This is an interesting route to the highest peak of the Mount Pershing massif. I was accompanied on this trip by Ty Nguyen who was born in Vietnam then moved to Oklahoma where he lived for a number of years before finally making his way to Washington. In other words, he was a rookie in the mountains. I had attempted to climb Mount Pershing in 2007 but thick clouds made route finding above treeline extremely difficult and I was unable to locate the gulley to gain the ridge.

The route begins where FSR 2401 crosses Jefferson Creek at an elevation of +2440�. It is quite possible that the road to Jefferson Lake can no longer be driven. There were several washouts threatening the road. However you get there a faint path can be located on the north side of the creek. This path follows Jefferson Creek through boulders, windfall, and occasional brush until the valley turns from forest to dense brush where it turns steeply upward. After gaining several hundred feet the trail begins a rising traverse eventually reaching a rocky gully. This gully is climbed until it reaches a small basin at ca.4300�. We continued straight up then cut left up a gully into the basin east of the summit (ca.5400�).

Ascending at ca.4700� with Mount Washington in the background

The photo below is the upper basin with the summit right of center. The snow/rock gully at center is probably the best way to gain the ridge but we opted for the snow filled gully to the left which featured a short bit of 45-50 degree snow followed by a short pitch of somewhat loose and brushy class 4 rock on the ridge.

Approaching the upper basin at ca.5400'

Once past the short section of class 4 rock we continued along the ridge crest which has some exposure but is generally class 2 or occasionally class 3. There was one fairly knife edge section with a class 3/4 move or two.

On the ridge just below the summit


Ty made a new friend on the descent... actually, he wanted to eat it

Allow a full day for this� 11 hours round trip.

References: Olympic Mountains � A Climbing Guide, 4th edition; The Olympic Mountain Rescue; Page 60-64