DG
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Re: May 18, 2007 Mt Jefferson (SW Bowls)
« Reply #6 on: 05/26/07, 08:23 AM »

Matt,

I put on the skins as soon as the snow was continuous and I got up off of the steep slope above the trail.  Probably around 6000 feet.  It's pretty open up above that so a splitboard would be nice through there I'd guess.
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