Mount Jefferson

Mount Jefferson Trip Report (#3367)

It is possible to climb this mountain in a single, very long, difficult day. I don't care much for camping and like to go fast & light - I left Pamelia Lake trailhead at 5:30am and returned at 6:10pm. I took the Pamelia Lake Trail, and after 2.6 miles cut East up to the PCT, stayed on the PCT for about 5 miles until I reached Mud Hold Lake, and then there is a faint hikers trail (which I didn't see on the way up, but got it on the different route down). Just like that I was off the trail and made my way up the rocks on the SW side. It was HOT and up in the snow fields things were getting mushy so I mainly stuck to rock with a few shortcuts in crampons.

What makes this climb difficult is the long approach (about 8 miles), as well as how steep it gets. This is a varied climb - with walks through meadows, near little lakes, and up ridges and boulder fields, and plenty of scree. The further up you go, the steeper it gets until you face the pinnacle. "Hikers" like myself stop here and just take in its awe. "Climbers" might even do the same realizing that life is precious. :)

I was still full of energy part way back down, but after coming through the boulder field valley, it hit me just how tired I was. After I reached the lakes again I lost the PCT and wandered for about 45 minutes. Finally I found it and began the long 8 mile walk back to the car.

This was my first solo climb, and a great one..highly recommended!

Mount Jefferson Trip Report Index