December 4, 2012 | Posted in:Uncategorized
The snow started to fall in October and I was getting slightly anxious for the impending snowboard season. I blame all the shredding flicks. The Dream Factory is my current favorite for the year, though I know I did miss a couple. Anyways, with the snow falling, the lure of the mountains was too hard to resist. So when I found a ride up to Rainier on the 27th, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. The weather forecast called for a fair bit of precipitation, though the snow level was supposed to be around 5000 feet. Making the weather ideal for a quick lap up to Muir.
We were greeted by a closed gate, completely nullifying the early morning departure. After over an hour of waiting, along with dozens of other like-minding backcountry enthusiasts, the gate finally opened, and we joined the procession up to paradise.
Instead of finding snow, we were greeted by a steady flow of rain. No matter though, the general consensus in the parking lot was that the rain would quickly transition to snow and everyone was in good spirits.
We were on a deadline (the closed gate really cut into our riding time), so we knew we would not come close to reaching Muir. That was okay, we were just excited to be out touring on fresh snow (well, slush at this point). Unfortunately, we were on the losing side of a race up the mountain, where the snow line was a considerable distance above us and continued to rise faster than we would hike.
Even still, the rain wasn’t so bad. We were in the snow and having fun. Then the wind picked up. The wind and rain combination was particularly enjoyable, managing to thoroughly soak us. Meanwhile, we were still climbing, and what I will account for as an early season mistake, had worn too many layers and were sweating.
We finally stopped; taking refuge behind a boulder that another group was also using to protect themselves from the elements. I looked down at myself to see a steady stream of water running out of my jacket. We all looked at each other and as the water seeped out of us, all we could do was laugh. We were absolutely soaked.
Though we hadn’t made it very far, it was time to turn around. Needless to say, the turns on the way back to the car were terrible. The snow was too wet and heavy, and we hadn’t made it to steep enough terrain to do much of anything.
That didn’t matter. We were drenched from head to toe, had hiked for seemingly no reason, and had a blast doing it. Unfortunately, I opted to not subject my camera to that much rain. I did try to take a picture with my phone, but there was too much moisture and all I could capture was a blurry haze of wetness. So, no pictures this time, you’ll just have to imagine. Try putting all of your gear on, then diving into a pool, and when you get out, you are standing under a shower, with a fan blowing in your face – I think you get the idea.