Tiger Mountain Snow Hike

We had a rare snow storm in Seattle on Monday. I had only a couple inches in north Seattle but some spots had up 10". Gary and John took an afternoon off to hike Tiger Mountain on Tuesday. I could not get out of work. With the next storm coming in on Friday and possibly keeping me trapped by snow for the whole weekend, I managed to get out of work early on Thursday. There was still icy streets in my neighborhood but I managed to get to I-5 okay and the freeways were mostly bare. Beyond Issaquah I-90 was completely in shade and it was a little icy. The exit was plowed and the frontage road at the High Point exit was packed snow and ice. I had no problem getting parked off the edge of the road. It was 12:35 pm when I headed off on my way. The road was icy and so I put on microspikes immediately. Higher up the ice turned to snow and I really did not need the spikes. Since they did not ice up I kept them on for the entire trip.

Not only was there no snow this day, there was a little sunshine. The temperature was 33 degrees at the start. It was in the upper 20s for mos of the day. This was the warmest day of the week. The High Point Trail was in fine shape, Though nearly the whole trip was on snow it was never very deep. I had on gaiters but maximum snow depth was about 6 or 7 inches. Boot prints were on each section of my route. A little below reaching the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) I saw a hiker below the trail. At the junction I turned left on the TMT. The hiker behind me followed and there was now another hiker right behind him. That is a crowd for this trail on a winter mid week day.

The sunshine lit up the forest. All the signs were still plastered by snow. It was a beautiful winter scene. I stopped at the junction with the Lingering Trail. The last hiker blasted by never to be seen again. The hiker who I had seen first also stopped for a minute. He was just out for a short hike and had some trail questions. Adam and I headed on together. I planned for a solo day but it was nice to have an unexpected hiker come along. We set a good pace up the trail. At Ruth's Cove we stopped for a minute so I could take yet more photos of the scene. We passed the Christmas Tree and climbed up to the point where the new trail section is met. Adam had to turn around here. I kept on climbing to the railroad grade junction. Down I went to Fred's Corner (now straightaway). and up to the railroad grade. At the big bridge I stopped again. Lots of snow on the bridge.

Conditions were very good up to the K-3 junction and on to Tom's Crossing. In places the microspikes were helpful though the snow was not icy up high. I reached the top of West Tiger 2 at 2:33 pm. Just a couple minutes under two hours. Not a great time but I did stop for photos and snow travel is always slower. At 2:42 pm I was on my way again. The steep drop on the Cable Line Trail towards West Tiger 3 was easier than on bare dirt. The rocky  rut was smooth packed snow and the spikes provided perfect traction. One last climb up to Tiger 3 and then it was time for the rest of the descent. I saw one guy coming up the Cable Line and a single hiker just below the railroad grade. That was it until the last mile. At that point I met several groups containing half a dozen hikers. The were more than half the folks I saw all day.

I reached the big parking lot at 3:58 pm. I still had 1.5 hours of daylight left. I was careful to leave detailed route information with Gary. There are a few spots with no cell service on my route and with a big winter storm coming in the next day a broken or badly sprained leg can lead to a very serious situation. Hiking earlier in the day left a bigger safety margin. I hiked the road bypass trail back to the gate. The road walk back to my car was in shade and on icy road. With the microspikes it was a piece of cake. I arrived back at my car at 4:15 pm. Even with rush hour traffic I was home well before dark. With the Seattle tunnel opening and Viaduct walk the previous weekend and a snowstorm the next weekend I was pleased to get in a hike with good weather mid week. I had a great time.

Icy Frontage Road
Pavement Is Under Snow
High Point Trail
Snow Draped Sign
A Little Sun Shines
Packed Trail
Snowy Bridge
Mts. Teneriffe & Si
Tiger 2 Tower
High Point Of Trip
Leaving Tiger 2
Descending Cable Line
Tiger 3 Summit
Tiger 3 View
Tiger 2 From  3
Well Packed Down
Sun Shines On Trail
Icier Trail
Calm Between Storms
Icy Parking Lot
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2019