A challenging weekend, but the guys all survived it admirably! Really couldn't tell we had two first-time backpackers in our small crew...
Snowy trails on the way in were manageable. But camping on the ridgeline, the winds were piercingly cold!
Several opted for the Byrds Nest shelter for the night, and with a new fire-starter tip from a thru-hiker who was also there, we had a nice fire going in spite of the wet wood.
Those of us who camped out found mid-way through the night we were sleeping in igloos -- freezing rain completely enveloped the tents. One of the tents partially collapsed under the weight of the ice, bending and breaking a tent pole as a result... At least the tents provided shelter from the wind -- very noticeably less cold out of the wind!
Given the icing, for sake of safety we opted for a different hiking route out Sunday morning -- taking the spring trail down to Skyline drive and then hiking out Skyline drive (which was closed to traffic due to the conditions, and thus quite safe for hiking). Saturday's clouds/fog were clearing, providing some great views on the hike out!