Trip Report    

Mount Jefferson/Whitewater Glacier

High winds forced turnaround at camp.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Excellent trail to Jefferson Park. Water available at high camp.

Easy hike to Jefferson Park from trailhead. NWFP required. Easy access to lakes at Jefferson Park. Went around Point 6166 and camped at the foot of Whitewater Glacier at the pond at 7070’. Approximately 5 hours to here. Running water here as well as further up along the moraine with another larger pond at 7780’. There are tent pads here and there though none were very large. We did manage to squeeze two tents into one.

Winds were very high all night with gusts up to 50+ mph (?), pushing the tent walls around. At start time, the winds were still blowing strongly (it was at times not possible to hear each other from tent to tent, even though the tents were pressed against each other) and no one had slept well, so we decided to sleep in and turn around. In the daylight, you could see fast plumes coming off the summit, which seems to still have some snow/ice on it. We hiked up along the moraine to 7800’ to view the route which looked like it was in good shape up to that point and at least up to 8000’. Could not see further than that.

From camp, we descended a shortcut, following the stream from the 7070’ pond, first down snow and then down loose sand and rocks, at times steep, all the way to the meadow at the foot of the Park Glacier. Descending this way was OK, while being cognisant of loose rocks, but ascending this way would not be recommended. 4 hours camp to car.

Given the long drive from Seattle, 3 days would definitely be recommended. Even though one could descend from camp the day of the climb, the drive back would be daunting.