We shoveled before we went to bed, and twice in the night, but when we woke up there was less wind and the snow was falling gently. It was still completely white out, but we were optimistic of it breaking.
A couple hands of cards later, we had more visibility then we had had in days.
Oh Yeah, We Did a Lot of Shoveling!
One Mostly Buried Wand, Others Gone till Spring
There was no hesitation on any of our parts about getting the (expletive) out of there when the weather finally broke.
Joy in the Sun
Above Whittier, Straight Shot to Town
Maybe next year! Not going out there ever again if the weather is calling for rain and snow!
Day two began in pleasant white out conditions...ie no wind and just a soft sprinkle of snow. With zero visibility the obvious thing to do was hang out and wait...
Throughout the day the snow began to accumulate and we shoveled, listened to music, and played scrabble on my iphone. Things were pretty good for being tent bound. The visibility did not improve.
Day 3 began with more shoveling, and increased wind and snow. The berm around the tent became thigh high on Ryan. It continued to be blindingly whiteout and we started to consider our options.
Ryan with Heather Peaking out the Tent
All I can say is that I am so thankful that I was with people I really like, because a tent is not a large space after a few days.
Heather, Ryan, and I
We shoveled all night and into the morning of day four, and then shoveled some more. There is a strong snow shoveling theme to this trip. The wind aided the snow deposition and soon we were having to terrace the berms around the tent because the walls got too high.
The batteries in my iphone had died back early on day 3, and I really wished I had brought any non digital form of entertainment. Ryan and Heather had arts and crafts time with the maps and made a deck of cards out of the white borders. Note to self: Don't do glacier trips without back up entertainment for tent time.
I think after 3 solid days in the tent we were all feeling a little stir crazy.
This was the first trip I have done with a Delorme In Reach paired with a small Samsung tablet, it works on the Iridium satelite system and we were able to send and receive messages. My Dad is the real Tech geek in the family and thanks to him we were able to get weather updates, it was awesome (thanks Dad!). There was supposed to be a break in the weather the next afternoon, and we all agreed on a retreat as soon as we could.
Rapheal drove Heather, Ryan, and I to Whittier (thanks little buddy). We intended to get up on the Whittier glacier and then traverse over a bunch of other glaciers and eventually pop out 50 or so miles away at Ptarmigan Lake.
We were all really psyched that it wasn't raining when we started skiing up out of Whittier. The clouds were hanging at about 1500 feet, and we were feeling optimistic.
We traveled a couple miles before the white out enveloped the glacier, its really nice up there with good visibility.
The weather eventually turned from white out, to snowy white out, and we decided to stop at about 3,100 feet, and 6 miles from Whittier on a nice bench.
It was pretty shocking how heavy a four season tent is after I have been running around with a mega mid and single wall 2 person no frill tent. I debated hard about bringing a 3 season tent, but seeing how the 4th season for tents is winter, I'm glad we ended up bringing the red beast.