The next day we started back down the trail following back along the same route we had come the previous day. Again 8.2 miles with elevation changes of 2800 ft up and 1725 ft down. The climb back up wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating. It wasn’t very steep, but it still took some effort. Along the way, I started noticing the way the weather was feeling and began to think that it felt like snow. Once we got to the top of the pass, I was able to look around and see it was snowing on some of the other mountains out on the horizon. I told Wendy it was going to snow that night.
When we pulled in to fifty mountain camp, we were the second group. The campground had 6 sites. This was the first time we weren’t the first group to get into the campground. When we had stayed here earlier, we had found a really nice site, but someone had already taken it. It was overcast and cool. Wendy and I set up the tent right away, and then head down to the bear pole to hang our smellables. Our food we had left here from the previous day was still there. There were some M&M’s that we had left in there that I was excited to see. It began to rain and snow on us as we hung our bear bags. We were pretty tired and headed back to our tent hoping this was a short storm that would blow over. As we laid in our tent, we had to get into our warm clothes as it began to cool off even more. We mostly had rain that afternoon and evening. It started round 4PM. By 7:30 PM, it was still precipitating. Wendy and I both didn’t want to get out of the tent where we were warm and dry, but we needed to eat.
We put on our rain gear and cooked our supper. The couple from Washington that we met the previous night was just finishing up their meal when we got to the food preparation area. The lighter for my stove wasn’t working. Thankfully they let us use their lighter. We cooked our supper quickly and ate. Afterwards we hung our bear bags and went back to the tent. On the way back to the tent, we could see that where we were supposed to go tomorrow was already getting snow on it. We spent a lot of our time napping and reading while being stuck in the tent that day.
Some time during the night, the rain turned to snow. We woke up to a strong blast of wind that had dropped some heavy snow off a tree and onto my tent causing the wall to fall in. I had to knock the snow off my tent from the inside. From then we had to start considering that our trip might need to be altered. What ever this storm was that came in, it was big as it had not stopped precipitating for 12 straight hours now.