Tiger Mountain Loop

We had a big wind storm this week. After a big storm in 2003 there were hundreds of trees down on Tiger Mountain. Many were across trails. I decided to head out to survey the damage from this storm. I headed up the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) to the railroad grade at Fred's Corner. From there I followed the grade east then up to the top of West Tiger 1. From there I dropped down the road to Tiger 2. Next I dropped down from the summit to the TMT again. The TMT took me back to close the loop at Fred's Corner.

There were lots of branches down lower on the trail. I removed many of them. With the trail work I took 44 minutes to travel the first 1 1/4 miles and 50 minutes to do the next 1 mile. There were a few trees down but none presented much of a problem to get over. That changed a little higher. Just before the TMT reaches the old High Point Trail there is a big blow down mess. 7 or more trees fell across the trail. I crawled over and under to get by the mess. Unfortunately I lost the trail. I recalled it proceeded fairly level a short distance to the Old High Point Trail.

I bushwhacked a bit until I saw the High Point route below and dropped down to it. The old route is now full of devils club but it did get me back to the TMT. The rest of the way to the railroad grade was in good shape with only some small branches down. The grade had several small trees down but none were any problem. The grade gets steeper after meeting the Preston Trail. Up here was the worst devastation from the 2003 storm. Many dozens of trees obliterated the trail. I wondered if those left standing went down.

The good news is that there were no trees down across the trail. More branches were down but I removed many of them. The bypass trail was also in fine shape. One tree down but too small to be a problem. I reached the Hikers Hut and found the wind was not howling for a change. Still, it was very cold and I went in for lunch. It was 30 degrees with light wind at the hut.

Much of the Puget Sound area was been without power for several days and counting. I was more fortunate. From my 2800' vantage point on Tiger 1 I could see that many folks were using their fireplaces for heat. The many plumes merged into a large layer of smoke. I could see the Olympic Mountains clearly but lower down it was hazy. I dropped down the road then up to the top of Tiger 2. I saw one person nearing the top of Tiger 1 and two more on Tiger 2. Not bad for the morning on this popular mountain.

The 2003 storm left another mess on the way down from Tiger 2. This time it was fine. There were more branches down but again no problems. I had easy hiking back to Fred's Corner where I completed my loop. I was tempted to go down the K-3 Trail but I chose to fight through the blow downs again. I wanted to see where I went wrong on the way up.

Back at the blow down site I went under one tree then heard the sound of a saw. A little farther I met Ken. He came up to check the damage and repair what he could. He sawed off enough branches to allow passage through several of the largest trees. From there it is not too hard to get over or under the others and get back on the trail. A few big root balls came up where the trail was. A little rerouting will be necessary.

On the way down I did more clearing. The route is not in bad shape. A bigger saw will be needed to remove the trunks of the trees in the big blow down. There are also still some branches to be removed. The good news is that at least on the north side of Tiger the damage was not that bad considering the record winds and heavy rain that fell a little before. Hopefully the south and west sides of the mountain also came out okay. My arms are sore from moving big branches but it was still a nice day to be out hiking.

Fist Fallen Tree
Nealry Gone Now
Buried By Branches
Step Over
On Top Of Trail
Another Log
Small Section Is Gone
Start Of Blow Down
More Blow Down
Railroad Grade
Bright Red
Tiger 1 Viewpoint
Hiker's Hut
Thanks Ken!

Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2006