Saturday, January 1, 2011

3...2...1...POO POO!

Poo Poo in this case is not what you think it is. Today my buddy Doug and I went for a trail run in the tiger mountain area. The plan was to hit the three western "summits" and then tack on an out and back to Poo Poo point. The point is actually named for the sound steam whistles used to make when workers called the loggers. That being said the name still causes me to break out into fits of laughter. I guess parts of my brain still functions like a 10 year old.  

We started the run in the traditional lake area and took the West Tiger 3 trail up to...West Tiger 3. We found that many of the trails in the area have the word tiger in them and as such it was quite easy to confuse one with several others. We ended up adding about a mile on the Tiger Mountain Trail (not to be confused with the West Tiger 3 trail) and doubled back to hike slowly up the cable trail. This exceptionally steep section was completely unrunnable and very nearly unhikable. Several times I felt like I would end up sliding or tumbling down the slope doing my best John Cusack "Better off Dead" impression. 

Thankfully the slick footing didn't result in an epic slide and we reached the top without too much difficulty. After reaching the summit we took all of 3 seconds to enjoy the lack of a view and proceeded over to West Tiger 2. There is a bit of a saddle coupled with some more steep uphill sections. This section was uneventful and the view at West Tiger 2 was about as unsinpiring as that on West Tiger 3. The continuation to West Tiger 1 involved a bit of a downhill section coupled again with a fairly steep uphill. At the summit we were greeted with terrific views of mount rainier, the peninsula and downtown Seattle. Too bad neither of us wanted to carry a camera. We also found a hikers hut. We immediately set upon this treasure only to find it devoid of anything interested. I'm not sure what we were hoping to find. A pot of gold maybe. I did however imagine several things that I most definitely did NOT want to see there...

 At this point we linked up with the bypass, poo top and west tiger trails. I took a bit of a spill on a section and immediately checked to see if I had Taco'ed my femur. Thankfully my notorious mountain bike exploits didn't directly carry over to our trail running adventures. After the misstep we linked up with another unmarked trail and made our way to Poo Poo point. This would've been a decent view if we hadn't just descended off West Tiger 1. We spent a few seconds checking out Mt. Baker and then set off the way we came to descend another unmarked trial to the tradition lake plateau. Doug flew down this portion as I was already dragging a bit and struggled to keep up. I almost ate it several times but my intact legs kept me upright through the descent. Once we got down to the fire road we simply followed it back out to the High Point parking area. All in all it was a great day of running. We got less lost than usual and took in some great views. There was enough snow to add some character to the area without negatively impacting our pace.

Final Tally - 12.5 miles, Elevation Gain 3264 Feet, Time 2:54. Great way to kick off the 2011 running season.

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