Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

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applesaucebake
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Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by applesaucebake » November 11th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Wanting to do my first go ahead at Mount Defiance within the next couple of weeks. How is snowpack and route finding? Is microspikes needed?

I am experienced but I don't want going in blind without any solid beta. If its too risky, I am considering just holding off until a summer/spring summit instead.

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adamschneider
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by adamschneider » November 11th, 2019, 10:25 pm

Right now I doubt there's any "snowpack" at all, maybe a few remnant patches of ice and old snow from October. We may get a little in the next week, so keep an eye on the forecast — but it might be just rain, and I think any amount of snow that might affect navigation is still a ways off.

Forecast for the 1500m level on Hood: https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks ... casts/1500

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Bosterson
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by Bosterson » November 12th, 2019, 11:30 am

applesaucebake wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 8:49 pm
I am experienced but I don't want going in blind without any solid beta. If its too risky, I am considering just holding off until a summer/spring summit instead.
As Adam said, there really shouldn't be any snow up there at all since October was so warm and dry. Even with snow, Defiance is only "risky" if you get lost, so take a map and compass just in case. :)
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Sugar Pine
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by Sugar Pine » November 12th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Hiked Green Point Mtn loop on Sunday. Not a bit of snow anywhere. Couldn't see any on Mt Defiance either, although we were looking at an exposed slope.
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johnspeth
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by johnspeth » November 12th, 2019, 9:13 pm

applesaucebake wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 8:49 pm
Wanting to do my first go ahead at Mount Defiance within the next couple of weeks. How is snowpack and route finding? Is microspikes needed?
It's difficult to predict conditions at this time of year. The snow can happen anytime it rains in Portland. And it can melt anytime it rains. Or rain in Portland might not have any effect on the snow cover. At this time, there is very little snow anywhere below 6K ft and not that much more higher up.

I use webcams to get some baseline hints about snow at different elevations. Ski areas are the best sources of webcams. Remember that most ski area webcams point at north facing slopes so adjust your estimates according to the exposure you expect. Alternatively, this topic seems to be a running thread of recent snow observations. An OHer has a nice map indicating snow depth. It's good for a general idea of snow depth but it lacks useful local information that hikers generally prefer.

Getting to the meat of your question: Mt Defiance route finding is easy with snow a few inches or less because the trails in that area are well worn. One can get lost without some navigational aids when the snow obscures the trail. My advice would be to retreat if you're unsure of your location and return when conditions improve.

applesaucebake
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by applesaucebake » November 16th, 2019, 12:34 pm

How is the exposure on the route? As in, are there any steep cliff drop offs at any point with unsure footing?

johnspeth
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by johnspeth » November 16th, 2019, 4:37 pm

No cliffs but the trail is steep in many places so it could be slippery in rain or snow.

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jime
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Re: Mt Defiance trail conditions in Mid November-Early December?

Post by jime » November 16th, 2019, 7:53 pm

Was on Defiance today. No snow except a few tiny remnants in the trees. Hardly noticeable.

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