Update 4/16 AM:
From the trail reports I've been able to find it appears that we'll hit some deep snow around 4,000 feet. Let's bring snowshoes in case we're breaking trail. I am going to bring microspikes but mainly out of caution for my arm in case we hit ice going down. The microspikes are not required.
We'll see on Saturday but the way I'm reading it today we'll have challenging conditions from about Bear Lake to the top of Defiance and going down to about the 4,000 foot level. There will most likely be snow both up and down from the 3,500 foot level but little enough to where it won't be much of a factor.
I'm all for filling up the team but all members who sign up between now and Friday will need to be screened if I don't know you fairly well.
End of update
One of my problems is that I've pretty much done all the “Difficult” hikes within 90 minutes from Portland and most of them a bunch of times. What I've decided to do this year is to create some of my own hikes that are not official hikes but parts of 2-3 different ones pieced together as one. Actually what I really want to do is to steal from people like Eric Peterson who spends hours putting together some amazing hikes that you can't find on line or in books. I'd love to find some collaborators to put these together so if that is where your interest is please let me know.
For this hike we are combining a Wyeth and a Defiance hike which will add a car shuffle, some mileage and elevation gain. After stashing one car at the Starvation Creek trail head we'll start out at the Wyeth trail head and hike to North Lake where we'll take a short break. On towards Bear Lake- we'll skip the spur to see the lake unless we are doing really well with time- and up to Defiance. From there we'll take the Mount Defiance trail down to the trail head where the car is and then we'll do a second car shuffle to pick up the other car(s) at the Wyeth trail head.
Difficulty rating- With the risk of getting in to ratings inflation I'm calling this one Very Difficult due to EG, distance and snow conditions.
Distance- 15 miles- estimated. Could be a bit longer.
Elevation gain- 6,000 feet- estimated. Lot's of up and down so it could be a bit more.
Gear: Ten essentials, water, food, snacks, sturdy boots and non cotton clothing. I'll try to get some trip reports but it's not out of the question that we'll need snow shoes.
Snow situation: The trail from North Lake to Defiance will probably not be well traveled so if we are going to have loose snow issues that is where I'd expect them. The trail down from Defiance could be an icy mess so bringing Micro spikes could be in order. I will not require them.
Gas: 100+ miles rt. $10 or so to the driver.
Member requirements: All through the season I will try to give some new members the opportunity to join my hikes and to that end will limit the number of people who can sign up to four and then pick the rest from the waiting list for a total of eight. If there is a waiting list. This hike will be pretty tough so it might not fill up. Please be in shape. This is not a hike for rookies.