Cassandra: Right now, we're dry, we're warm, we're protected...We're alive...The last two days have been epic. We lost the trail for awhile the first time we hit snow, and it took us maybe 45 minutes to find it again. We played Marco Polo with our friends Tim and Rachel because they had followed our footsteps, but they went off into tons of directions! So we found each other again that way-quite a different version than being in a pool...on a hot day...hmmmm...
Jason and I were off at a different pace than they were, so we went ahead and met again while we were taking a break. We left them for our final time as we continued on to what was going to be an incredibly crazy section.
The trail was steep and snowy on the Devil's Stairway. In the snow I wrote a message for Tim and Rachel that read "Be Careful", but what it really should have said was "Turn Around!" Jason and I both had ice axes, they didn't.
We made it past that scary section and continued to "sidehill" our way over steep slopes covered with lots of snow. What was later to be a miracle in our eyes, we found one small patch of trail and decided to rest and eat...But not for long as it started to rain a little bit, and then all of a sudden start downpouring sleet. It was maddening as we scurried to set up our shelter. Lightning and thunder boomed outside of the tarp. Again, thank God we were on that part of the trail when we were.
It snowed about 3"-4" that night as our tarp sagged under the snow load. The next morning was awful as it was still snowing/raining, freezing, and it was just down-right miserable laying under the tarp. Zero motivation to continue on...But should we keep going, or try and wait it out?
Jason was my hero as he motivated me to get going-he actually got out and went ahead kicking steps and scouting, then came back to me. His confidence and encouragement along the rest of that sketchy section was a lifesaver.
We've only been traveling about one mile an hour! We're doing our best but it's slow going in the snow! But one step at a time...