Sara has been telling me how awesome the High Divide hike in the Olympics are for a few years. I’ve missed out on a few tries, so when there was a high pressure system in the area I threw my sleeping bag into the truck along with too much chocolate and turned north. After a few hours on the road I slept overnight in the Toyota at the icy trail head. Got up at 4am in order to see the Olympics at sunrise. There was no moon and the stars were bright enough to see the ground by in clearings. The hike in was a little unnerving as it was icy in parts and I had my bear bell ringing to not scare any critters.
I had checked snow reports and web cams from a neighbouring (Hurricane) ridge and it looked like there would just be a few inches of snow and thus doable in trail runners. This ridge and trail had much more than a dusting, and turned into postholing a thousand feet below the high point of the hike. Someone had gone up the previous day so I followed his boot tracks until they stopped and turned around. I used my GPS to follow the hidden trail for another mile in an attempt to get a view of the Olympic Range itself. I made it to within a quarter mile but turned around myself as the snow and hill angles got iffy.
There were some animal tracks that crossed back and forth the trail, some looked like bunny tracks, while another set looked like cat tracks. Probably too small to be cougar but I put my sunglasses on the back of my head nonetheless. I hoofed it past the frozen lakes and finally down to the snow free trail. I rolled my ankle on a dumb rock and my hoofing turned into a limping gait back to the truck.
I took the ferry back to Seattle so I could steal a meal from Sara and snag a new midweight puffy from Feathered Friends. Sara obliged with some tasty soup and listend to me complain about rocks on trails and my footwear choice.