Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tonga Ridge 9.22.10

After last week's goose egg in the area I was eager to make it BACK. Last week's effort was cut short because of some substantial back pain. After giving it a day to heal with no results I went to the ER before my drive to Southern Oregon. Other than getting "you are getting old" there wasn't much of a diagnosis. I was given an embarrassing amount of pills to help with the situation.

After having long drive to Oregon I had the pleasure of spending a second day in the ER. This time it was my youngest daughter who I had tried to pick up but her hand slipped out of my hand leaving her hanging by one arm. I heard a nice pop and she was in some serious pain. Needless to say I was upset to cause my daughter so much pain. Thankfully the fix was quick and easy and the little one had no residual pain and soon forgot all about it. Thankfully the rest of the trip went well and we had a wonderful time.

My back was making slow progress but was getting better. I had one day left of my vacation and with the perfect weather I thought I would at least give it a go. I took too long getting out of the house and I didn't reach the end of the Tonga Ridge Road until 12:30. I quickly made it area I had scoped out last week. The plan for today was to go to Mary and Judy Lakes but with the back feeling fine I thought I would add a summit. The first part was somewhat brushy but not at all troublesome. I found plenty of small trails that I followed until I reached the open slopes below my goal of the high point of Tonga Ridge 5596'. I could see what I thought was the summit far to the East so I traversed the heathery slopes and easily made my way to the top. I believe the true summit is actually North of the rocky point through some trees. Just to be sure I touched every and anything that might be taller. I lounged in the nice warm sun in sheltered spot out of the stiff breeze. For the descent I ran the ridge West to avoid as much traversing as possible and easily made my way back to the Tonga Ridge trail.

Approx 5.5miles 2000' of climb 3 hours car to car

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