My friend and I took off last thursday to go play in the trinity alps mountains over our Holiday weekend. We had intended our trip to last through Tuesday but got caught in a snowstorm Friday afternoon and set up camp to wait it out.
Information in the hypothermia article helped us to better monitor each others condition through the storm. We used our trekking poles to reinforce our tent against intense winds and blowing snow, and used our pan and lid as snow shovels to dig away the massive drifts taking over our tent. We shared clothing that did not gather snow and water to minimize what we dragged into the tent when we ventured outside. We were unimpressed when our steripen failed over 50% of the time on this trip. [edit: Via personal communication and trouble shooting with Roger, I believe our problem was most likely a combination of user error and the batteries, not the steripen malfunctioning. If your unit is sort of failing in the cold, warm up the batteries a little bit. ]
We hiked out during a break in the storm Sunday because we didn't have time or the equipment to finish our trip.
The Boulder Creek Trail out of Goldfield campground was in very rough shape. Down trees littered the trail, with stock stoppers every 1/10 mile for the first 3-4 miles of trail. The trail up to Lion Lake was mostly clear and easy to navigate prior to the storm. We came back cross country, and it was very dangerous. We fell many times trying to navigate wet, barkless trees.
the storm approaches
heading to the saddle between lion and foster lakes.
the storm is going to hit before I get to finish dinner. Sweet.
The storm hits quick and with intensity.
36 hours later we get a break in the weather and pack up our tent.
lots of dense heavy snow sliding on the northeast faces on our way out sunday.