4AM came, dark and freezing, fragile shots of ice falling off my tent’s rain fly as I opened the zipper. My clothes hung icy and wet on my makeshift line. Dread filled my heart, I could not put these clothes on and hike for miles in the freezing morning air. Today we were scheduled to climb Mather Pass, known, especially this year for its “sketchy” snow and conditions.
I crawled out of my tent, put on my shoes and walked in the dark beauty of the early morning stars, the short distance to Lone Star’s tent. His headlamp was on, he was making coffee.
“ Lone Star, knock, knock” I said with teeth chattering. “ Can I come in?”
“Come in?” He asked in surprise as he opened the rain fly and ice sheets fell.
“ Yes, I’m freezing, and I need to talk to you.”
I explained my concerns and he said not problem, we’d wait until the sun could dry our things and leave later. He was also shivering and had not slept. He told me to get my bag and pad, gave me his hot coffee and in our sleeping bags, just the warmth of two bodies in the small tent was enough, we fell asleep.
The sun was up, It was 8 AM when I woke.
Clothing and gear dry by 11 AM and by 12 we were on our way to Mather Pass. The rest of the day was the slow and treacherous climb up and over Mather and down to a snow free spot on the other side.
There were about 8 other hikers in the camp site and it was comforting to share the last moments of the evening with companions. Very few miles today. Scarcity rations in effect with food.
I really have no pictures from today. I am sorry. It was , you know, just one of those days.