Ascent of Jefferson Hill on 2018-05-13

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, May 13, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Jefferson Hill
    Elevation:10511 ft / 3203 m

Ascent Trip Report

Outstanding and surprising little summit. Parked at guard gate. Drove up the forest road east of summit where the peak has sheer cliffs and class 3 to 5. Apparently we were 2 days before the 4 wheel drive road was open to the public. We drove up the closing and parked truck but hiked from the parking near the guard shack. Karen's foot was bothering her so she and Willie just walked up the 4-wheel drive road and then hiked back to the car.

I began my bushwhack just east of the peak. I contoured the meadows and through some aspen and found the northern chute. There are at least three chutes but the northeastern one looked most mellow. It was in that you could hike up the ridge following elk and deer herd trails and stay on class 2 all the way to the ridge. From there you have class 2+ minimum and some necessary class 3 minimum. Tired of buswhacking steep class 2, I found some beautiful rock and classic class three slabs, seams, and some big jug vertical rock along a fin. I used that to get to the ridge. The ridge has chunky class 3 through 4 but you can easily down-climb and get to class 3 by staying on the east side of the ridge. There is wonderful rock along this unusual feature.

I descended down in the next chute (breach in the ridge) and it looked like it would have been a safe climb up as well but steeper than the NE approach. Later I found the saddle between the true peak and the small subpeak I was on. Again, many options to climb from class 2+ up to 4 in the area. Fun! I was alone so stayed to rock no harder than class 3. The summit has excellent views. My wife had pulled the truck up the 4-wheel drive forest road but it only needs a HCV no 4 wheel drive. I could see her far below and decided to bushwhack down the SE side of the peak in the large saddle between the true peak and next highest (and far more technical peak to the south). Along this route was some very interesting class 3 to class 3+ and if you want much harder rock. But I found an easy seam of class 2+ and down-climbed straight down to the aspen grove and followed herd trail down to the truck.

I will return to this small peak with my sons and perhaps select some more aggressive routes and go play on the southern peak that has some far more challenging route options. I really enjoyed this surprising scramble playground.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:761 ft / 231 m
    Total Elevation Loss:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,2+, lots of 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:751 ft / 228 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 711 ft / 216 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Loss on way in:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Forst road east of summit to bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:parking before guard gate  9800 ft / 2987 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Gain on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km

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