Ascent of Mount Jefferson on 2019-10-12

Climber: William Inman

Others in Party:Jon Wells
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 12, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Jefferson
    Elevation:11941 ft / 3639 m

Ascent Trip Report

Did this one with Jon Wells. A little nervous about the weather, being well into October, but it cooperated. A little chilly and some light breeze, but pretty nice, otherwise.

First, I must say the 9/20/2019 description of the roads/jeep trails leading up to it by Jerry Thomas were spot-on. NOT FUN. When we got to the part heading north along the fence, we stayed on the left (west) side of the fence all the way, and were able to continue past where all indications of a "road" ended. I was able to still continue in my 2000 Jimmy to the top of that little hill, where further vehicle travel would be impossible, so parked there. It may have gained us 100 to 200 yards from the area where the fence and "road" ended.

As we headed up the trail, we became more and more dependent on the cairns & ducks to show us the way, because as had been said by others, the trail fades out in areas, but just kept going the general direction until another cairn/duck comes into view. There was one area near the top on the east side where the boulder field was particularly pronounced that there was a choice of going right (north) or left (south). The better trail seemed to be to the right, but it quickly began to appear that it was heading down to the north. So we turned around and found that the other direction continued up, although following it became more and more challenging. I would have liked to build more cairns, but we were running really late, and did NOT want to have to traverse any more of this after dark than necessary. As it was, we still got lost for awhile on the way down.

The views from on top were magnificent, standing on the highest point in all of central Nevada. And this was Jon's highest mountain summit, save Arizona's Humphrey's Peak we climbed in 2016. We could see all the way to the White Mountains, as the top was above the layer of California forest fire smoke. White Mountain Peak, "The Jumpoff", notch, and Montgomery Peak were all visible. Looking more north, Arc Dome and Bunker Hill were visible, too. We did not find a summit register, but that wasn't a priority anyway...

Wanting to get as many rocky steps and routefinding questions behind us as possible before dark, we scurried off the top and headed down. At about the 10,400' level, we lost the trail in an area where it was very indistinct. As we headed farther down, we were unable to find it and stumbled around lost for a bit. We could tell by the view ahead vs. a picture I'd taken on the way up from the 10,100' level that we were in the same general area, but not close enough to be sure. Finally, I stopped, dug out the spare batteries for my GPS, which had died earlier, installed them, and with my "track" was able to get back to the trail, which we weren't actually too far from and were even heading more-or-less towards. That was a relief!

Soon we were back in the car and bouncing down that wonderful rocky road. Much better than having to hike all the way up the thing would have been, though!!!

My 13th Nevada county highpoint. :-)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2226 ft / 678 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2226 ft / 678 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.3 mi / 10.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1 and 2
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Headlamp, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
A little nippy, but nice
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2226 ft / 678 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:NV.Co.HP . south trail
    Start Trailhead:end of jeep trail  9715 ft / 2961 m
    Time:3 Hours 27 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2226 ft / 678 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:south trail
    End Trailhead:same as start  9715 ft / 2961 m
    Time:3 Hours 13 Minutes

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