Ascent of South Tiger Mountain on 2017-01-07
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Saturday, January 7, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Peak:||South Tiger Mountain|
| Elevation:||2020 ft / 615 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThis hike is a good alternative Tiger Mountain trip when the trailheads at High Point/I-90 and Poo Poo Point are crowded. There is a fair amount of parking available on a wide shoulder on the west side of Tiger Mountain Road. Most cars I saw there had Discover Pass permits showing, but there are no signs in the area at all except for a small one noting the start of the trail on the east side of the road.
It was a cold day and there was still quite a bit of ice and snow on the trail, and microspikes might have been a good idea--I did slip once. The trail traverses a section called "Calkins Cliff", which is really just a steep forested slope, but impressive for an area this close to the city.
At Hobart Gap I took the South Tiger Traverse Trail, when under some power lines (whose clear-cuts provided a nice view). The trail then went uphill, crossed a new plank bridge, and started ascending the summit of South Tiger #2. When the trail turned left to traverse, I struck off and did some easy bushwhacking in very open forest to the top of the #2 sub-peak. I should have stayed on the main trail a little further, though, since in a short ways (at a gigantic stump) an informal trail heads uphill right to the same place.
South Tiger #2 is in mature forest, and the summit had a register box on a tree, with a few scraps of paper in a lidless container. I saw footprints in the snow and picked up the informal trail now, which I took north and down shortly into a recently clear cut area ("working forest" is the DNR euphemism). Without tall trees, the snow was much deeper here, and footprints from earlier hikers made the route through a dense, unvegetated-in-winter thicket through the notch and then quickly up to the main summit of South Tiger.
The summit has some benches to sit on and the clear-cut provided some good views to Puget Sound, the Olympics, and East Tiger. A big stump near the benches seemed to be on the highest ground.
I retraced my steps down into the notch, and after the thicket a broad logging road headed downhill. It looked likely to intersect the South Tiger Traverse Trail, so I followed it down as it curved to the north--the wrong way, but better than snow bushwhacking, I thought. Eventually I came to my trail junction, turned left, and to my dismay saw that the trail paralleled the road, almost immediately below it, for a good ways. A short bushwhack would have saved me quite a bit of distance.
The trail eventually brought me back into the mature forest, past the big stump marking the start of the herd path to the #2 summit, and finally the point where I had left the trail on the way up. The rest of the hike was uneventful--not many people on the trails, and some caution needed due to the compacted snow/ice in some places. Overall a pleasant and easy winter outing.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1680 ft / 511 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1680 ft / 511 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||6.8 mi / 11 km|
| Quality:||3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground|
| Weather:||Cold, Windy, Overcast|
| Gain on way in:||1600 ft / 487 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 1500 ft / 457 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m|
| Loss on way in:||100 ft / 30 m|
| Distance:||3.1 mi / 5 km|
| Start Trailhead:||South Tiger TH 520 ft / 158 m|
| Loss on way out:||1580 ft / 481 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 1500 ft / 457 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m|
| Gain on way out:||80 ft / 24 m|
| Distance:||3.7 mi / 6 km|
| End Trailhead:||South Tiger TH 520 ft / 158 m|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.
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