From the thread on using fleece in the backcountry: "Being out in cold continuously wet weather for days on end does not sound like recreational Type 1 hiking fun to me! Sounds more like work or an endurance journey where circumstances force total disregard for conditions or short term forecasts. Learning when not venture out into the wilderness should be part of the basic UL skill set too."
I used to feel the same way. All of my early backpacking experience was in Yellowstone and the Rockies, where it's usually dry and storms are short enough to be waited out. This makes low pack weights easy to achieve.
Then I moved to the Denali area and had a rude awakening. As the jet stream shifts north around the solstice, it brings wet weather into Denali. My first summer, where I worked outside all day as a hiking guide in Kantishna, it started raining just after 4th of July and rained every day for five weeks, with highs in the 50s. (My other summers weren't as wet, but pretty close). I had to be outside every day for work and so was forced to deal. Turns out, if you wear the right clothes, get over some mental barriers, and develop new skills, there are many pleasures to be gained: the way that foggy air dampens some sounds while amplifying others, the play of mist through valleys and around peaks, the richness and depth of colors. These skills carried over well when I started wintering in Oregon.
During my summers in Denali and winters in Oregon, if I'd decided not to go out in wet weather, I'd have spent most of my days off inside. I hate to think how many wonderful trips and memories I would have missed.
So, fellow wet-weather adventurers: what techniques, mental skills, and gear do you use to not only get out during cool, continuously wet weather, but actually enjoy the experience?