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
Cut Logs
Thin Snow Cover
Getting Thicker
Wintery Scene
Snowy Branches
Dave On Summit
Jim On Summit
Melting Snow
Bus Road
Picnic Shelter
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2003