Monday, September 14, 2009

Ptarmagin Lakes 9.14.09

Since I have some extra time I thought a nice overnighter was in order. While I was out I thought I could do some crossing out on some lists. I had been to Ptarmagin and Terrace Lakes back in my lake bagging days and thought some of the area peaks needed to be climbed. Sunday night left me with a serious head cold making my head fell like an orange on a toothpick. I hoped a good night's sleep would cure that. When I woke in the morning I felt even worse. Not wanting to spend my first day of vacation lounging around the house I forced myself out the door. The dreary weather evaportated into to some nice sunny weather burning away some of my cold in the process. I couldnt't decided which route to use and since I hadn't been on the portion of the Tonga Ridge Trail that head West from the end of the road I decided that was reason enough. After packing up I made my way up the good trail to the meadows above. When I reached the point where the trail starts to drop I stopped to survey the terrian and decided this would be a good spot on the way out to tackle The Tonga Ridge High point. I soon was in a flat area made my way through the campsite and the trail heading South. As I made my way to Fisher Lake I kept thinking to myself that it wasn't the way I had remembered the trail. I remember a rough rocky muddy and rotty trail and this wasn't much of any of those. Since it was going the direction I wanted to go I didn't give it much thought. I quickly made my way past

Fisher Lake and passed a small tent at the outlet. I crossed the outlet and followed the Fisherman's trail to Lower Ptarmagin. The trail is good but does require some focus. I slowly made my way along the West shore boulderfield mindful of the loose rocks. As I made my way up Upper Ptarmagin I thought about what I would do if the only campsite was taken. Which of course it was, undaunted I pressed on with the intent of camping at Terrace Lakes. As I made my way I found a SMALL area that would suit my bivy sack. I did some minor landscaping and set up camp. I lounged awhile and noticed that my back was becoming increasingly more pained. Puzzled since I hadn't done anything that would induce such a reaction, I thought it would pass. I scouted the way for the next day and it was just as I had remembered, easy. I went back to camp and relaxed. The night went well, although the dogs awoke me a couple of times in the night, once to run out something and once when the beagle decided that he was going to burrow into my sleeping bag no matter what. During the night I was jolted out of sleep by some sort of call that I hadn't heard before. I am guessing it was an owl even though it didn't sound like any owl I had ever heard. I have to admit I was a bit unnerved but as the call stopped I drifted back to sleep. When I awoke I was barely able to stand and it took me quite some time before I was even mobile. I was somewhat confident that my malady would subside once I started walking but I didn't want to find out I was wrong being even farther away from the car. I packed up and made my way back to the trail. As I reached the campsite the campers were gone giving me some thought to hanging out. I decided I better see how my back was going to go before do anything. After reaching the lower lake I decided that since I brought my fly rod I should probably use it. I managed 3 fat feisty Cutthroat's in the short time I fished. The last one I was sight fishing and involved a left handed sidearm cast that I had never tried before. I managed to put the fly right where I wanted and true to form the nice 15" Cutt hit it and provided a more than adequate fight. I repacked and was on my way home. The trail out was much more the way I remember it on the way out and I soon realized that there are two branches of the Fisher Lake trail and by far the East version is the nicer of the two. Since my back was still giving me issues I nixed any ideas of any further climbing and quickly made my way back to the car.

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