Forum Index > Trip Reports > Silent Lakes (Fisher, Arriva, Arches) (8/31 - 9/2/07)
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 12:06 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Dates:  August 31 – September 2, 2007
Party:  Matt, mtnmike, Billie B, Dicey, Yana

Day 1: Hike to Silent Lakes via Easy Pass
Day 2: Ascend Fisher 8040 and Arrivia 8215
Day 3: Hike down to Fisher Basin, ascend Arches (aka Little Johannesburg) 7945, hike out via Easy Pass

Silent Lakes Approach & Vicinity
Silent Lakes Approach & Vicinity
Silent Lakes Summits
Silent Lakes Summits

Highlights:
* The approach over Easy Pass was a lot of up and down and up again, but beautiful views and hiking up the green meadows of Fisher Creek Basin.
* Upper Silent Lake had an austere beauty in its stark setting of talus nestled between Fisher & Arriva.  Staying for several days, we got to see its many moods and aspects – cloudy or sunny; calm or windy; up close or far below; lit up gray, green, blue, or gold; sitting or walking by its shores in the morning, evening, midday, and night.
* We found viable non-technical routes up all the peaks, but they all included lots of exposed third class terrain, with brief fourth class sections.  Arriva & Arches also included much loose material, varying only by the size of the pieces – talus, scree, gravel, and dirt.  Fisher was a straightforward scramble up the ridge from the lakes, mostly 3rd class with one brief 4th class step.  Arriva was a long loose traverse, followed by several 3rd class gullies and one 4th class gully to the summit.  Arches was a rising traverse up meadows and talus on one side of the ridge, then an exposed traverse and climb up stadium steps and gullies on the other side.

Moods of Silent Lakes:
Evening & Cloudy
Evening & Cloudy
Dawn & Golden
Dawn & Golden
Morning & Clear
Morning & Clear
Looking from Fisher to Arriva
Looking from Fisher to Arriva
Midday & Sunny
Midday & Sunny
Looking from Arriva to Fisher
Looking from Arriva to Fisher
Shadowed
Shadowed
Swimming
Swimming
Reflective
Reflective

Historical Footnote (except it’s at the beginning rather than the end, so I guess it’s a “headnote” rather than a “footnote”)
The view of Fisher Peak from Easy Pass is the earliest image I can recall from the North Cascades.  When I lived in the Midwest, my family used to do classic summer vacations, where Mom and Dad would load my brothers and me into the station wagon and we’d drive around the country.  Somewhere around 1970, we visited Washington.  Oddly enough, my memories both of Seattle and of the North Cascades still seem quite typical of the area.  In Seattle, I remember only two things.  One was driving up a freeway ramp in a downpour of rain; the other was eating fish and chips on the waterfront.  In the North Cascades, one brother and I wanted to go hiking, so my dad picked Easy Pass from a tourist map of the park.  Well, the name says “Easy” doesn’t it?  Easy Pass wasn’t exactly easy for us, but it was a classic hiking-to-a-pass experience.  The trail climbed from forest to meadows to rows of switchbacks up a talus field.  (Dad sternly lectured us not to cut the switchbacks.)  The views opened up to show more and more peaks behind us, and then another whole world of peaks over the top of the pass on the other side.  The pass itself was a wonderful surprise of meadows and flowers after the barren talus.  My dad took a photo that hung on our wall for years afterward.  It showed a deep valley bounded by green meadows on one side and talus on the other, with a peak rising at it’s head.  That was Fisher Creek Basin and Fisher Peak.  This weekend I finally got to hike the valley and climb the peak.

Fisher Creek Basin, with Fisher, Black, & Arriva.  Silent Lakes is in the col between Fisher & Arriva.
Fisher Creek Basin, with Fisher, Black, & Arriva.  Silent Lakes is in the col between Fisher & Arriva.
Matt at Easy Pass
Matt at Easy Pass

The trip began, like every trip this summer, with an uncertain forecast for the weekend, producing a frustrating weeklong debate over whether the weather would be good enough.  We decided to try it, and successfully tucked the trip in between showers on Friday and Monday.

Day 1, Hike to Silent Lakes via Easy Pass

To get to Fisher Creek, we first hiked 2800 feet up to Easy Pass, then dropped 1300 feet down to the creek.  Along the way, we stopped for blueberries in the meadows and views at the pass.  Yana, the science teacher, explained that blueberry juice contains a pH indicator, and that’s why it turns from red to purple on your hands.

Blueberry Harvest
Blueberry Harvest
Blueberry Bounty
Blueberry Bounty
Blueberry Tragedy
Blueberry Tragedy
Easy Pass & Logan
Easy Pass & Logan
Easy Pass with Golden Horn & Hardy
Easy Pass with Golden Horn & Hardy
Descending toward Fisher Creek
Descending toward Fisher Creek

After descending to 5200 feet, where the trail turns south to follow Fisher Creek downstream, we found a very distinct way trail upstream.  We followed it for about half a mile, then just hiked the meadows among the creek braids.  Along the way, we saw a bear grazing on a slope above the valley.  Higher up the valley, the meadows turned to talus.

Hiking up the meadows
Hiking up the meadows
Hiking up the meadows
Hiking up the meadows
Berry-grazing Bear
Berry-grazing Bear
Up the endless talus fields
Up the endless talus fields
Hikers rising higher, clouds dropping lower
Hikers rising higher, clouds dropping lower

Circa 6000 feet, where there is a distinct step in the valley, we turned right to head up into the gully that leads to Silent Lakes.  As we ascended toward the gully entry, the talus became progressively smaller, looser, and dirtier.  In the gully itself, we climbed sometimes on one edge or the other, and sometimes right in the middle where the small stream had washed out the loose stuff.  (On descent, we learned that we could have bypassed most of the gully by going up onto the buttress on climber’s left.)  At the top was about 200 feet of snow, steep in places but just softened enough to kick steps.  By now, the clouds had closed in, and light sprinkles of rain hurried us to camp.

Looking up the gully
Looking up the gully
Top of the gully
Top of the gully
Snow at top of the gully
Snow at top of the gully

We found Upper Silent Lake nestled in a rocky bowl of talus.  By the near shore, there was room for several tents, plus plenty of blocky rocks for dinner seating.  The lake also had a cool peninsula stretching out into the water, and a smaller pool separated by a bridge of stepping stones at one end.  Lower Silent Lake was hidden in a deeper bowl below Fisher.

Upper Silent Lake
Upper Silent Lake
Smaller Pool & Outlet
Smaller Pool & Outlet
Lower Silent Lake
Lower Silent Lake

We set up camp and made dinner while the clouds shifted around with intermittent light rain.  We ended the day wondering whether the weather would close in or open up by morning.

Dinner as the clouds close down on us
Dinner as the clouds close down on us
Clouds shrouding Black Peak
Clouds shrouding Black Peak

Clouds closing the curtain over Fisher and Lower Silent Lake:

Mostly clear
Mostly clear
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
Cloudy
Cloudy

Day 1 stats, 8.5 miles, 4800 gain, 1300 loss, 6.5 hours.

Fisher Peak is below.  Arriva & Arches are on page 2.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10979 | TRs
Location: Going to Tukwila
Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 3:13 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sweeeeet! Nice work guys. I'm looking forward to shots of Lake 5972.  hockeygrin.gif

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
peltoms
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 1757 | TRs
Location: Worcester MA
peltoms
Member
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 4:31 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Silent Lake what a gorgeous location for a camp.  And though I have been to Easy Pass several times, I was too busy looking up to the peaks and glaciers to see how gorgeous Upper Fisher Basin is.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22513 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 5:42 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Beautiful pics Matt.  Cant wait to get in there.  I think Ill take the non easy pass route that was suggested in an earlier trip.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yana
Hater



Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 3943 | TRs
Location: Out Hating
Yana
Hater
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 8:25 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Excellent photos, Matt. Can't wait to see the rest of them. That gully looks just as unpleasant as I remember it!

Thanks for organizing a wonderful outing.

Here are a couple of pics:
On the way to Arriva
On the way to Arriva
Matt on Fisher
Matt on Fisher
Morning light at camp
Morning light at camp
Fisher summit
Fisher summit
Moat fun
Moat fun
An odd perspective
An odd perspective

...

A memorable quote from the trip:

dicey, on the joy of descending steep, loose scree:
"Just think of it as snow, except harder on your pants."

--------------
PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14138 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 8:42 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Even with a blue berry squished in between his teeth, MtnMike is the most photogenic person ever.  Well, besides my grandpa.

Looks like a wonderful trip;  fantastic photos Matt.  You have quite the eye for it.

I like your beard, by the way.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 2610 | TRs
Location: Right here.
Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 8:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sweet trip, guys and gals!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
pimaCanyon
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jul 2007
Posts: 1248 | TRs
Location: at the bottom of the map
pimaCanyon
Member
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 9:31 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
what a great TR!  I especially liked the story about your hiking Easy Pass when you were a kid and here it is how many years later, and you're back.  And beyond to Silent Lakes and more...

Silent Lakes have been on my list for years, but now that my main hiking partner is my pooch Zia, I'm not sure when I'll get there.  (No dogs in NCNP).  Your pix show it to be even more beautiful than I expected.  That's the good news.  The bad news is I should have gone when I had the chance...    bawl.gif

--------------
It's never too late to have a happy childhood
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Starjumper7
_



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1428 | TRs
Location: desk
Starjumper7
_
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 10:14 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nice pictures.  We did a similar trip to Silent lakes a week earlier and went up the same gulley to Silent lakes that you did.  You know, there's a 'trail' up to there if you go just a little farther up the talus past the gulley.  We also ended up abandoning the gulley and going up on the rock to the left, like you mentioned.  I'm impressed, you old farts get to go hiking with all those beautiful young ladies.  I should try that some day.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Captain Trips
Member
Member


Joined: 06 Mar 2002
Posts: 437 | TRs

Captain Trips
Member
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 10:48 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I certainly was impressed with Arches while camping at the fisher creek campground, disappointed that my map merely had an elevation for the name of the peak. What great climbing routes one could establish if they were young and aspiring dirtbag climbers.

Starjumper commented on the attractive group of scramblers in this group, hopefully not a reflection on Captain Trips and Dane, two model outdoorsmen who accompanied Starjumper on his trip.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2855 | TRs
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostThu Sep 06, 2007 11:16 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yana wrote:


A memorable quote from the trip:

dicey, on the joy of descending steep, loose scree:
"Just think of it as snow, except harder on your pants."

I don't remember saying that - BIG SURPRISE!
(what is my name again, btw? clown.gif )

Anyway,
Here are the pics I took that I liked :
black reflection
black reflection
matt arriva
matt arriva
fisher
fisher
fisher creek from arches
fisher creek from arches

--------------
I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostFri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Day 2 Morning, Fisher

At bedtime, the sky was overcast except for one star.  3am, still mostly overcast but the moon was peeking through.  6am, I noticed the sides of the tent were lighter, but was too lazy to open the door.  6:30am, Yana yelled for us to look outside at the sunrise.  I opened the door, but no light on the peaks.  Yana yelled to look at the other side.  Whoa, the east end of Arriva across the lake was lit up bright yellow.  I hurried into my clothes and got a few photos before the color faded.  It was still cold, so we went back to bed.  7:45am, the sun climbed over the crest and began melting the ice off the tents, so we got up.  9am, we finally departed camp heading for Fisher.

Dawn Reflection
Dawn Reflection
Breakfast Reflection
Breakfast Reflection

We climbed Fisher via the easiest route, just following the NW ridge all the way from Upper Silent Lake to the summit.

The ridge from Upper Silent Lake to Fisher
The ridge from Upper Silent Lake to Fisher

The whole route never got harder than third class, except for one fourth class step about midway, where we had to ascend a steep crack for about ten feet on the left of a yellow-lichen-covered face.  After more scrambling, the route ended with a narrow crest leading to the summit, 8040 feet, 10:45am, 1210 gain.

Departing for Fisher
Departing for Fisher
Scrambling over bumps on the lower ridge
Scrambling over bumps on the lower ridge
Crux is on the left (easier than it looks)
Crux is on the left (easier than it looks)
Climbers coming up the crux (okay, maybe sort of hard)
Climbers coming up the crux (okay, maybe sort of hard)
Nearing the summit ridge (Arches, Ragged Ridge, Kitling, & Fisher Creek in background)
Nearing the summit ridge (Arches, Ragged Ridge, Kitling, & Fisher Creek in background)
Traversing the summit crest.
Traversing the summit crest.

Views were great all around.

Glacier, Sinister, & Dome
Glacier, Sinister, & Dome
Goode & Stormking
Goode & Stormking
Logan & Arriva
Logan & Arriva
Silent Lakes & Arriva
Silent Lakes & Arriva
Arches & Ragged Ridge (Cosho, Kimtah, Katsuk, Mesachie)
Arches & Ragged Ridge (Cosho, Kimtah, Katsuk, Mesachie)
Golden Horn, Hardy, & Tower
Golden Horn, Hardy, & Tower

A couple hawks spiraled upward overhead.  You could even see the light glow red through their tails.

Hawk above the summit
Hawk above the summit
Hawks above the summit
Hawks above the summit

We stayed to enjoy the sun for 45 minutes on the comfortable summit...

Matt & Black Peak
Matt & Black Peak
Matt on Fisher Summit Ridge
Matt on Fisher Summit Ridge
Yana, Dicey, Billie, & Mike on Fisher Summit Ridge
Yana, Dicey, Billie, & Mike on Fisher Summit Ridge

...and then retraced our route back down the ridge to the lake, arriving at 1pm.

Mike on the ridge
Mike on the ridge
Descending the ridge
Descending the ridge
Return to Upper Silent Lake
Return to Upper Silent Lake

Fisher round trip, 1.4 miles, 1290 gain, 4 hours

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Starjumper7
_



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1428 | TRs
Location: desk
Starjumper7
_
PostFri Sep 07, 2007 4:33 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Captain Trips wrote:
Starjumper commented on the attractive group of scramblers in this group, hopefully not a reflection on Captain Trips and Dane, two model outdoorsmen who accompanied Starjumper on his trip.

No reflection, you guys are terribly cute, but just not attractive in the same way as nice healthy females.  However, being surrounded by said females, it might be hard to get to sleep.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSun Sep 09, 2007 1:41 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Day 2 Afternoon, Arriva

It felt very odd to just pass through our own camp in the middle of the day en route from one peak to another.  We stopped only briefly to filter water, so that we’d have time for Arriva.  Under the warm midday sun, the lake looked so tempting for a swim, but would have to wait till later.

Looking back to Upper Silent Lake & Fisher as we depart for Arriva
Looking back to Upper Silent Lake & Fisher as we depart for Arriva
Route to Arriva
Route to Arriva

We walked around the south side of the lake and up to the 7150 col at the west end.  From the col, we set off on a three-quarter-mile traverse across ribs and gullies to the far end of the peak.  We gradually ascended to about 7500 as we traversed ribs and gullies till we reached the penultimate ridge, dropped into a wide talus basin, and continued to the furthest ridge.  Our goal was the steep 7760 notch just right (N) of the large trapezoidal outcrop on the ridge, directly below the summit.  After scrambling up onto the ridge crest, we found a chain of three long dirty gullies on the righthand (E) side slanting all the way up to the notch between the east and main summits.  At the notch a steep narrow gully led left up toward the summit, fourth class but with good holds.  This led us over a steep point with a brief scramble back down the other side.  For the final step to the summit, we found a very wide ledge that circled left of the summit block and around back for an easy walk up the west side, avoiding junky steep stuff on the east side.  We reached the 8215 summit at 4pm.

Traversing across Arriva (Repulse & Black Peaks behind)
Traversing across Arriva (Repulse & Black Peaks behind)
Notch on the final ridge
Notch on the final ridge
Gully upward above the 7760 notch
Gully upward above the 7760 notch
Last gully upward to crest between east summit (right) and main summit (left).  (Note Yana in shadow)
Last gully upward to crest between east summit (right) and main summit (left).  (Note Yana in shadow)
Descending last point before the summit
Descending last point before the summit
Ledge around the summit
Ledge around the summit
Arriving at the summit
Arriving at the summit

The summit again had a decent amount of space to relax. Unfortunately, fire smoke (probably the Domke fire) had obscured all the views southward, and even some of north.  Off to one side of the summit was a separate cairn with a memorial plaque discreetly hidden inside.  Yana found a flat rock on which to recline.  In fact, Yana’s special talent seems to be finding a place to recline anywhere, even in a jumble of boulders.

Smoky View southward
Smoky View southward
Looking north to Graybeard, Little Tack, Golden Horn, Hardy, & Tower
Looking north to Graybeard, Little Tack, Golden Horn, Hardy, & Tower
Memorial plaque
Memorial plaque
Matt at the summit
Matt at the summit
Billie, Dicey, Mike, & Yana on the summit
Billie, Dicey, Mike, & Yana on the summit
Yana relaxing near the summit
Yana relaxing near the summit

After another 45-minute summit break, we headed back down, retracing our route to the lake.  For traversing the peak, I took a lower line, crossing below the buttresses at about 7100 feet.  The others took a higher line descending from about 7500.  Either way works.  The lower line is easier terrain but slightly longer; the upper line is steeper terrain but slightly shorter.

Returning on the circum-summit ledge.
Returning on the circum-summit ledge.
Over the point from the summit ledge to the notch by the east summit.
Over the point from the summit ledge to the notch by the east summit.

Arriva round trip, 2.8 miles, 1840 gain, 5:45 hours

By the time I reached the lake, the waters had already fallen into shadow.  I was determined to swim anyway, to I hurried out to the end of the peninsula and waded in.  The pretty red rocks under the water were very slippery, so I had to bend over and half crawl with my hands on the rocks till I got deep enough.  The water was cool but not too cold, but drying off afterward without sunshine was quite chilly.

Upper Silent Lake falling into shadow
Upper Silent Lake falling into shadow
Swimming out from the peninsula
Swimming out from the peninsula
Red rocks in the water
Red rocks in the water

Soon the setting sun lit up the nearby peaks, casting beautiful reflections into the small pool.

Black Peak sunset
Black Peak sunset
Fisher sunset
Fisher sunset
Shadow & Light
Shadow & Light

Still to come, Day 3, Arches & Exit.  So which will be slower, my exit hike or my trip report writing?

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22513 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostSun Sep 09, 2007 8:58 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Way to round out the report Matt. Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Silent Lakes (Fisher, Arriva, Arches) (8/31 - 9/2/07)
  Happy Birthday bad-daddio!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy