Tiger 2 Trail Clearing

I had a ski trip lined up for Monday, MLK's birthday and a holiday for me. It would be a long flat trip. I needed a trip for Saturday that would not be long but would have some elevation gain. I also wanted a closer in hike without big crowds. I chose to hike up Tiger 2 via the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT). I did not get out the door early as I kept debating where to go. I arrived at High Point at about 8:15 am. After a lot of snow than some rain I was not sure how much snow I would find. The trail up Tiger 3 was reported to be almost snow free. The route up Tiger 2 is a bit higher and sees less sunshine in winter. I bought my heavy boots, gaiters, and microspikes. Just in case. Reports also mentioned a lot of logs down on many trails. I brought my folding saw. I hoped to not have to use it much.

The trail was in good shape up to the TMT. Just after that a tree fell right next to the trail. There is a vertical drop where the root ball used to be. If it is not filled in soon the trail will fall into the hole. I through a few small branches off the trail in the first 1.5 miles. Nothing very big. The branches continued to be on the trail for several more miles. In places there were long piles of them. Nobody seemed to have moved any of them at all. My pace slowed considerably as one pile led to another and another. I noted a few logs that I would saw out on the way down. I did not want to get worn out on the hike up. Just moving branches did that anyway. Some of the branches were 10' or more in length. A few I cut in half then I could move then. Quick and easy cuts. I noted more near Ruth's Cove. There was a long log across the trail just after.

I made it up to Fred's Corner and the railroad grade with just a few cuts. Then I reached a big log. It was waist high and reached most of the way across the trail. It was about 10" in diameter. My saw was 10" in diameter.  I noticed that the top of it was rotten. Oh, what the heck. I took out my saw. I must have spent 15 minutes sawing away on that log. At some point I had too much time invested to give up. At long last it fell to the ground. A group of half a dozen descended by me while I was cutting. It was a heavy sucker but I managed to roll it off the trail.

Between leaving the railroad grade and reaching the bridge I ran into half a dozen more logs across the trail. I cut a few of them and planned to get the rest on the way down. There was another big one just after the bridge. It was much better higher up thought there were a few more logs to go over. Only one log was a real problem. The others were just a pain to go over or under or around. I finally reached Tom's Crossing and headed up the last bit. So far I had only seen a few short patches of snow. I came out of the forest and saw the sun. Seattle was under a foggy inversion all weekend. I started hiking in the fog but now I was above it. There were still a few bigger snow patches on the way to the summit. I had put on gaiters on the railroad grade where an open section had snow. After that I was back on dirt again. I went straight up to the road and followed it around and to the summit.

At the road I had great views of Cascade Peaks from Mt. Baker to Mt. Si. Everything to the west was under the low fog. The Olympic Mountains were glowing in the sunshine. Downtown Seattle was not quite able to punch through the fog. I met a woman who had passed my going downhill earlier. She had hike/ran up Tiger 3 The T2 and down the TMT before heading up the Preston Trail to T1 and back over to T2. That was a long trip with lots of elevation gain. I could see a lot of folks down on the top of Tiger 3. I had my lunch atop Tiger 2. It took me 3:15 to hike up 3.5 miles. That is easily the longest time I have taken to hike up Tiger 2. Almost half that time was spent clearing the trail. There was no wind on the summit and the sunshine felt really warm. It was probably in the mid 40s. Before leaving a gentleman arrived on top. We got to talking about the old days hiking Tiger when there were views. Now the recent logging was returned the views of old. I mentioned the photos on my website of the views from Tiger in the mid 1980s. He recalled us having a similar discussion a few years ago. I recalled me talking about hiking to a lake off Highway 2. I then recalled the conversation. Interesting to meet someone again atop Tiger 2 years later.

I reached the top at about 11:30 am. I stayed until 12:15 pm. The trip down was pretty easy until near the bridge. I did remove more branches but did not do any sawing until I neared the bridge. A long log lay off the ground parallel to the trail. It reached almost across. I had to cut it in several spots to remove it.

Across the bridge I had a long log at shoulder height. That was a challenge to saw. It took a while. Below that were several more I passed by on the way up. One required four or five cuts to remove them. I was getting pretty tired at this point. Time was also going by quickly. What was supposed to be a morning hike was now well into the afternoon. Just before Ruth's Cove I reached the long one I passed by in the morning. I managed to gut one end off entirely. I left the other cut for the next sawyer to come by. I planned to just hike out but several more logs got my attention. The last one was another that was almost as wide as my saw. I figured I would just cut one side but then I went after the other. Probably close to 15 more minutes to get both cuts done. Now I was done. I still had a long ski trip planned two days later. I needed to get down. I did through off a few more branches but I was done with sawing.

I finally reached my car at 3:22 pm. I took 3:07 coming down. Almost as long as my time going up. I spent about 3 hours hiking, nearly an hour on top, and about 3:30 clearing the trail. I was really beat after this hike. It was the most sawing I have done in a day. The trail is in substantially better shape. It was well worth it. Driving back to Seattle I went back into the fog again. It was really nice having that sunshine on the summit. It was a fund day though one of the most tiring days of hiking that I can recall.

Collapsing Trail
Fallen Tree
A Cut Log
Blocking Trail
Snowiest Spot
Log On Bridge
Biggest Cut
Big Log
Multiple Logs
Partly Cut
Fully Cut
Log Removed
A Mess
Cleaned Up Mess
Mts. Si & Teneriffe
Tiger 2 Summit
Mt. Baker
Glacier Peak
Zoomed Tiger 3
Mt. Rainier
View Northwest
Sea Of Fog
Lake Sammamish
View From Tiger 2
Three Fingers?
Hanging Lot Is Gone
High Cut
Several Cuts
Blocking No More
One Last Log
Finished Cut
Colorful Forest
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2022