After a longer break on top, we debated backtracking to Isolation Lake, or exploring the long, but wide, grassy mellow East Ridge of Mahana, deciding on the latter. The upper 2/3 of the descent allowed for intermittent easy jogging, but as we neared treeline, it was evident returning to the trail would not be a slam dunk, as there was a ridiculous amount of deadfall from the Ouzel fire that ravaged the area in 1978. In retrospect, we should have continued along the ridge further, but with all the rotten fallen trees to negotiate, we were anxious to get on the trail, so made a beeline for it just above Ouzel Lake. Though it looked close, the slope was longer, steeper and looser than it first appeared and negotiating the fallen trees on a loose ~25 degree slope was a bit more difficult than it appeared from above. This section was really slow and somewhat tedious.
After what seemed like forever, we were back on the trail and though it was still another ~5 miles back to the car, I felt really fresh and relieved to be back on cruiser terrain. It was a quick and easy run out, finishing at 12:10pm, with the sun actually making an appearance toward the end.