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#19
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 9:33 am 
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Camped in upper Cloudy Pk meadows one August, it started raining around 5:00PM.  During the night it turned to slushy snow.  Est 4".  By the time we dragged ourselves out of the tent in the mid-morning it had turned back to rain.  STEADY,CONTINUAL, 24 hr non stop COLD rain. waah.gif waah.gif  Now, with strong gusty winds. waah.gif Packed up a soaked camp and headed out to Trinity via Suiattle Pass, Middle Ridge, Buck Creek Pass.

The term, "boot sucking quagmire" came to life as we plodded and sunk deep into trail muck that had previously been ground to dust by horses during dryer times.  My buddy looked like a flagpole as his poncho broke loose and clung only to his head.  I hate ponchos.

Our exertion and youth kept us warm.

At Buck Creek Pass someone had a fire going and gave us hot drinks.  We argued over whether to Camp there or continue.  We kept going, and going into the night.  Not sure how far it is from Cloudy Pk meadows to Trinity, but it's a haul under any conditions.

The trip was not completely a washout as we bagged 7DigitJacque  and Cloudy PK in fabulous weather as side trips in our classic Spider Gap - Buck Cr Pass loop prior to our "winter in August" finish.

How bad of weather have you had in summer?  How cold and wet have you been in summer?
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Brian Curtis
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 10:17 am 
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The worst stretch of weather I've ever had was during a 13 day trip in the Wind Rivers in Wyoming during September. For 7 days the highest temperature we recorded was 34° and the lowest 13°. We hit a strange weather pattern where it would be cloudy and snowing (and often very windy) during the day, but it would clear off at night and the temperature would plummet. Before the sun came up it would be clouded over again.

On a different 13 day September trip into the winds we were almost finished with the trip when the skys opened up in the afternoon. It absolutely dumped rain all afternoon until the sun went down whereupon it started dumping snow. By the time we got up in the morning we had nearly a foot on the ground. That storm killed some climbers in the Tetons, and may very well have killed some in the Winds if we hadn't stumbled across them that day, but that's a long story.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Dslayer
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 10:21 am 
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The first weekend of the high hunt is in the middle of September--so I guess this counts.  I got caught in the Teanaway in  a regular 'turd-floater' overnight and woke up without about an inch of water in my tent which I had unwisely pitched in a depression between a stand of trees. I hadn't paid attention to the weather and the day had been clear.  Rain soaked my bag and thus, me...fortunately, in the midst of a driving cold rain I managed to get a fire going-about the only thing I had done intelligently was protected my firewood so I stood over the fire wrapped in my bag-my extra clothing was soaked, too, so at least the bag could provide some insulation and I waited out the night. It's the only time I ever I was in danger of becoming hypothermic.

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"The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights is my concealed weapon permit."-Ted Nugent
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kleet
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meat tornado
PostFri Feb 08, 2002 11:06 am 
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Oh, man. Pappy, your story reminds me of a time long ago when I was young and brave (well, in retrospect, young and stupid). dizzy.gif My friend Jim and I were dropped off by his wife at the end of the Icicle Creek road, where we planned to hike over Frosty Pass, to Lake Margaret, Florence Lake and to Ladies Pass. She would be back in two days to pick us up. It was a beautiful August morning with nary a cloud in the sky as we cavalierly left behind our “heavy tent” and took only a rainfly to serve as our tarp.

We got as far as Lake Mary (around 6000’) the first night, after about 8 miles and 3500 feet elevation gained and did some fishing before throwing our bags on the rainfly under the stars. It was perfect! We had the place to ourselves and it was a beautiful night.

Well, sometime during the night the wind picked up and it started to rain. Shortly thereafter it began to absolutely POUR. We scrambled around and tried to rig the tarp up for some protection, but the wind and rain was too much for us. We grabbed our packs and headed for the cover of some trees where we huddled for the rest of the night. Usually, a small stand of trees offers some protection from the rain and wind, but not on this night. It rained so hard and for so long that the trees just passed the rain from the sky directly down our backs and it flowed in sheets across the ground. Morning was still a long way off and we were soaked and chilled.

That was as miserable a night as I have ever spent. We hit the trail at first faint light (in the light rain and mist) and made it to the trailhead in record time. Of course, we had no vehicle waiting for us, so we began walking and caught a ride with a fisherman heading for Leavenworth. I remember holding my backpack across my lap in the back seat of his car and watching the water drip out of it onto the floor.

I now have a nice, light, waterproof tent….and even raingear! wink.gif

Then there’s the time Jim and I got 4” of snow dumped on us in August at Tuck and Robin Lakes…maybe later.

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A fuxk, why do I not give one?
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polarbear
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 10:07 pm 
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Heh heh, it's 9 miles from Buck Creek Pass to Trinity--but setting up camp in the rain is no fun at all, what a choice to have to make.  waah.gif  lol.gif  I avoid the rain like the plague.  If you looked at the pictures I've taken, you'd think I'd done all of my hiking in Arizona, 'cept for the evergreens and snow covered mountains.  The worst trip for me was near Mt Adams where we turned around the 2nd day on what was supposed to be a 3-dayer.  It rained and rained and...  When we set up camp the first day we built a rather large fire with a rather big log (similar to the fire built by Craig at the last tarp social).  We glumly sat around the fire getting poured on, because it was more cheerful than climbing into the tent and listening to the storm.  One side of you would dry out, then you'd turn around and dry the other side, then... it was a pretty quiet hike out the next day.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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#19
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PostMon Feb 11, 2002 9:52 am 
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Brian, you must be way too familiar with the Wind River Range.  You lucky dog. biggrin.gif

Dslayer, your "turd-floater" reminds me of a long ridge trip I bailed on a day early .  Left my buds camped high in these really neat meadow hollows.  Looks like a perfect camp in good weather. That night a hurricane came in and by morning they were left sleeping in 2-4 inches of standing water. biggrin.gif

Kleet, nothing like a real tent and decent rain gear, eh?  wink.gif

Pbear, I figure better part of 20 miles that day, which would be a relatively easy 20 in good weather.  I'm with you on avoiding rain at all costs.  :angry:  Had way too much of it, not by choice, to go out into it intentionally.
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borank
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 11:05 am 
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I also avoid bad weather trips, because like Pappy says, you get too much bad weather anyway without going into it intentionally.
In late August a couple summers ago, my hiking buds & I decided to bag our west side trip due to iffy weather and do a loop trip in the Chelan Sawtooth.  The 2nd day out on the west side of McAllester Mtn, we could look west and see clouds oozing over the crest, glad we weren't over there.  Well, late in that day the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and it became clear that we were going to experience a paradigm shift.  It started snowing that night and continued the next day while we climbed over a ridge and bailed down War Creek.  We slogged through up to 8" for most of the trip out.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 11:48 am 
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Pappy, I don't know when your Buck Creek quagmire happened but there's a chance we got hammered by the same storm in the same region.

I was on a weekender to Massie lake on the Chiwawa one August in about 94 or 95. Sat was great in the morning, as we headed up the hill it was bright sunshine and we were stoked. By the time we arrived at the lake, there were some high clouds moving in, and then by afternoon lead grey skies and it begain raining around dinnertime. So much for our nice trip.

Then it changed to snow and snowed all night, woke up to 4-6 inches of snow, then it changed back to rain and began turning the snow into slop and raining really really hard. We figured screw it, we're out of here and bailed at 11 AM. The trip down the hill was one of those miseries we'd rather forget. We were soaked to the bone in 5 minutes from the wet brush and slush on the ground, and the hillside was slippery and sloppy and muddy, with lots of slip-n-sits in the mud and all the fun that entails.

By the time we reached the bottom of the hill we were so muddy, soaked, and ticked off, we didn't even bother looking for a footlog, we just stomped right through the Chiwawa (a creek that far up) since our boots were already completely waterlogged, why worry about wading? Once we hit the trail, we found ourselves hiking out on what looked like a whitewater run for hampsters, the trail had water running straight down it for huge stretches at a time and still, the rain was not letting up. That slog back to Trinity and the car really sucked.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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lopper
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 12:18 pm 
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Early 80's.  Sloan Peak. Mid-September.

After having been turned around a few times on this peak, we wanted to camp as high as possible to allow leisurely high-elevation fun on our 2nd day.  

We set up the dome tent at a small flat right next to the glacier margin on the NE ridge.  At dusk it began to snow and blow. The strong wind piled snow against the W side of the tent over and over during the night. In the darkness, thunder boomed and St Elmos fire sparked between our balaclavas and the rib-clips of the tent roof.  At the first hint of dawn we were out the door into the howling snow mixmaster. Old man winter had arrived and slammed the door on climbing season.  There was over a foot on the ground and plenty in the air flying everywhichway.  

Routefinding in the shrieking gloom was dicey, but we found a chute that beelined down to where we could hit the Cougar Cr trail.  Down to the treeline we went. Down to the level where snow became slush and then rain.  Relief.  

Now it was just a splashing muddy plod to the river crossing and the car. Like Mtn Goat, we didn't bother with footlogs. Walked right into the N.FK Sauk and forded the river, relieved that the snow-level was low. The water hadn't risen high enough to trap us.
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Brian Curtis
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 12:33 pm 
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I don't get enough opportunities these days to get out so when I can go I'm going no matter what the weather is. A couple years ago I was going with my nephew and the weather report was horrible. I mentioned this to him and he said "what's the matter with rain? That's what rain gear is for."  That's my motto these days.

Many years ago I was going on an overnight with my dad and a friend. As we picked up the friend it was pouring down rain (He later said he thought we were nuts, but he wasn't going to say anything if we didn't). We decided to try a trip on the east side. As we drove up to the TH it was still dumping just about as hard as it can rain. When we got half way up to Schaefer Lake the rain turned to snow. Our plan was to go over to D lake, but with four inches on the ground at Schaefer we scraped some spots in the snow and camped there. The next morning was one of the most beautiful I have ever experienced in the mountains. We went over to D lake with a foot of snow at the pass, but incredible blue sky. A great day.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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#19
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 1:32 pm 
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Early '80s, so probably a different storm than MtGoat.

Brian brings up an interesting point about hiking in the rain.  As a freind of mine once said, "you'll never get a photo of a rainbow in the mountains if you NEVER hike in the rain".

For me, I don't want to start a trip in the rain without at least a good forecast for the next day. I've been lucky enough to take off from work on short notice.  The problem is when you've planned for a specfic date with others and the weather go south.  Get soaked for days?  GO east?  How many times have you gone east and had just as lousy weather there?

Yep, it seems to be routine to "practice the balance beam" on an initial crossing and then just slosh right through on the way out. biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif
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IBEX
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 2:42 pm 
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My ankles were starting to bother me as the slope became steeper. So, I switched from the French Technique that was contorting my ankles, to standing on the front points of my crampons. The razor sharp blades sliced onto the rock hard snow as I neared the ridge crest. I just slightly dropped my heal to cam the font points into the ice like late season snow, and then swung my ice axe over the top. The axe bit into the hilt and then I grabbed the adze on my ice axe to pull myself up. As I peeked over the edge of the ridge, I was greeted with a stiff chilling southwesterly that blew back the hood on my parka and tried to take my balaclava from my head. Not wanting to loose my hat, I quickly, and with a great heave, swung my body over the broken down lip of the cornice. The fierce wind that stormed up out of the Chiwawa Valley carried a heavy wet sleet that slapped and stung my face. I battened down the toggles on my parka and then staggered like a drunk up the ridge crest. The whole way I was fighting for balance in the gusting snow storm. Near the weather side edge of the ridge, the thickening snow blew straight up and then circled back in the eddy on the lee side. I was buffeted back and forth, and fought stubbornly to gain the summit. Once on the top, I dug down in the fresh snow to find the summit register. I opened the cylinder and then read the cover, "Mt Maude - 9082ft". I signed-in, "Solo IBEX- 19 Aug 2000".

The next day along the Entiat River, I was clad in nylon shorts and sweat soaked T-shirt. As I neared the end of the sixteen mile march down from camp at Ice Lakes, a similarly attired hiker gestured toward the axe and crampons that were proudly displayed on the back of my pack. "Do you really need that stuff up there? I mean, it is the middle of summer.", he taunted me. I wrung the sweat from my bandanna and then I casually relied, "It's always good to be prepared." I couldn't help but to chuckle. biggrin.gif

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"....what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen...." -Rene Daumel
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#19
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 2:57 pm 
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What?  No award winning photo? biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  Good story.

I love the "are you gonna need all that stuff in the summer" line. It's right up there with, " how far is it, are we almost there"?  I usually lie and say the opposite. wink.gif
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polarbear
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PostTue Feb 12, 2002 7:34 pm 
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After reading Brian's story, I have to say that even though I'm a fair weather hiker, some of the most dramatics scenes are to be had right before, after, and yes even during a storm.  While I've never set off on a hike in the rain, I've had a dubious looking hike turn into something grand when the clouds started breaking up.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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