West Tiger 2

High avalanche danger and chains required over Snoqualmie Pass. Add in high winds from the south. Where to go hiking? The north side of Tiger Mountain blocks south winds very well. There was rain with some snow up high on the radar before I left home. A little rain is okay if it avoids falling branches and trees. I arrived at High Point at 9:35 to find only four other cars at the east end of the road. By 9:43 I was on my way. It was not raining at the start. I hoped to make it part way up before the rain began. The wind was very light as the mountain blocked it well.

Just last Wednesday John and I had been up Tiger 1 and 2 on an after work headlamp hike. I was not thrilled with hiking part of that trip again so soon but circumstances made it the best choice. I also had a rare opportunity to go over 20,000' of elevation gain for February. I had only done it three times before. Having not hiked on Saturday it was now or never. On Wednesday we made it up nearly two miles before hitting snow. More snow the past few days had lowered the snow level to about one mile up. The snow was slick at first where it was thin but when it grew thick enough to cover the ground completely traction improved. Half a mile up I ran into David Baxter who was completing a loop trip over Tiger 3 and 2. He had a much earlier start. He said the wind on Tiger 2 was bad enough to keep him from heading over to Tiger 1 but it was on and off and not continuous. I hoped to get to the top of Tiger 2 and head right down. The wind did not seem to be too bad after all.

I soon met a couple also hiking down. That was it for the ascent.  Lots of solitude and fresh snow made for a very enjoyable ascent. Unlike Wednesday when it was 21 degrees atop Tiger 1 it was much more pleasant this day. Cold but not sub freezing. As I ascended I heard some high winds above but only in short gusts. I had a few spits of rain but it did not continue. In fact, I made it up and down with hardly any precipitation. That was a real surprise. Radar showed the snow had moved a little to the east but it fell most of the day just a few miles farther east. I was very lucky. A short way below Tom's Crossing below Tiger 2 I stopped to put on microspikes. There were a few inches atop the rock hard ice layer but it was a little slick. I knew I would need the spikes for the descent.

I was very surprised to reach the top and find it was almost completely calm.  I only spent a few minutes before heading down. I took a longer than normal 1:51 to hike up 3.5 miles with 2300' of gain. Some photo stops, putting on spikes, and generally slower snow travel added some time. Not far down I ran into two hikers coming up. I saw three more folks the rest of the way down. Eight people seen was eight more than on Wednesday evening. Still not bad crowding. I'm sure there were several hundred more hikers on Mt. Si this day.

Coming down I stopped at one small creek to photograph big ice blobs along the side. I seldom have it cold enough long enough to build large icicles. These looked very good. As usual, I kept the microspikes on much longer going down than coming up. That last mile was completely snow free. I made it back to the car by 1:24 pm. I took 3:19 total time to hike up and down 7 miles with 2400' of gain. My descent time was much less than the ascent time.

All in all, this trip turned out much better than expected. The morning rain and snow completely vanished for my trip. The expected wind gusting up to 35 mph turned out to have gone as I ascended. The top was calm. I did not have any views at all but that was a small price to pay for lots of solitude, freshly snow flocked trees, and no rain. I am more than ready to get out of the foothills and into the mountains. Hopefully the conditions will be better soon.

Ruth's Cove
Slushy Snow
Old Bridge
Railroad Grade
More Snow Cover
Big Bridge Ahead
View? What View?
Snow On The Summit
Summit Tower
Elevation 2757'
Summit Views
Heading Down
Weighted Down Tree
Looking Wintry
Nice Winter Day
Big Bridge
Lots Of Down Trees
Snow Is Thinning
Creek & Icicles
Mossy Trees
Last Snow
High Point Pond
Lucky Seven
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2018