Defiance-Green Point-Nick Eaton Death March with EP and Mayhem – 082011

There’s nothing better than getting together with true TFF’s and hitting the trails. Even better, is turning it into an epic death march hitting major gorge landmarks and living to tell about it.

Saturday, August 20th, 2011, promised to be a perfect day, with clear blue skies and barely a hint of wind. I rendezvoused with Eric (AKA Ragnar or EP) and Mark (AKA Mayhem or Way to GO!) at the Herman Creek TH at 7 AM, way early for me but if pressed, I can do it! The guys moved the start time so I could get my sorry butt out of bed in time to make the date, too. They must have really wanted to see me suffer! To make the day perfect, the Portland high temperature that day ended up at 96 degrees, and likely about the same in the gorge.

We hit the trail at 7:06 with Eric wearing his customary 100 lb. pack (This helps equalize the fact he’s 25 years younger than me). – just kidding, at least about the pack – it’s usually about 30#+ though.!

First, we headed up via the Gorton Creek trail and tagged Indian Point. I don’t remember if I climbed to the top of the spire, just because, but probably.

Here’s Mark taking a selfie at IP:

Afterwards we headed directly to Deadwood Camp and then up to Ridge Camp.

Deadwood Camp:

Ridge Camp:

As we passed by the Wyeth trail junction, we bumped into a guy that Eric and Mark knew, so we all got a picture taken:


A deer posed for us along the way:

Then a long slog downhill 500 vertical feet to the SW trail up to Mt. Defiance passing by North Lake on the way.

We were totally out of water by then, finding Eric’s water purification pump not working properly.

The trail gods smiled on us when we met a guy who had just climbed Defiance with gallons of extra water for training weight. He gave us all we could carry and off we went, confident that we weren’t going to expire from dehydration after all. Our hero:

On the way back down from Defiance:

After coming down from Defiance, we suffered through a mile and a quarter of hot road walk to access the route up to Green Point.

Eric, enjoying the road slog:

The view back towards Defiance from Green Point:

We survived, tagging GP and now it was all downhill for the 9.4 miles of the rest of the trek. We passed by Ridge Camp once more and hiked a couple of minor uphills to tag the HP of Nick Eaton Ridge.

HP of Nick Eaton Ridge:

Scene along the ridge: I remember thinking: this has a ton of dead trees, it’s going to be bad when this burns as it inevitably will.

Yep, it burned up in the fire of 2017:

Then it was down the steep, narrow Casey Creek trail to the Herman Creek trail and back to our cars. I had to get back home by 7, so after okaying my plan with Mark, ran back to my car the remaining four miles.

This turned out to be 28.1 miles and 7,328′ EG, 11 hours, 8 minutes.

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