Why hello there, blog; it’s been a while. It’s been tough to keep up with my personal writing, with trying to make article deadlines, preparing and submitting a tenure file, and keeping on top of all the other facets of my job. I’ve missed writing trip reports! The good news is that the faculty just voted in support of my tenure and promotion, so my hope is that this leads to a little extra time for my personal writing.
Catching up posts will be a great exercise in brevity, if only because I have 35+ peaks to report on. No time for my long-winded accounts! [Update: they’re still mostly long-winded.] I’ll share here the highlights that stand out and give you a taste of the experience. [Update: In some cases, more detail that you probably want. Fair warning!] I fear that this means I can’t always take my standard approach of looking at a broader topic elicited by each experience, but I’ll do so as much as possible.
And now, on to Peaks 6,7, and 8*.
Peak 6: West Tiger 1: Elevation: 2948’
Peak 7 : West Tiger 2: Elevation: 2757’
Peak 8*: Poo Poo Point: Elevation: 2021’
*Technically not a peak; see below
Total mileage: 12.53
Total elevation gain: 3436′
Date: April 7, 2019
I’ve spent many a Sunday doing triples on West Tiger 3 but somehow managed never to tag West Tigers 1 or 2, and I’d never been to Poo Poo Point. This was an opportunity to make up for that omission. (and, strangely, I have yet to climb WT3 once this year.)
Seth joined me for this Tour de Tiger. We started on the power line cut and hoped to take it down to link up with a trail on the east side, but things got swampy, so we cut down to the road and made our way down through the homeless camp, Tent City 4. While I’m glad that there’s a place where people can set up camp, I wondered what their access to resources is here. It’s far from any grocery stores, running water, and other services. Are service providers coming to them? It’s something I wanted to learn more about. After a little googling, I learned that residents have access to bus passes to get to work, doctor appointments, etc. There are organizations that bring services to them, including some that can help residents to find permanent housing. The organization that runs the camp also invites employers to come by to share job opportunities with residents. One article mentioned that hikers passing through bring donations of food, coffee, and blankets; it’s a nice gesture and I’ll remember that for next time.
Moving into the misty emerald forest, we headed up the Lingering Trail over to Dwight’s Way, and ultimately to the Preston Way trail, which took us to the summit of West Tiger 1. It’s not the most remarkable summit, with its chain-linked fence and radio towers. No lingering here. As we started running down the road to connect over to West Tiger 2, we saw signs on the side of the road, but we didn’t process the warning in time. As a result, we apparently experienced some serious RF exposure. Fortunately, our internal organs didn’t melt in the process.
Laughing off this potentially brain-frying exposure, we jumped back on trail and headed over to West Tiger 2, making a requisite stop at the Hiker’s Hut (which I’d never visited before.) It was fun to see what others had left there, such as hats, blankets, and candles, for the cold hiker to enjoy. West Tiger 2 wasn’t much more inspiring than WT1, so on we ventured to Poo Poo Point.
Seth took an opportunity to rest in the sun and watch paragliders while I climbed the last 50 vertical feet or so to what looked like the highest point. Later, my friend Rich would insist that Poo Poo Point is a point, not a peak, and he determined to look over my list of peaks and subtract “poo poo points” for anything else that didn’t qualify (Grouse Mountain and Poo Poo Point are the only two that I would concede should be disqualified as peaks, so I plan to make up those poo poo points by tagging two additional peaks.)
From there, we headed down a nice runnable hill, then looped past Tradition Lake and the old bus and then back to High Point. It was fun to explore a place that I had visited so many times and yet hadn’t seen so much of it. As the snow sets in and cuts off the Cascades, I look forward to returning to Tiger Mountain and doing some more exploration.