27 September 2013:
This morning we woke to real winter conditions with snow covering our campsite and tents. I was excited to be in the middle of such a white wonderland, but had no idea how difficult it would be packing up camp, filling water bottles and doing the usual tasks with freezing cold hands.
Once we hit the trail the snow continued to fall and my poor cold legs felt like lead. It took so much effort to walk I started getting worried about how I was going to climb all the passes we had ahead of us in these freezing cold conditions.
In the middle of the day we saw Filthy and Junko heading southbound down the trail. I thought maybe they had decided to flip flop Washington but they had decided they didn’t have the right gear for these conditions and were calling an end to their hike (unless an Indian sunmer was likely to roll in). It was so sad to see them heading south with their trail dreams coming to an end. It wasn’t long until we passed two more thru hikers, White Lightning and his friend who were the ones without rain jackets, tents and cold weather equipment. It was actually a relief to see them safe and heading out of the crazy conditions we were experiencing.
We decided to set up camp early while we were still at low elevation in the hope to build a fire and dry out some of our gear. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough dry kindling or wood to get a fire going, so we bunkered down with a plan to get up early and make a dash over Fire Creek Pass and Mica Lake tomorrow.