Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

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VanMarmot
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Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 5th, 2011, 6:43 pm

I was inspired by Thum's Tomlike Mtn TR to hike up something tall, with snow and a view. But not inspired to 20+ mi of hiking. But Mt. Defiance met these criteria and is only 11 mi RT. So there it was. Looks like Guy had the same idea - just a day earlier. Since he's already provided photos of the Defiance Trail, I'll just include a few from Starvation Ridge. I left Portland in a thick fog - which amazingly totally disappeared just past the Sandy River crossing - from then on it was a bluebird day. Cold, but sunny with no wind - not even on top! Wind Mtn was graced with the only cloud of the day - one which soon dissipated.

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I prefer ascending via the Starvation Ridge trail because it offers more views than the tree-shrouded Defiance trail.

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There was some snow on the trail starting just before Warren Lake, but not much. The lake was frozen over, but the ice was only 1-2" thick.

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The real snow cover started just above the lake. There were a few boot prints up to the lake but only one set after that. I followed those until they headed off in the wrong direction and then followed the 417 trail toward its junction with the 413. The 417 could be followed as a shallow depression in the snow and was only vague in 1-2 spots. When I arrived at the 413, I was surprised to see a veritable trench of boot steps - looks like it was a busy weekend on Defiance and nearly everyone came up via the Defiance trail. I just followed the tracks to the summit.

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It was sunny and calm on top - this is definitely a weird December (can't help but think we're going to pay for all this niceness with a wet, wet Spring). Hood was visible (of course), but I was intrigued by this view of Table Mtn (T), Greenleaf Pk (G), and Silver Star (S).

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I returned via the Defiance trail (just to make a loop) and got back to the car before a headlamp would have been needed.

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Classic Gorge hike on an amazing weather day. 11.5 mi RT, EG 5000'.

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geographics
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by geographics » December 5th, 2011, 10:32 pm

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Last edited by geographics on February 24th, 2012, 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Splintercat
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by Splintercat » December 6th, 2011, 12:04 pm

Nice report, Van -- especially that Silver Star view. I've always liked that the Lowes called it the "Silver Star Range" in their books -- it's an apt description, as the group of peaks really does stand out as a "range", Rockies-style.

Tom :)

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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by potato » December 6th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Hmm, maybe I'll try this this weekend if it stays clear. So it looks like the hike is still OK in boots? Nice TR!
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Guy
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by Guy » December 6th, 2011, 5:23 pm

Nice report, Van -- especially that Silver Star view. I've always liked that the Lowes called it the "Silver Star Range" in their books
Yes great pics Van & thanks for identifiying the Silver Star Range for me I was stumped by that when I was up there on Sunday.

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Also I'm unsure about this, is it Tomlike?

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Cheers.
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Crusak
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by Crusak » December 6th, 2011, 7:20 pm

VanMarmot... Monday! :)

Awesome blue skies in your pictures. And it looks very cold. Which is a good thing. Did you come across any other hikers during the hike?
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by Thum » December 6th, 2011, 11:29 pm

Awesome TR Van, your reports and photos always have a great rhythm. Im still amazed I could supply legendary hikers like geo and yourself.


I wonder how long things will last like this above 3 or 4000 thousand ft.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 7th, 2011, 6:46 am

Splintercat wrote:Nice report, Van -- especially that Silver Star view. I've always liked that the Lowes called it the "Silver Star Range" in their books -- it's an apt description, as the group of peaks really does stand out as a "range", Rockies-style.

Tom :)
Yes, viewed from a distance it's clearly a "range" - like the front range from Denver (but smaller). What I like is that it's a close to Portland way to get above the clouds.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 7th, 2011, 6:49 am

theradpotato wrote:Hmm, maybe I'll try this this weekend if it stays clear. So it looks like the hike is still OK in boots? Nice TR!
The "real" snow doesn't start until just above Warren Lake if you're coming up via Starvation Ridge or where the Defiance trail reaches 4200'. The path in the snow on the Defiance trail is pretty beaten down (less so on the Starvation trail) so I didn't need anything but boots. If you wander off the trail, however, you might do some postholing.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Mt Defiance (Starvation Ridge) 05-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 7th, 2011, 6:51 am

Guy wrote:
Nice report, Van -- especially that Silver Star view. I've always liked that the Lowes called it the "Silver Star Range" in their books
Also I'm unsure about this, is it Tomlike?

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Cheers.
It's hard to tell without a bigger view and knowing the bearing from where you took the shot.

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