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Big Fisher Lake Trail #41

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Big Fisher Lake Trail #41

Hike #412

Jul 25, 2011…Big Fisher Lake…Tr #41…hike # 412

72 degrees

It was a surprise to wake up to a very dark and overcast sky…checked the forecast and sure enough it said thunderstorms for today. We almost decided to not go high up into the mountains, especially to this fairly high altitude. But we went anyway. It was a bit chilly and raindrops hit the windshield about one minute from home. But it was short lived. I love this hike and we try to do it at least once a year.

We were stopped by emergency vehicles and barricades when we got to the turnoff, about 25 minutes from home on the main road. We found out later it was a tour bus filled with tourists from Canada returning home. Luckily there were only 8 non-serious injuries...amazing…the bus rolled and went down a steep embankment, stopped by a clump of trees…a bit further up the road it would have gone over the side of the bridge down all the way to railroad tracks. Reports said traffic was help up in both directions of the busy road for six hours so we lucked out in that we got there toward the end of the cleanup.

We followed a moose on the road for a while and I got a pic just as it darted off down the bank. I wore shorts but brought my longs and rain gear...Jim wore longs. At the trail head it had cooled off quite a bit so changed into my longs. It wasn’t long on the trail we stopped to change back into shorts! We began to run into large stretches of snow.

It seemed to me that we got into Trout Lake fairly fast...almost two hours. Not for Jim…he seemed to be running on empty today and it got worse from Trout Lake to Big Fisher...a very steep climb. But he wouldn’t say ‘uncle’ so we kept at it. I took advantage of the times I waited for him to catch up to take pictures. Glacier lilies, bear grass, heather.

During one of his rest stops we ate lunch and began to feel raindrops…hmmm…what to do. Jim suggested that we turn around as the sky was now very black and we heard two load claps of thunder. But we were so close to the top that we continued. Because of the hour and the weather we knew though that we would not be dropping down to the lake anyway…it is extremely steep and rocky though we have been down there numerous times.

By the time we got to the top, and the trail down to the lake, the rain was steady so we hunkered under some low pine trees. After putting my light jacket on, I walked over to the snowy edge to look down on the lake and the water was so dark and murky, not its usual pretty shade of turquoise. As is so typical of mountain weather, the sun soon kept trying to come out and when it did the pretty colors magically appeared and I shot fast.

Time to head back down, and we were ready…just as we were approaching the trail head and the truck we met a guy coming up…kind of late but he was young. His rig parked next to ours was from Minnesota.

Left home                    8:10

Got to T.H.                  9:45

Started up                   9:55

Got to Big  Fisher         1:30

Started down               1:50                

Got to truck                 4:20  (1 hour, 30 minutes from Trout) 

Total miles hiked          13-14 miles      

Total hiking time           6 hours, 25 minutes


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Author info

Betsy Fulling Betsy Fulling In 2002, after a bout with cancer and wanting her energy back, Betsy Fulling began hiking with her husband Jim. Regardless of the weather they go into the high country every week - in eight years, she has only missed five times.

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moose, hiking, Trout Lake, Big Fisher Lake, Trail #41

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