If you’re looking for a solidly difficult, early-year ass-kicking, this is it. Tiger Mountain, with its many summits, packs a brutal one-two punch - steep uphills followed by focused downhills. 22 miles with 8000 feet of elevation gain on rugged Pacific Northwest terrain is a stout effort for even the most seasoned of trail runners. Tiger Claw is a unique challenge that puts you in control. It’s simple: there are three different climbs, each of varying length and difficulty, and one common descent. You get to pick the order in which you complete the loops. On each climb and descent, you will use our unique E-Punch timing system to track your routes and splits. Successfully complete each of the 3 different loops, return to the finish and you will have tamed The Tiger!
RACE DAY DETAILS
Race Start: 2020 TBD
Raceday Bib Pickup: TBD
Start/Finish: High Point Way Trailhead – Map to the Start Line
Parking: Please see below
Ascent/Descent: ~8,000 ft / ~8,000 ft
Distance: 22 miles
AID STATIONS / DROP BAGS
Aid Stations will be located near the start/finish and on the West Tiger #2 summit. Both aid stations will be fully stocked with typical trail/ultrarunning fare such as chips, potatoes, various fruits, candies and goodies. They’ll also have water, coke & ginger ale. If you have specific nutritional needs or preferences, please come prepared.
Before the start, we will allow you to check a drop bag for use at the lower aid station during inter-loopal visits and the finish line. We will have a volunteer with the bags at all times but cannot be held responsible for any lost or damaged items.
The High Point Way Parking Lot will have limited parking available to runners (a Discover Pass is required to park in this lot. A Discover Pass is not required to park along SE 79th Street below the lot). A small number of the spots available in the upper lot will go to those who have carpooled and can show a minimum of 2 race bibs in the vehicle. These will be assigned on a first-come basis. General racer parking will be available along SE 79th St, just off the High Point Way exit from I-90. The distance to walk from SE 79th to the start line is just under .4 miles. Plan at least 10 minutes to get to the start line. Please lock your cars and take all valuables with you. We also take carpooling seriously, so please consider finding other cool peeps to meet up with and jointly travel to the start-line. You can use the Tiger Claw facebook page to communicate with other participants.
WEATHER & GEAR
May weather in the Pacific Northwest is delightfully unpredictable. The day might start with cold showers and finish with roasting sun. Even more-so on Tiger Mountain where temperatures and conditions will dramatically change from the base to the summit. We ask that you be prepared for any and all conditions. This could include packing a lightweight rain layer, gloves & beanie. You should follow the weather reports the week leading up to the race start for further details.
Spring in the Issy Alps is prime season for wildlife spotting. While encounters with our bigger counterparts are rare, people have reported seeing black bears, owls, deer and mountain lions in the area. Please stay alert on the trails at all times and follow the proper protocol if wildlife is encountered.
Runners will start just off the High Point Way parking lot on the Puget Power Road. To give everyone’s legs a chance to warm up, you’ll run about a half mile along this wide, gravel road before making a sharp left onto the Around The Lake Trail which snakes its way back east towards where you started. When you hit the T-junction into the High Point Way trail, you’ll make a sharp right. Just ahead is where you’ll make your first choice. Below you’ll find descriptions of each of the three loops. Each loop will climb to the upper Aid Station on the summit of West Tiger #2. From there, you’ll use the connector trail to the summit of West Tiger #3 and descend via the West Tiger #3 trail back to the start/finish where you’ll either check-in and head back out to finish the remaining loop(s) or - once all three are complete - you’ll cross the finish line just ahead to the right near the wooden picnic shelter.
Get the full Tiger Claw GPX file HERE. Remember, you can do the loops in any order you choose. The individual loops can be found below.
This is one of the most exciting parts of Tiger Claw! With the randomness of our race format, we get to utilize a fun & reliable timing tool to track everyone’s climbing and descending. The E-Punch (Electronic Punch) system is one of the few timing systems that will allow for true randomness in your loop choice while accurately tracking your splits for comparison and safety (we have to know where you are!). We are thankful to the Cascade Orienteering Club for letting us utilize their awesome gear!
Here’s how it works: each runner will receive their own personal E-Punch device to use at all the Timing Box locations. The runner will “punch” or scan their E-Punch into the timing boxes when they pass through, essentially marking their timing split. When you cross the finish line and scan your E-Punch for the final time, you’ll immediately get a print-out of all your splits between timing boxes and be able to instantly compare your results! You will pick-up your small E-Punch device with your Tiger Claw gear at the bib-pickup on Friday or pre-race pickup on Saturday morning. DO NOT LOSE YOUR E-PUNCH. This is EXTREMELY important for your safety and your race result. You need to keep this item on you at all times during Tiger Claw so you’ll want to find a pocket, a zip-lock, a wrist to keep it safe and accessible throughout the event. Seriously, don’t lose it!
The Timing Boxes will be located on saw horses at the start of each climb, the top of each climb, the start of the descent, the bottom of the descent (within the Lower Aid Station) and one final box at the finish line. You can see the Timing Box (E-Punch Checkpoints) on the official Tiger Claw map. We will also be creating a video explaining the system and showcasing the quickness of its usage.
The Pink Loop travels along the local favorite, Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT). This is considered the “mid” level loop. Just over 3 miles to the top with 2500’ of gain. From the Lower Aid Station, you run straight up the High Point Trail to where the trail splits in a “Y”. To the right is the Bus Trail which connects to the white and yellow loops. Staying left is the West Tiger #3 trail. Run up this trail to the left and you’ll reach the Tiger Mountain Trail junction 50 feet ahead. A sharp left on the TMT. Enjoy some beautiful singletrack that slowly winds it’s way to the shadowed quiet side of the mountain. In about 2 miles, you’ll continue RIGHT onto the K3 trail. This is where it gets good. As the trail steeply climbs up to the summit, you’ll want to stay straight on K3 and not deviate off this trail as there are a couple of criss-crossing trails (Rail Road Grade and Tiger Mountain Trail). If you’re going straight up, it’s correct. Once on K3, you will not turn off of it. Before you know it, you’ll emerge behind the antennae towers atop West Tiger #2’s summit. Hug the fence heading LEFT and you’ll creep into the Upper Aid Station. Congrats, you’re halfway through the Pink Loop!
Download the Pink Loop GPX file HERE.
The White Loop follows the brutal Section Line trail. This is considered the “hard” loop. Just under 3 miles to the summit of West Tiger #2 with 2500’ of gain. Upon leaving the Lower Aid Station, you’ll run straight up the High Point Trail to where the trail splits in a “Y”. Stay to the right along the Bus Trail. In a 1/10th of a mile, you’ll hang a left onto the Nook Trail - a gorgeously lush trail draped in moss and green. As you begin to climb, you’ll turn right on the Talus Rocks Trail. Very quickly you’ll reach the junction with the infamous Section Line. Turn left. Climb. And climb some more. Once you reach the West Tiger Railroad Grade, turn RIGHT. Enjoy the climbing break, catch your breath and keep your eyes peeled for the sneaky LEFT hand turn up Seattle View trail. You’ll continue up through the dense Salal and emerge at the summit of West Tiger #2. Congratulations, you just completed one of the punchiest climbs of the entire race!
Download the White Loop GPX file HERE.
The Yellow Loop follows the extremely popular Poo Poo Point Trail (named as such by the loggers after the lunch whistle that would sound through the forest). It’s by far the longest loop, but still packs some nasty punches towards the top. It’ll take you just over 5.5 miles to reach West Tiger #2 and the Upper Aid Station, but you’ll crush over 3000’ of vertical and get some decent views in the process up on West Tiger #1 summit! Upon leaving the Lower Aid Station, run up High Point Way Trail to the “Y”. Stay to the right on Bus Trail. Continue straight for about 3/4 of a mile (keep your eye out for the old school bus remains for which the trail is named on the right). Turn LEFT onto the Bonneville power line cut trail. Then turn LEFT when you reach the Poo Poo Point junction about 2/10th of a mile ahead. This will take you straight to the Poo Poo Point Trail intersection. Follow the Poo Poo Point Trail up to the right. In 2 miles, you’ll reach the 4-way intersection with Rail Road Grade trail. Stay straight to continue onto One View Trail. Continue until you reach Tiger Mountain Trail and turn RIGHT. In a few feet, you’ll take Hidden Forest Trail to your LEFT. Climb and cross over the Tiger Mountain Forest Road to continue up Poo Top Trail. At the top of Poo Top Trail, you’ll cross over and in front of the gate to the cellular tower buildings/private property. Cross the road and head down the bypass Trail. At the Bypass Trail junction, head LEFT. You’ll soon sneak through the trees with the famous Hiker’s Hut on your left. You’re now on the summit of West Tiger #1 (enjoy the views and the highest point of the race!). Now follow the West Tiger #2 connection road to the right down. Head around the red gate at the bottom to head up to the Upper Aid Station .4 miles away. Congratulations, you just crushed the long loop!
Download the Yellow Loop GPX file HERE.
Tiger Claw has two aid stations, Upper and Lower. Both aid stations will be fully stocked with your favorite trail running grub and drinks. If you have any dietary restrictions/requirements, we recommend making sure you carry what you need to be self sufficient in case they don’t have what you need.
The Lower Aid Station is located near the Start/Finish area where all runners check-in between loops before heading back out to complete the remaining routes. The Upper Aid Station is located at the top of West Tiger #2 summit and will be reached by all 3 ascents. Via the Pink Loop, Upper Aid Station is just under 3 miles from the start. Via the White Loop, Upper Aid Station is 2.5 miles. Finally, Upper Aid Station is 5.8 miles via the Yellow Loop. While the mileages may seem short, please plan on anywhere from 1-2+ hours to reach the Upper Aid Station. Carry everything that you might need.
Runners may be crewed at the Lower Aid Station and only within the designated areas to avoid route crowding and blocking of trail use. Runners cannot receive aid more than 100 meters outside of the Aid Station. The Aid Station Captain will oversea these specifics so please look and listen to them for any questions and direction.
We are a cup-less race so you will need to provide your own bottle/collapsable cup to use during the event.
RULES & REGULATIONS
Tiger Claw is organized and staged by Ginger Runner, LLC. This organization reserves the right to make changes and amendments to the rules and regulations at any time. This organization reserves the right to add, change or cancel venues or events at any time. In the event that any changes are made, we will contact all registered racers with all the updates and details so that they may make the appropriate adjustments to their race prep.
On race day, racers must respect the direction and authority of the race director, race organization and volunteers.
We want to make sure you know that Tiger Claw is a very physically difficult event that could present numerous medical risks, many of which can be extremely serious or fatal.
Participants must be 18 years of age or older on race day; however we are able to accept runners 14 to 18 years old with a special waiver signed onsite by the runner and a parent/guardian.
Tiger Claw features three distinct loops that runners finish in the order of their choosing. This can lead to some important time rules.
You must leave the Lower Aid Station and start your final loop by 12:30pm (noon).
You must be able to reach the Upper Aid Station and start your final descent by 2pm pst.
You must complete all 3 loops and reach the finish by 3pm pst (9 hours).
You must use your e-punch to check-in at the beginning of each climb, at the top of each climb, at the beginning of the blue descent, at the lower inter-loopal aid station and finally at the finish line for an official finish.
All participants must complete an online waiver when registering. If for some reason a waiver was not completed, one must be signed and returned to Race Management prior to the race in order to participate – no exceptions. They will be accepted at the registration table on race day.
Race Numbers must be visible and worn on the front at all times. All runners must be checked through each checkpoint by a race official. It is the runner’s responsibility to ensure that the official sees the number.
Obey all Course Marshals.
No outside aid (crew, family, hikers, etc) is allowed.
No trekking poles are allowed.
If a runner makes a wrong turn, the runner must return to the course on foot to the point on the course where the error occurred and then resume the race.
TRAIL ETIQUETTE AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPECT
While running (or power hiking!) Tiger Claw, you will be traveling through beautiful and historic forests owned by The Department of Natural Resources and Issaquah Parks And Recreation. The route is open to the public on race day so be courteous and aware of other users. Please be polite and respectful to all other trail users so as to minimize any disruption. We are all sharing the beautiful mountain, so please respect the shared space and be kind to everyone!
No Pacing - Any non-participant may NOT accompany registered runners (on foot or otherwise) along the course.
Do not litter on the course. This will result in disqualification and lifetime ban.
Please use bathrooms, portable toilets or use common sense, if you have to relieve yourself.
Slow runners must yield the trail to others wishing to pass.
Stay to the right. You are sharing these trails with many other outdoor enthusiasts. We ask that you stay to the right on all trails and yield to uphill travelers when necessary. Many trails are very narrow so please stay single file as often as needed.
If you come across an injured fellow runner, please stay with that person until the sweep or medical attention arrives.
No short-cutting: this includes all switchbacks.
Runners may not store supplies of any kind along the trail.
No dogs, baby joggers, trekking poles, or other “accessories”: Your shoes, clothing, and nutrition/hydration/emergency supplies, carried on your body are all that you should bring on your run to ensure competition fairness and the safety of you and other runners.
Headphones ARE permitted, but at volume that allows you to remain aware of your surroundings at ALL TIMES. We request that you only run with one ear bud in but if you chose to run with both in you MUST have the volume low enough so that you can hear other runners, mountain bikers, and crazy wild forest creatures at all times. Seriously, don’t crank your tunes to drown out the suffering - it’s not cool.
Runners may not receive assistance outside of the designated area at the Lower Aid Station by anyone other than another registered active runner. This standard is enforced for fairness to all runners. Runners do not need to have a crew. You are allowed to receive assistance from a crew within the Lower Aid Station boundaries so long as your crew do not impede other runners or race staff.
Dropping Out: If you find it necessary to drop from the race, you must do so at an aid station. Notify the aid station captain and have the captain remove your bib number. Failure to do so may result in ban from future races. If you feel you cannot get to the nearest aid station, stay on the trail and a sweep will assist you. Do not leave the course without notifying an aid station captain. If we can’t account for your whereabouts an expensive search and rescue operation will be initiated.
Mandatory Drop Out: Medical staff and aid station captains have the authority to pull a runner from the event should they deem it unsafe for the runner to continue. The runner must comply with this decision.
Participants are expected to behave in a sportsmanlike manner. Race Management reserves the right to impose sanctions for behavior not specifically mentioned here. This could be in the form of time penalties or disqualification.
Official protests must be made directly to the Race Directors. In the case of unclear or contested infractions, a jury of available racers, volunteers and race marshals will be assembled to provide an opinion to the Race Directors; however the Race Directors reserve the right to make the final decision.
INFRACTIONS THAT WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION
Short-cutting the course
Littering. Seriously, don’t do it. Pack in, pack out. Leave no Trace. All of it.
Missing a checkpoint
Receiving aid outside of an Aid Station from someone other than a registered runner
Getting in a moving vehicle
Having a pacer
Failing to remain at a checkpoint for medical evaluation on request of checkpoint personnel
Impeding another runner
having a dog or other animal companion on the course
Disobeying the directions of Race Management and/or race volunteers
INFRACTIONS RESULTING IN DENIAL OF FUTURE ENTRY
Running as a bandit (either unregistered or using another registered runner’s bib)
Pacing or crewing for a bandit runner
Having crews take cars to areas designated as off-limits
Disobeying rules regarding dogs off-leash or mistreatment of the environment
Failing to respect private property
Mistreating Race Management, Aid Station personnel, runners or crew. We take this one very seriously. Don’t be a dick.