Mt, Jefferson East Face 2011

Got 10 of 11 Mazamas up Jefferson East Face. The route this year was totally different than in 2002: snow everywhere, including most of the west face of the summit pinnacle. We had mixed climbing in the 350 foot top of the East Face, which was all rock last time. We managed to avoid all but 30 feet of the snow on the summit pinnacle by climbing directly up the N. Ridge (two 5.5 moves) and around the east side for the last 50 feet of the pinnacle. Thanks to the only two other climbers that day for the tip of the east side!

There were no other climbers signed into the register for 2011. No team summit photo - no time, no room, but everyone got plenty of time to enjoy it as we started the traverse to the south rap stations (which weren't where I recalled them being, but my memory was just fuzzy 9 years later).

Just made it back to Red Saddle before dark after rapping the south side of the pinnacle through almost all very soft snow. After traversing down the summit ridge 30 feet to the initial rap station, we made raps of 85, 170, and 60 feet, one person at a time because of falling snow. I suspect that one intermediate rap station was still under the snow. The last rap was from approximately the normal summer traverse line, and got us to a safe, more stable snow slope below. I had to do my first for-real passing of the knot on all three ropes (60+40+30m), and leave a tricam for the last rap.

We then self-belayed 150 feet back to Red Saddle - great lead Randy Osborne! We downclimbed the east spur ridge in the dark, the upper 1/3 of it on snow south of the southern branch of the ridge, before we switched to the normal northerly branch. 23 hours RT, and all but the final 2 hour trudge across the Whitewater Glacier was a stellar climbing experience! Well, except for being a whole mountain of portable handholds, psycho-pro, and dropped gear, ours (axe, spot transciever - ouch!), as well as booty from others: tricam, sling, biner, water bottle (thankfully full as we were totally dry before making camp).

Ankush's nice commented photo set and Earth route maps

Will Richmond's photos


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