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Trip Report    

Conditioning Hikes - West Tiger Mountain No. 1

This was a good educational loop trip over West Tigers 1 and 2, with lots of snow on the ground.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trails below about 2000' had been hiked earlier making travel on them relatively easy; it won't take long, though, before parts of these trails will become icy.  Above 2000', we had a lot of postholing to do.  The access road was icy in the morning, but fine by the time we returned.  None of us used microspikes or other traction.

This was a pleasant trip in mostly cloudy weather and not too much wind, with a few light snow showers, and then a few very light rain showers; we were done for the day before more significant rain arrived.

We took the Lingering Trail up to the TMT, then to Fred's Corner.  At that junction, tracks led in both directions, so I decided we would do a loop over WT 1 and 2.  Turning north-eastward toward the Preston Junction, however, the tracks soon ended, so we had plenty of postholing to do.  Almost everyone took a turn at leading the way through all this deep snow, and several strong students and assistant leaders did especially good work in creating a path.  I made the mistake of trying to find a route with a little less snow after we passed the turnoff to the east side of the summit of WT 1; it would have been better to stay on the route of the trail to the Hiker's Hut.  We followed the road to WT 2, then were able to follow the cut-off northward to the TMT.  Fortunately, there were tracks on the K-3 trail, so we were able to save time by taking it;  on this trip, it wasn't very icy, but it will be soon.

This wound up being a much more strenuous trip than it normally would have been, but the students all handled it well, and many learned lessons about the gear they had and about gear they should have had.