Tiger 1 Birthday Hike

I wanted to get in a hike on my birthday. Gary scheduled our mid week headlamp hike and Thursday looked best for a hike. John took the day off work. I finished my last "must do" task of the year. We decided to leave early and forget the headlamp part of the hike. I worked until 9:20 am then headed to Issaquah. I arrived just after Gary and John. "Best weather" did not mean good weather. Most of the area would see steady rain or periodic showers most of the day. It was raining in the morning but Futurecast showed only about an hour of our trip was likely to be wet. It turned out better than that. The other problem was a forecast for 20-30 mph wind gusts up high. Those can be deadly as big branches break off and fall to the ground. We chose to hiked from north to south with winds from the southwest. Hopefully we could get almost to the summit even with high winds. We were on our way just after 10:00 am. A short way up we passed several hikers. One of them was Louise Kornreich. I had not seen here in quite a while. For the next 3+ hours we saw nobody.

Our route was up the High Point Trail and then the TMT. It had rained hard the day before and we went higher than I expected without snow. The rain did have the creeks running strong. We went up the TMT and by Ruth's Cove. No wind on the way to the junction with the grade going over to the Preston Trail. Still bare as we headed up the Preston Trail towards Tiger 1. The upper stretch of the trail started to have a bit of snow on it. Traction was still pretty good. At the junction we went left on the Bootleg Trail. This part was in the open with a bit more snow. I managed to slip and fall here. Once back in the trees, we headed up to the tower complex. Not a lot of snow but more here than anywhere else. Visibility was minimal. No views out to Cascade peaks this day. While there was wind on the road up to the summit, it still was not too hard. I hiked this far without a jacket but put one on and zipped it all the way up with the hood on.

The road used to have trees all along it. Not any more. Now the wind blows right at you. We managed to stop for food and water before starting down. The easy way to return would be via our route up. Where is the fun in that? We decided to head on down the Bootleg Trail. I put on microspikes at the summit. The snow was not deep but I did not want to have a face plant. I kept them on after the snow ended. The trail was soft and I had great traction on the short slick spots. When the trail became a little rocky I stopped to remove them. We continued down to the site of the old Christmas Tree. Someone has taken it upon themselves to remove any ornament placed on the tree. Until recently, the seldom visited site had ornaments for several decades.

The creek crossings were high enough to require a little careful foot placement. We managed to cross them all with dry feet. The Bootleg Trail eventually met up with the Preston Trail once again. We followed that down the slope. At the next junction we turned left on Dwight's Way. This has ups and downs on the way to the Lingering Trail. We could have gone on to the High Point Trail and down. That is shorter. We chose the longer Lingering Trail. On this trail we finally caught up with two other hikers. The first people we saw since passing Louise and her group near the start. We reached the cars at 2:34 pm.

We had better conditions that we expected. Rain all around but not over Tiger Mountain. Almost nobody seen all day. The snow was all over the summit but hardly anywhere else. The wind was cold on top but not close to what was forecast. Or big loop covered just over 8 miles with about 2700' of elevation gain. All that and we were on our way home before rush hour traffic picked up. My umbrella stayed strapped to my backpack. It was a great day for a winter hike and a great way to enjoy by birthday.

On The Road
Falling Trees?
No Views
Middle Towers
Summit In Sight
Heading Down
Misty Trees
Christmas Tree
Tight Gate
Mossy Trees
John Crossing Creek
Down We Go
Lush Forest
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2021