Date Index Person/Place Index Person/Date Index Place/Person Index Place/Date Index Time Index Home

John Guilford's Hikes

Heather Lake on 1994-04-10

Date: 1994-04-10

Location: Heather Lake

People: (including myself): Pam and Rick Kline

Start:		3:05
Lake:		4:25
Leave:		4:45
Out:		6:00
The first hike of the season! The day was overcast with some sun breaks, and I just decided it was too nice of a day to not go up into the mountains.  We got a somewhat late start, but the hike is fairly short.  I was expecting that we'd hit snow, so we started off with gaiters and Pam and I brought along our ice axes just for the fun of it.  For the first 3/4 of the trail we didn't see any snow.  The trail was in really good shape (for the number of people using it) with occasional muddy spots and several stream crossings.  By the latter, I mean places where there was water running over the trail, in which case one crossed on rocks.  The water isn't real deep, usually 1" or less.  Especially with waterproof boots, it was real easy crossing.  If I had sneakers, then I'd have to be more careful, but it doesn't look like there'd be much problem.  We saw a fair number of other hikers.  Many of them wore sneakers and some had shorts (I had on a t-shirt and sweatshirt which made me a little warm on way up, but comfortable to a little cool at the lake).  Initially, I felt overdressed.  Here we were with boots, gaiters, and axes on a trail that people in shorts and sneakers were using.  However, I got vindicated by the end. 

One unusual party was going down as we went up.  It was a family with several younger girls (maybe 12 year oldish).  One way carrying a towel in front of her held sort of hammock style, with something inside the towel but covered by the sides of the hammock.  There were two things sticking out of the top.  My first thought was to wonder what she was carrying in such an unusual way.  It looked like the way you'd carry an animal, but they certainly didn't look like they could have caught something.  Maybe they went up with their dog, and it got hurt? When I got a little closer I saw that those two 'things' sticking up out the top were rabbit ears.  It looks like she was carrying a bunny.  A couple people later in their group, there was someone carrying a baby bunny in their arms.  Weird.  They weren't wild rabbits.  My guess is that the girls got the bunnies for Easter, and wanted to take them along on the hike, even though that seems pretty bizarre to me.  The rabbits didn't seem very thrilled to be there. 

About 3/4 of the way up we started hitting snow with quickly became the dominant terrain.  It was well packed down by all the people walking it.  It seems that many of the people turned back when the got much distance into the snow (all the people with tennis shoes, for example).  We kept on going and the trail got smaller and less well packed.  "Aha!" I thought.  I was right to bring along all the snow gear.  By the time we got to the lake, the snow had gotten really nice and white and not nearly as disturbed as it was down below.  It was real pretty.  To my surprise, there was no one else at the lake.  I'd expected to find at least a couple other parties there, but I guess most turned back before the lake.  The lake was mostly frozen over with a smallish patch of open water near where it flows out.  I was definitely glad for the gaiters by then, as feet occasionally had the tendency to punch through the snow and since up to your shin.  We spent about 15 minutes there taking pictures and oohing and aahing before heading back down.  I again looked at the ridge between Heather Lake and Lake 22.  With the snow over the brush, it looked like it could be doable to do the traverse between the two lakes.  We clearly didn't have time to try it today, and we didn't have the gear.  I'd want some kind of overpant instead of just jeans, as I'd imagine the jeans would get somewhat wet and cold in the attempt. 

Soon after we started down, Pam decided that she probably ought to take care of a blister on her heal that had developed (she had brand new hiking boots) and we stopped and she put on some moleskin over a pad.  She also put some on her other heal which hadn't developed a blister yet, but was thinking about it.  Pam had on her thicker socks (one pair) instead of her thinner ones. 

The hike down was rather uneventful.  There were some mosquitos at the trailhead, which made me wonder whether we'd get eaten alive at the lake, but we didn't see any mosquitos anywhere else.  Thus, they were only a pain while changing shoes and the like. 

The road up to the trailhead (Mt. Pilchuck road) had some pretty good sized potholes which made the drive up (which was worse than the drive down) more of a pain. 

Date Index Person/Place Index Person/Date Index Place/Person Index Place/Date Index Time Index Home
Please send comments or corrections to
Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015