Spectacular Mountain climbing picture from summit of Mt. Jefferson in the Oregon Cascade Mountains

Danger! Summit Pinnancle of Mt. Jefferson, 10,497 ft.

This view reveals the north side of the summit pinancle of Oregon's second highest peak. This is the view of the pinancle commonly seen by climbers coming up the difficult Jefferson Park Glacier Route (Grade II-4, first ascent 1933).

My mother still has no clue how close her eldest son came to buying it that morning.........

Bill and Jefferson, my climbing buddies that year, are oozing relief in this picture after an endless morning of sheer terror on the roasting hot East Face Route (Grade II-3, first ascent 1922, A Climber's Guide to Oregon notes wryly, "...some rock fall danger on this route.")...... We'd been climbing since dawn, far beyond our abilities, and the rockfall had been fierce. The snow had been too soft to permit the use of the ice pitons we had purchased just for this climb, so we'd climbed without protection in a broiling heat composed of five parts strong sunshine, five parts adrenaline, and ten parts fear. That's why, to my companions, this precipitous col at 10,000 ft was a haven and sanctuary of the highest order. But, as Leader, I looked upward at the summit pinnancle, and knew our troubles weren't over yet.

Note: The Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area was established was a designated "Primitive Area" in 1930, and formally designated as a Wilderness Area on 10/2/1968. It's one of Oregon's larger wilderness areas at a size of 100,208 acres that spreads across the Deschutes, Mt. Hood, and Willamette Forests; it's the only Oregon Wilderness area to be managed by three different Forests.

Back to Whitewater Glacier descent, late this same July day


Please be sure to read this inspirational quotation from the Mazama's founders.... It is excerpted from "The Cliff Climbers," a poem written to commemorate a historic meeting atop Mt. Hood's peak which occurred on July 19, 1894. This historic meeting marked the fervent intent to organize a mountain climbing club named The Mazamas..... The poet was Frank V. Drake.

"...We'll master proud (Mt.) Baker, by north sea afar,

Rainier's grisly frontal, where clouds are at war;

Mt. Shasta, Three Sisters, Pitt (Mt. McLoughlin), Jefferson, too,

Shall greet us. The (John Day) fossil beds, wondrous to view

Shall welcome our coming and tell in our ears

Strange tales of the ages, the secrets of years.

On Crater Lake sailing, at midnight, we'll go

'Twixt stars just above us and stars far below,

Weird wisdom to gain on its ghoul haunted ocean,

And shuddering learn the soul's deepest emotion..."

"...Ah man! thy life's drama

Seems puny and vain in the realms of Mazama..."


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Page Last Revised, 10/21/2023