Well Folks, We made it home.
The hike was 6 miles, and 2 of that was on unbroken snow, we were packing it down about 10" to 1.5' along the way. My hip flexor on the right side is killing me each time I raise that leg, or walk uphill.
We got up to the lake (Completely frozen over... there goes the fishing pole and tackle weight...) and found a nice shelter there with a woodstove and a fresh supply of dried wood... Tired as we were, we stayed in the shelter that first night. Note: It got to about 36F when I checked in the middle of the night inside that shelter.
The next day we took our time and built a sweet snow cave... pictures at the bottom here. Spent about 4-5 hours digging it out under a good 13 foot bank of snow on the side of a hill, with easy access to the shelter in case it was too cold, but the lowest it got was 27 where my watch was hanging (opposite the entry door). We slept in it, and the only three problems I had were a very VERY light breeze across my face, and keeping on my mummyshaped big agnes pad... and the third problem was my big agnes pad. I have an insulated air core, supposed to be good to 0 degrees... well it wasn't. I had a blue pad underneath it, and everytime i shifted or moved, the air mattress got freezing! I mean, it WORKED, but was awfully uncomfortable whenever i shifted around. I probably could've done without the bivy, as i just kind of got tangled in it, and there was really no need for it.
we DID however break an aluminum shovel... whoops!
anyway, pictures here. enjoy!
(note, I'm the dude with the overly large beany... the other guy did most of the digging!)