Yesterday Derek and I did a nice ~16 mile hike up and down and around Tiger Mountain. We would need one those GPS devices that integrates with mapping software to show the route we took but this Washington Trail Association description is pretty close:
I arrived at Derek’s house at 6 and we were on the trail at 6:25. It was just a bit dark (we have headlamps but didn’t bring them along) when we started and somehow, we learned on the way back, we completely missed a beautiful little pond not far from the trail head.
The weather was wonderful. It was not warm and sunny during the entire 8-hour hike. But the variety was fun – grey and cloudy, some rain, some sleet, some hail, a reasonably fierce snow squall, followed by warm and sunny at the end.
The elevation gain on this hike was not in the league of Mt. Washington or Mt. Si (or McClellan Butte, which we are going to tackle as soon as the weather permits) but there were seven or eight sections with enough elevation gain to get our attention.
We have been experimenting with pace. When you hike mountains you have to pace yourself appropriately. We met one guy yesterday whose pace was a run. He ran from the bottom to the top and back down again.
That is not our pace.
We have to go at my pace (Derek can go faster than me, and with Finley on his back!) because I am a decrepit old man. During the week I practice my pace on a hilly training walk in my neighborhood.
I power-walk downhill and level, but slow down considerably on the hills.
Yesterday, that pacing strategy worked great. We did a very long and steep section at one point without a single break to calm down the calves or catch our breath. Slow and steady when it is steep, faster on the kinder sections works fine.
We are doing another hike on Thursday, the Ninth, and since Finley is on spring break next week, if she wants, we could be a threesome. One option is to drive to the base of Cougar Mountain (not a very tall “mountain”, at least in this part of the world) and hike to the little Cougar Mountain Zoo, hang out there for awhile, and hike back.
But we will see if she wants to go. If not – well, if the recent snowfall up in the Issaquah Alps has melted we might try the mighty McClellan Butte.
No camera yesterday, still trying to figure out how to show the awesomeiositude of the beautiful environment we are so lucky to be able to enjoy.