Tiger Mountain NYE

My oldest tradition dates back to 1983. That year I went out on New Years Eve to go over 100 hiking miles on the year. From then on I have hiked on Tiger Mountain on December 31 every year but one. This year made it 37 times in 38 years. In the early years I did the hike alone. Ofter it was after putting in all or part of a day of work. This year Gary and John signed on. We often do a one way trip across several Tiger summits but with the pandemic going on we all drove separately and kept a social distance between us. It had been raining most of the week and would again on the weekend. This day was only forecast to have intermittent rain. It looked like we had a chance to just miss rain on the west end of Tiger in the morning. We med at the Sunset Way trailhead at 8:45 am.

We started with umbrellas as the we had very light rain. Soon it stopped and we had only a little more on the rest of the hike. First we followed the old railroad grade over tot he High School Trail. We went up to the Tradition Plateau and then on to the Section Line Trail. We saw only a few folks so far. We made steady progress up the steep trail. At the West Tiger Railroad Grade we turned right. We continued to the Seattle View Trail and headed up once again. The upper part can be bushy if not brushed in the past year or so. Brushy = wet after days of rain. At the Tiger Mountain Trail we turned left and went over to the Cable Line Trail. Now we just had a short steep climb to the top of West Tiger 2. At the top it was windy and cold. My jacket went on at once. We had a short food break before heading on.

We dropped down the Cable Line and then climbed up to the top of Tiger 3. Nobody on either summit though there was a pack on top of Tiger 3. Now we were set for the most crowded section of our route. It was a semi holiday but it was raining over much of Western Washington so we were unsure just how crowded it would be Turns out it was not bad at all. We only passed a few groups on our way down the West Tiger 3 Trail. At the junction with the Talus Caves Trail Gary turned left and uphill. What is one more hill on our journey? Ironically we saw several groups on this less used trail. Part way along is a very thin steep waterfall. It usually does not have a lot of water in it. This day it was as big as I can recall seeing it. Worth the time for photos.

At the next junction by the caves we chose to drop down the Nook Trail rather than continuing to the Section Line Trail. There were several more groups on this trail. All in all, we did not see many folks considering our route. The first half was off the main trails but even the trails below Tiger 3 were not very crowded. Just what we hoped for. At the Bus Trail we went left and followed it to the Power Line Corridor and then to Round Lake. The lake is turning into a meadow in the summer but was full of water this day. We did not meet up with out starting route until almost back at the trailhead. The GPS stats said 9.5 miles with 3000' of elevation gain. I turned around and went back up the trail a quarter mile to round out 10 miles with 3200' of gain for my last hike of 2020.

2020 was a crazy year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. From a stay at home order to  staying away from crowds it was a tough hiking year. I did not get in a single backpacking trip. I did fewer 4000'+ summit hikes than usual. Through it all I ended up with 838 miles and 205,200' of elevation gain. Not up to my averages in recent years but still pretty good all things considered. Now on to 2021 and hopefully things will get back to normal before the end of the year.

Raindrop On Berries
Tiger 2 Summit
Tiger 3 Trail
Talus Caves Falls
Falls Again
Orange Fungus
Narrow Spot
Happy Gary
Happy John
Mossy Trees
Spider Branches
Very Mossy
Bus Trail
Neat Trees
Gary & The Bus
Round Lake
Wetlands Trail
Near Trailhead
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2020