Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

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Chip Down
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Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by Chip Down » May 26th, 2018, 8:11 pm

I predict Defiance will have more than its normal share of TRs in coming weeks. Here's mine.

Inspired by Mike's GoalTech TR, I went to check out the toasted Defiance trail.

Started at Starvation and followed HCRH west (the standard route). Went too far west on HCRH. I was thinking the HITW Falls path was a deadend. Realized my mistake when I reached the next bridge, and went back. If I had gone way too far west, I could have taken an old road up to the powerline, which would have put me right about at the point where the trail leaves the utility corridor and starts ascending.

First black trees were at 800'. Shortly after that, I arrived at the 1300' road crossing (very subtle abandoned road, many hikers don't even notice it). I was tempted to follow it up, having previously given up due to heavy brush. But I came to my senses. As this was a light burn, there could very well still be brushy sections. So I continued up the trail, until I reached a boring straight section parallel to a ridgecrest. I left the trail and followed the crest up, but the trail kept reappearing as it crossed or skirted the crest. Came to the nice long flat ridgecrest that Defiance hikers look forward to at 2200'. Trail was a bit hard to follow, but it's on a ridgecrest, so no big deal. Became clearer again as it ascended.

I was starting to get tired of the steep ascent and boring scenery, but then the burn got more severe around 3100'. Up to 3800' it was interesting. At the wilderness boundary (3900') the toasted trees gave way to beargrass, dense green foliage, all normal. It was as if the fire was loath to cross into wilderness. Maybe because it was a human-caused fire.

In a few minutes I came to the first really good viewpoint. It had been shockingly cool and breezy all day, but now the bad weather was brutal: my gloveless hands were stinging, I had just a light sun hat, the top of Defiance was in the clouds, and it was slightly misty. I've been up there a couple times before, so there was no way I was going to endure this misery just to say I did it again. I don't see this as a failure, just a reassessment. I know I could, I just didn't want to. So when I reached the Mitchell Point trail at 9:00, I Dropped into the Warren basin. The wind subsided a bit, but not as much as I had hoped for.

Visited the Warren rock garden. Clouds trying hard to let some sun through, but with little success. Warren Lake brought the first sign of other hikers. From there to the top 10% of Starvation Ridge it was crowded ("how much farther?"), and then nothing until I got down to the Starvation viewpoint at the powerline crossing.

It was pretty flowery and crowded on the slope down, until the forested part of the cutoff trail (which I've never found to be as sketchy as people say it is).

Although it was fun to see the before/after on Defiance trail, and I was eager to get into the burn zone, I have to say it was just slightly disappointing. It's a grueling boring hike with little reward. Still, it was worthwhile, no regrets. Incidentally, I never did see that dead deer on the trail that Mike reported. Maybe that was on the higher E/W trail parallel to HCRH, which I didn't hike today.

Oh, I guess you're wondering about the bear family that followed me all day. Scroll down.
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I bet this would look great with a colorful sunset behind it.
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First major clearing on the Defiance trail, at the 4200' switchbacks.
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Warren rock garden
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Where the Starvation trail hits the ridgecrest.
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Something you rarely see in one of my TRs: a human.
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Damn things wouldn't stay still.

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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by Chip Down » May 26th, 2018, 8:13 pm

See, that's what's known as "clickbait". And you fell for it. :D

Here's ma bear and her brewed. Um, I mean brood. (Yes, I got some weird looks from other hikers. :| )
Attachments
Bear Beer 1.jpg
Bear Beer 2.jpg
Bear Beer 3.jpg

Sehnsucht
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Joined: June 10th, 2017, 7:50 pm

Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by Sehnsucht » May 26th, 2018, 9:41 pm

You joke but i came upon a good size black bear not a half mile from the powerline viewpoint on my way down starvation ridge at around 6:30pm on monday the 21st, put a good scare into him and he scattered but be vigiliant.

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retired jerry
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Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by retired jerry » May 27th, 2018, 5:31 am

you tricked me, bears have 6 cubs?, doesn't count unless you have a picture, you have a picture :)

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adamschneider
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Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by adamschneider » May 27th, 2018, 7:29 am

Yeah? Well, I found a beautiful woman on Archer Mountain last week.

20180523-124940.jpg

(OK, technically it was a misspelled literary character.)

Aimless
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Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by Aimless » May 27th, 2018, 7:34 am

I figured anyone who saw one mother bear with SIX cubs must be taking some good drugs. Seems I was right. :)

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mjirving
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Re: Ma bear + 6 cubs on toasted Defiance/Starvation loop

Post by mjirving » May 27th, 2018, 1:17 pm

Nice work! Glad I got you intrigued to check it out. The deer was under the power lines above where the two lower trails converge to one just below the tree line as you enter/exit the trees on the Mt Defiance Trail.

I’m going to have to search for these elusive beers...I mean bears...on my hikes. I could use one of those! Ha!

Mike

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