Saturday, March 3, 2007

Tiger Mt. Two Speed Run - Power Hike or Flying













Steve and I went up to Tiger Mt. this morning for some more long climbs and long down hills. Our run offered up a plethora of terrains and trail conditions.

Executive Summary
Successful 17 mile training run with three summits. At least 10 miles run in snow with up to 48" drifts in places. We saw cougar tracks on the trail to No. 2 summit. Looked like it was hunting rabbits as the cat tracks were next to some rabbit tracks. Steve performed two very entertaining tripping episodes with a stumble that resulted in a face full of snow being kicked up and sticking like a big snowball to his forehead and brim of his baseball hat and a spectacular second base slide on a "unmaintained" trail on a death plunge decent where his foot slipped on a long exposed root that was covered in snow. Fortunately after landing parallel to the earth and rolling sideways down hill three times he hit a big tree that stopped his flip flop down the trail. We never really got lost on our run but we did manage to miss the trail we needed to go up to make the East Tiger Mt. summit which we had planned on doing. After 5 hours and 30 mins we were ready to quit when we got back to the car. We found running in the snow similar to running in sand and in the deeper snow where were "post-holeing " on each stride in made it really hard to run. Yes I took an ice bath for 20 min. when I got home and it was wonderful!

Details of the Run
We parked at the High Point Trail head at 580' elevation and started up West Tiger #3 trail climbing to the summit of #3 at 2522' elevation. We encountered very wet slushy snow on the trail at about the 1000' level which got out feet quite wet and my toes started to get cold. The higher we climbed the colder and deeper the snow got. We continued on to No. 2 summit where we came across some cougar tracks in the snow crossing the trail. Looked like the cougar was hunting rabbits as there were several rabbit tracks in the same vicinity. We reached No. 2 at 2752' and then on to No. 1 summit. As we climbed up to the hikers hut on No. 1 summit we had to post hole our way through 18" of snow with some drifts that were at least 48" deep. When we made it to the hikers hut (2800') it was windy and quite cold. We were wet from a light misty rain/fog so the chill factor was really coming into effect. We popped into the hikers hut to drink some water and eat some food. It's a metal dome like structure about 10' in diameter at the base with a very high ceiling. It was amazing how much warmer it was when we went inside out of the wind.

From the hikers hut we intended to run down West Tiger No. 1 Trail and cut over onto the Upper Bootleg Trail over to East Tiger Mountain summit. We made the turn on Upper Bootleg but after running for about a half mile the trail was not distinguishable in the snow and we were just running through the forest. We searched for some sign of the trail such as cut logs or signs but to no avail. We decided to back track and continue down West Tiger No. 1 trail to the Bootleg trail. This is where we made our first navigational error and instead of turning right on Bootleg we continued left on W. Tiger No. 1 trail. We intersected the Preston trail and turned right and continued down Preston until we came to the intersection of Preston trail and Lower Bootleg. We realized that we could hear cars on Hwy. 90 and that we were headed in the wrong direction to East Tiger Mt. We turned up Bootleg/Preston RR grade and started back up the trail toward East Tiger toward Paw Print rest stop. Somehow we missed the East Tiger Mt. trail about 2 miles up the trail and continued on Preston RR grade. We eventually got on Tiger Mt Trail and started heading west. We decided to run the West Tiger RR Grade to the north and intersect the Section Line connector trail. The Section Line connector trial is an unmaintained trail that ignored switchback design and just went straight down the mountain. This is where Steve performed his stop, drop, and roll act as he slid on a root and basically belly flopped the rolled downhill three times until he hit a tree. Aside from losing the trial at one point due to a downed tree and the long stretches of very technical steep downhill w/o switchbacks it was a nice trail and a good running section. Finally we hooked up with the High School Trail and looped the final 5.5 miles back to the car.

I think a couple more runs up at Tiger ought to make us feel a lot more comfortable with our bearings and sense of direction. It wouldn't hurt if the darn snow would melt so we could actually see the trail and what you were about to step on.

Thanks again for visiting and taking the time to read my blog. Cheers!

20 comments:

Annette said...

You guys were wearing shorts to traipse through the snow? What the heck? And then an ice bath afterwards? I would've been headed straight for a hot shower.
Sounds like a great outing. I'm glad you were able to find your way back and didn't run across the cougar!

Bob Gentile said...

Great Pics and that's a nice TRAIL Event-(over 5 hours) GOOD JOB !! That will burn some good calories and help you reach your goal weight!

Have a good week,

Bob

Phil said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You certainly had an amazing run on Saturday and thanks for sharing the great pics. I particularly liked the following comment, "We never really got lost on our run but we did manage to miss the trail we needed ...", now that sounds like something I'd tell my wife. "Yes dear, we knew where we were, we just didn't know where we were going".

Phil

Sarah said...

Brrr....that snow looks cold. It's like spring here in Oregon. : ) Nice run!

Neese said...

LOL re: Steve! I am crackin up at the visual. Sounds like one of those things when you think back on later you just start laughing to yourself!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Looks like you two were just up to your regular old Putz and Moron acts. Just kidding, it looked like a fun trip! When the snow melts I'll join you (with my own map) and let you two go on your own and I'll catch up!
Jenny

robtherunner said...

The snow looks awesome and I almost made the choice to join you two and skip the 6 hour run, but I had a good time nonetheless. TC said he is interested in a 12 summits in April.

miss petite america said...

that is insane in the menbrane. seriously.

Darrell said...

I love that you can go from that lush forest up into the snow in the same run, quite the adventure!

Donald said...

Wow, what a run. I agree with Annette - you're insane for wearing shorts in the snow.

Jack said...

You certainly get in all kinds of terrain and weather during your runs - looks like fun.

Thomas said...

Wow, that looks like an awful lot of snow. I guess you really are preparing for WS.

olga said...

Mmm, snow!!!

No, Rob, no 12 summits in April, 12 summits in March!

Rose said...

Wow, I'll never complain about the "cold" again! Thanks for stopping by, and for the great encouragement as I make my way from newest runner on the block, to newest Marathon Maniac on the block! Happy running this week.

Wes said...

Wow! You guys are definitely hard core. Hope that cougar found some of those rabbits to eat! Isn't it wonderful they put those trees on the mountain to break your fall ;-)

GotLegs! said...

Eric, I know exactly where you went wrong on your trip to East Tiger. It's tough to find, let alone in the snow. Just as soon as you get to the bottom of Bootleg, past the Christmas tree, and make the natural right turn, you should be heading toward Paw Print (where the bathroom is). Just as the turn starts to straighten out, there is a trail on your left called the East Tiger traverse. I think the only way you would have known where this was is if you had run there before. It's really tough to find. There is a sign there from time to time but it tends to "get lost" itself. Anyway, had you found the turn, you would have gotten soaken wet going through the traverse ... as well as probably getting pretty lost. It's even tougher finding your way through there in the snow. After a while, you actually cross the Preston RR grade. When you pick the trail up again on the other side, you have a steep half mile climb up to the road to East.

If you ever run 12 summits with me, you won't see me running down Section Line. I'm not into sliding face first and the times I've run down it, that's exactly what happened. I go down the normal way ... but always climb up Section Line.

*tc

Ryan said...

Eric the wanderer = )
What another great adventure! That trail run will surly build some strong muscles! Enjoyed the pics...the trees and shrubs are so green around there, everything around here is drab, makes me long for spring.

Meghan said...

Nice training run! I agree with the earlier commenters, I was wondering about the snow and shorts combo also. Crazy kids! The snow part looks like my neck of the woods only you'd find me in lots more layers of clothing.

Happy running!

mtnrunR said...

eric,
are you doing either of the medical studies for States? Olga and i did last year.
tom

Anonymous said...

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