Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 137: Thunder Snow

9/5: 2419.5-2426.6 (surprise lake)
Miles: 7.1
Total trip miles: 2485.4

It's 34 degrees when I wake up, Rest Stop has been awake awhile and tells me in the last hour it's already hailed, rained and snowed. We have enough food and the decision isn't too hard, we're not going anywhere just yet.

We hear voices a little while later, Elfman and Mouth Gravy have turned around and are heading back to Darby. I tell them about the nice folks at Shultz Saddle and wish them luck. They've been waiting out the storm since we were still in Darby and as section hikers with a time limit they're calling it. It sounds like we made a good decision stopping low, they were only camped a mile past us but up high it sounds uglier. It's startling to see people turning around but we still feel solid about waiting and pushing on.

What do you do when you're low on water and it's snowing? Flip your umbrella upside down of course.

Light and fluffy thunder snow makes for excellent and very distracting snack time.

Around 11 I'm restless and it seems like there's a break in the weather. Right when we decide to finally leave the snow starts full on, complete with wind and thunder. It's so cold, there's no way we're walking straight into this nonsense.

It's another 3 hours before we try to leave again. This time we manage to pack up and peel out and while there's a flurry or two it's nowhere near as intense as the thunder snow earlier.

Climbing through burn, this is starting to feel familiar.

Look I can see more than just right in front of me!

Contemplating the snow capped mountains in the distance and pretending I can still feel my fingers and toes, did I mention it's about 34 degrees out?

We stop when we get to Surprise Lake, it has water, it's cold out and getting late and with snow showering us yet again it seems like as good a place as any other.

Surprise Lake, surprise you accidentally set up the tent in a wind tunnel? At least it's flat and I have easy access to water...

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