I recently discovered ultra light backpacking, so am a newbie to this. I have been backpacking since 1983 however, just with heavy stuff LOL. On Tuesday I decided to do an overnight trip up our local mountain, Charleston Peak (11,918'). After an 8 mile hike I summited at 6:48 PM, and headed back down to find a suitable place to camp for the night. The North Ridge is very rocky, not much in the way of nice soft spots to lay. I found this spot on the crest of the ridge at 11,010', and pitched camp for the night.
This was only my third time pitching a tarp, I am still not able to get it nice and tight. Out of the 8 pegs, only 5 or so were all the way into the ground, the remaining pegs were only inserted 2-3 inches. The ground is very rocky. On those partially inserted pegs, I placed a large rock on the guy line to keep the line lower down on the peg to reduce leverage on the peg. Anyways I was awoke at around midnight to the sound of something hitting the tarp, and then felt something cold in my down sleeping bag. It was grape sized hail, it was bouncing off of the ground and ending up all over the ground under the tarp. Shortly after that the wind picked up big time and my tarp was snapping in the wind. Next it started to rain, really hard, like inches per hour hard. Water started coming under the tarp everywhere, pretty soon all of the ground under the tarp was saturated, and puddles started forming. Finally the wind ripped my tarp off of its moorings and into an adjacent tree. My sleeping back and Therm-A-Rest were quickly soaked. So I quickly packed up my wet belongings and hiked off into the night. What did I do wrong? Poor campsite choice?