Jefferson County High Point Trip Report
Mt Jefferson (10,497 ft)
Date: August 1981
Author: Ken Jones
A beautiful peak, Oregon's second-highest and the best all-around climb in
Mt Jefferson's most popular route follows the Whitewater Glacier. This is
a serious, crevassed climbing route which eventually leads to Red Saddle.
Not recommended for the casual highpointer. Of course, Mt Jefferson is not
recommended to the casual highpointer by any route, but you can avoid the
I took a south ridge route. We followed the Pamelia Lake trail past the
lake and into Hunts Cove where we camped. In the morning (in the early,
dark, 3 in the morning) we followed the trail to the Pacific Crest Trail and
turned north. In the vicinity of Shale Lake we headed almost straight for
the summit. Hours of boulder hopping brought us to Red Saddle, on the south
side of the summit block, just over 10,000'.
From here, our leader headed around the west side of the summit block at the
top of a very steep snowfield. A fixed line was used for the traverse, as
well as crampons and ice axe. It's a long way down on steep (60-70 degree?)
snow and ice. We reached the northwest corner of the summit block and
unclipped; from there we scrambled up class 3-4 rock about 300' to the
There tends to be a lot of traffic on weekends from Red Saddle to the top,
and we were delayed a couple of times. We got back to the cars about 24
hours after we started hiking.