Of course I wanted to turn around, but curiosity drove me forward. By the time I broke out of the forest, I was vaguely following my GPS track along increasingly steep grassy slopes that were flanked by sheer cliffs. It was still raining, and the grass was wet and barely clinging to the oozing mud that coated the hillside. Each step was incredibly unnerving, as I edged the shredded sole of my Hokas into the mud, drove in both poles and gritted my teeth at the prospect of slipping. If this had been a snow slope, there's no way I would have traversed it, and instinct told me the grass was just as slippery and the possibility of sliding hundreds of feet to my death just as likely. Still, I wasn't convinced that the objective danger was as bad as I perceived. Mostly I continued forward because I was more scared of turning around.
Eventually, after careful analysis of my GPS screen and stubborn adherence to the invisible "route," I connected with a faint actual trail that became more defined as I neared the col. The above photo is the only one I took during this section, long after I'd connected with the good trail. Imagine those slopes with no flat platform on which to rest your feet. Brrr.