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!