Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Klahane Ridge Traverse

A stunning shoulder season traverse with rapidly accumulating snows soon to conceal all signs of the trail (at least up high ;). With the Hurricane Ridge Road closed (for visitor center replacement work) we had the place all to ourselves.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Above ~4700’ the frozen ground and snow made micro-spikes mandatory, but footing was sufficient to allow just poles with no need to pull out the helmets or ice axes.  We did the traverse clockwise, and  just below Victor Pass (north side of Klahane Ridge) we did lose the trail briefly.   Most of the time we could find the downhill edge of the trail, but soon it will be completely obscured by snowfall:


Our day began with ferry fun due to the Edmonds-Kingston run being down to one boat.  In spite of this we made good time from the Lake Angeles Trailhead and were soon catching glimpses of Lake Angeles below.


(By Nina Crampton)

Due to a thin layer of snow on the trail (with precipitous drops here and there) we donned micro-spikes at ~4700’ elevation.


(By Jesse Bengtsson)

A bit higher more clothing was needed…


(By Nina Crampton)

… made even more important on the Klahane Ridge Crest with winds gusting above 20mph and below freezing temperatures.


(By Nina Crampton)


Just north of Victor Pass (the junction of Switchback, Lake Angeles, and Heather Park trails) we entered the area where future snow accumulations/conditions will make avalanche concerns more dire.


(By Nina Crampton)

After crossing to the west side of the ridge containing First, Second, and Third Top, we saw wild rock formations…


… augmented by Thumb Rock and views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Almost to Heather Park…


… with the Heather Park Shelter’s very substantial foundation/fireplace just below, a short distance to the east (too bad the shelter is no longer with us ;).


A great day in the mountains in spite of low visibility/blustery conditions.  Our total time was ~7.5 hours on this ~4700’ elevation gain/12.5 mile traverse.  Select photos can be seen here.