Tonga Ridge & Fisher Lake (Oct 13, 2018)

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fisher_lk_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Skykomish, USGS Scenic
Area: Skykomish, WA
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Glacier Peak Region: The North Cascades
Stats: 8.99mi, 1731' gain (round trip)

I've been trying to reconnect with a former climbing partner for a while...most of the summer. Today we finally made it happen. I can recall the exact day I met John. It was the Everett Mountaineers snowshoe trip up Evergreen Mtn on 4/7/2002. I drove to the trailhead and John and Steve joked away about all kinds of silly issues in the back seat. So 16 years have passed since then, other issues have replaced the silly issues (age, injuries...) so today was just planned as a hike. I don't get out much for hard climbs/'s just too hard on the knees.

I had suggested Cutthroat Lakes since i've been trying to get up there most of the summer. John and his wife Charlene were planning to head up Tonga Ridge & Mt Sawyer and asked if I'd like to join them. I haven't been out that way in years so it sounded great. I was hoping to catch some fall color.

The trail starts out high (4282') and meanders along the side of Tonga Ridge with little ups and downs along the way. At about 2.1mi (4800') we reached the junction for the trail heading up Mt Sawyer. We decided to hike up that point on the way out so we instead continued along the ridge towards Fisher Lake. I had been up Mt Sawyer years ago so I was interested in reaching the lake.

t just over 3 miles (4758') we headed right (trail to Fisher Lake is marked) we headed right. At first the trail was flat, then it was somewhat rockey/rooty trail that headed uphill. We hit a highpoint at 3.8mi (5204') and then we headed steadily downhill to the lake which we reached at 4.5mi (4774'). We dropped our packs and had lunch.

The day was warm so we weren't in a rush to head back. After a while it was time to leave so we headed back the way we came and when we reached the junction with the trail up to Mt Sawyer John and Charlene took off uphill. I stayed at the junction since my knees were sore. When John and Charlene came back down, we headed back down to the car.

Nice day. Fall colors were past prime but it was still a nice day out.
Tonga Ridge & Fisher Lake Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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