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Trip Report

Heather Park — Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017

Olympic Peninsula

My good friend from college has been working out at Kalaloch all summer and she was able to take a weekend to come see me for this hike. 

Because of an incident involving two mice, my car, and a 3am trip to WalMart in Port Angeles for traps, we got a later start than anticipated. Setting out at 9am, the clouds that were supposed to burn off overhead loomed over us as we climbed through the forest, and at one point we realized we were climbing through a cloud. 

We made good time to Heather Park, and when we got to Heather Park camp, we sat down for a snack and re-evaluated the day. I wanted to do the loop, which included Klahhane Ridge and Lake Angeles, but I was a little concerned about the heavy clouds and what I realized was sprinklings of snow on the ground. The rangers at the WIC had also told me that the Klahhane Ridge section is a little more like a scramble path. 

We ultimately decided to press on, and reevaluate at a junction with the Klahhane Ridge trail, which was 1.5 miles away. We never got there, though. From the saddle near Second Top, the trail descended sharply into switchbacks and disappeared, and though the clouds had lifted a bit, they set in pretty good while we stood there and discussed whether to continue. We were both chilly, and already wearing all the clothing we'd brought. We knew we'd be able to navigate the scramble route, but without a view it seemed like it might not be worth the risk. Plus, a sign at the trailhead mentioned hikers losing the trail in the fog or in the dark, which didn't sound like a great way for our friend-reunion to go. 

Since it was 1pm and I was hiking for work, I thought the safest option (given conditions and our (my) comfort level) was to turn back. So we did, descending quite quickly back to the trailhead. 

My phone died quite quickly this day, so I don't have photos from this trip, but because it was so foggy, there wouldn't have been much to report anyway!

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Bob and Barb on Heather Park

Oh to be young again! :)! You were again a very busy young lady! What was your mileage total for all your Olympic hikes?

Posted by:

Bob and Barb on Sep 22, 2017 09:54 PM

Anna Roth on Heather Park

41.3 this time around for mileage, but it was more the elevation gain that got me -- on top of doing Storm King and Cascade Rock in the same day, I had also done Burroughs at Sunrise on Sunday, and then the Heather Park trail got to me. My knee started hurting on the way down, and I went to the doc on Friday...turns out I have patellar tendonitis! Too much downhill!

Posted by:

Anna Roth on Sep 25, 2017 12:33 PM