West Tiger 3
December 31st can only mean one
thing. It's time to hike up Tiger Mountain once again. For the 20th time in
the last 21 years I headed to Issaquah to round out the year. It snowed over
night and I had some concern about the roads. They proved to be unfounded.
I had a nice easy drive through Issaquah. The frontage road had some snow
but I had no trouble driving past the open gate to the parking lot. I started
at 9:45 and was surprised to see that there were only about 4 cars at the
gate and 6 more in the lot. As mentioned by others, the bathrooms and picnic
shelter both have trees down across their roofs. Right at the start there
were several large logs sawn and moved off of the trail. The ground had a
thin covering of fresh snow and the trees were plastered. It was about as
good as this old logged out forest can look. Due to four hiking, snowshoeing,
and skiing trips in the past five days I was more than a little tired and
sore to begin. The footing was good and I made reasonable time. Several hikers
passed me coming down in the first mile. By the time I reached the Caves Connector
trail it began to snow. This was good news as the day was forecast to get
up to 40 degrees in town and I didn't want the snow laden trees to start
raining on me.
At the cable line merge point the snow was getting a
little deeper. Maybe 3-5 inches there. I turned back off the cable line onto
the main trail and continued slogging ahead. After the first switchback I
stopped to take some photos when a hiker caught up. I fell in behind Dave
and we continued on. Dave also hikes these trails often and we talked hiking
as we ascended. Having someone to talk to took my mind off of my legs and
I felt much better. We passed several others and in what seemed to be no time
we were on top. I had hoped for at least some views but it was not to be.
Even nearby Tiger 2 was buried in the clouds. The wind was blowing, it was
snowing and cold so we headed right back down. The descent was easy with poles.
Without them it would have been hard to stay on my feet. It was slick snow
but not icy.
Where the cable line and main trail diverge I said goodbye
to Dave. Once down near the start I detoured onto the Bus Road. The trail
has been logged out completely. I looped around along Tradition Lake and back
with no logs to get over or around. Several had been cut out. This hike has
become an annual event that I look forward to in good and awful weather. This
day it was not bad at all with the snow. This trail is too busy for me to
enjoy on a regular basis but I sure do enjoy ringing out the year on Tiger.
The Parking Lot
Thin Snow Cover
Dave On Summit
Jim On Summit
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.
Trips - 2003