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Oregon, Mt. Jefferson

Oregon, Mt. Jefferson. On 27 August Don Griffin, Rich Iverson and Herb Curl left their camp at the base of the Jefferson Park Glacier terminal moraine at 3:00 a.m. They reached the base of the gravel covered steep ice on the east side of the Jefferson Park Glacier, just below the large crevasse that cuts across the glacier, at about 6:30 a.m. Although starting slowly, the party had begun to move rapidly by this time. Griffin was leading, since he had been on this glacier before and the others had not, and he had also been the slowest climber. Curl, was second, followed by Iverson. At about 6:45 a.m., when Griffin was half way up the pitch and Iverson was still on snow to the left of the pitch, a rock, 100 feet directly above Griffin, about six feet high and the general shape of a refrigerator, toppled over and took several erratic bounds toward Griffin and Curl. Not a rock had fallen up to then. Iverson ran to his left but the other two climbers on steep ice held their ground, to try to determine the final direction the boulder would take. The boulder hit the ice sending up a spray of gravel like an artillery shell, and broke in two pieces. The two climbers who had not yet donned their hard hats, threw themselves to the ice and used their arms to protect their heads. Curl sustained a minor laceration and bruise of the left hand, a slight right shoulder sprain and some body bruises. Griffin sustained a sprained left knee and lacerations of the scalp and left eye. Griffin was stunned and unable to assist himself. Iverson ascended and supported Griffin off the ice and to the adjacent talus slope (north, down glacier) while Curl belayed both from a fairly secure stance on a large boulder (Griffin was moved immediately due to possible further rock fall and since he could move with assistance.)

After determining that the scalp wounds themselves were not serious, that there apparently were no internal injuries, and that the victim was coherent and was suffering only from mild concussion, they decided to move him again out of serious rock fall danger. This move required about 45 minutes. (The first area was raked by rock fall the rest of the day.)

Griffin was made comfortable on a large, flat rock which could provide some shelter on its lower side. Curl then descended the glacier, starting at 8:00 a.m. At the base (9:30 a.m.) he changed clothing, had something to eat and drink, and started to walk out for assistance. On the way he asked the horse camping party of Don Knowles for the use of a horse, which they immediately offered but then suggested that the Forest Service Ranger (who was in the park unknown to the climbers) be asked to call out on his portable radio. He was located and the first call went out at about 10:30 a.m. Rescue was effected by MORESCO.