I have been reading lately that (duh) there is a distinct relationship between the heat output of cities, and the current and short term weather. This, unfortunately, explains why everytime I head to the mountains, I get dumped on.
So I went up to near Granite Falls yesterday, to climb and hike into Three Fingers. This mountain, aside from merely having 3 fingers, has the North Cascades most epic fire lookout bolted to the top. In fact, when it was build in 1932, they had to blow the top 30 feet off the south finger to make room for it. One side it drops off 2000 feet, and on the other there are numerous ladders.
All this to describe why I wanted to hike in there. With the weather forecast readding "thundershowers", we finally hit the trail around 2:30, which is a very late start for me.
Thunder and Lightning through the trees. Near constant mist throughout. Flash... pause pause.. crackooom.
2.5 miles into saddle lake, 2 miles up to goat flats, 2 more miles into the base of the lookout. Unfortunately, with almost zero visibility, in a thunder shower, this is all broken into tiny sections. We climbed for hours, high slope traverses, cumulating finally in having to climb a free suspended Ice Tounge to gain access to an emergency Bivy. If we would have had one clear view of the lookout we would have made it, but it was not to be.
So began a truely nasty bivi. Rain, winds, and my buddy and I, each in our own Bivi sack (see Bibler), waiting out the night. I was soaked by the time I got in the sack, and though it is common knowledge that one should not bring down sleeping bags on wet rainy trips, this was unfortunately what I had chosen (out of 4 sleeping bags, I picked the lightest.). So we lay there side by side, in this howling storm. thinking about lightening. After a long night, dawn finally came, and with it what looked to be sun. No! it was a joke. the rain continued, with a few variations like rolling fog.
So we descended, slowly, pulling weird moves like iceclimbing short vertical bergshrunds just to gain short stretchs of rocks. A 5 hour rain hike out.
Since then, this evening, it has been nothing but creature comforts, ice cream in one hand, cat in the other.