Six Summits And A Point
This report was contributed by Gary Westerlund.
My point is not to poo poo the accomplishments of the other fine
hikers who have hiked the six Tiger summits in a day. But, I think it
is rather pointless to do the six highpoints and skip the other highpoint,
Poo Poo Point.
Early in the week I had emailed David and proposed the Six Summits
Hike for our Saturday Hike. David replied with a counter proposal to
do the Six Summits Hike and Poo Poo Point. So I thought, if we're going
to go out and do a killer hike, why not do a good job and make sure we're
really wiped out at day's end. I also conned Jim, who was interested in
doing Six Summits, into the trip.
Saturday was a great day for our big adventure with mostly sunny
skies and cool temperatures. So Saturday morning found us eagerly tromping
along the West Side Road towards Poo Poo Point. We reached Poo Poo Point
a little after 9 and thought we had a good shot at doing the whole hike.
After a brief water break we were hiking the Railroad Grade towards West
Tiger 3. The Railroad Grade was in good shape with only one windfall that
was easy to step over. The deciduous trees had not leafed out yet so we
had views of W. Tiger 1 and 2 along the way. The Section Line Trail from
the Railroad Grade up to Tiger 3 was our first steep grind, but mercifully
short, gaining only 500 ft. Tiger 3 had a crowd of people enjoying the
The hike up Tiger 2 and 1 was straight forward. We saw a couple
of people on the top of each. We proceeded on the Bootleg and East Tiger
trails up East Tiger. Both trails were in good shape and lonely. The Christmas
Tree which is located on the Bootleg Trail just before the junction with
the Paw Print Connector Trail, still had most of its decorations.
As luck would have it, we reached the top of East Tiger at half
past 12 just in time for lunch at the picnic table. At 3004 ft elevation,
E. Tiger was the high point of our hike. The hike was half over and we had
reached five of our seven highpoints. The remaining two would take the rest
of the day. After a pleasant half hour eating our lunch, we were on our
way. We then descended the "Hubcap Trail". This route starts a couple hundred
feet back down the road from the picnic table and hits the Preston Railroad
Grade about 300 ft from the Tiger Mtn Road. As it turned out this was the
most dangerous part of the trip. Just past the hubcap, David had grabbed
a branch, it broke and he went for a tumble. Fortunately he only suffered
a small cut on his hand. Farther down, Jim pushed on a small tree and it
fell over almost hitting me. It was on the Hubcap Trail that we saw two garter
snakes sunning themselves.
It was then on to Middle Tiger mostly hiking on roads. The spur
road heading up Middle Tiger had one of the best views of the trip. The
view stretched from the Olympics to the Cascades with W. Tiger 1 in the
center. This view made up for the tiny, 10 degree view from the top of
Middle Tiger. We were surprised to run into another hiker on the top of
Middle Tiger, being that this was a relatively deserted part of the Issaquah
Alps. The steep 500 ft. descent to the TMT was hard on our tired legs.
We trudged along the TMT towards South Tiger. We took the South Tiger Traverse
and turned up South Tiger at the large stump with the two notches. At the
completely forested summit we signed the register happy to have reached
the seven highpoints. This was the only summit where we didn't see other
hikers. At our moderate pace, it took us seven hours to reach highpoint
Now all we had left to do was to backtrack to the W. Side Road
and hike it back to our cars. The hike consisted of a 19 mile, 4400 ft
gain loop by the peaks plus a short hike to and from the loop. This was
a great time for a Tiger Mtn hike. There wasn't any snow on the trails
and the deciduous trees did not yet have leaves to block views. We saw
several trillium, salmonberry, skunk cabbage and yellow violets in bloom.