Day three dawned with the weather much changed from the previous evening. The forecast had predicted stormy weather this day and the next, but it was a bit of a shock nonetheless.
The system was not well organized, so we experienced periods of heavy clouds, moderate snow, and gusty winds along with periods of patchy sunshine and calm and everything in between, constantly changing.
Here we are at camp packed up and ready to head out.
The dark weather and alpine terrain made for an enjoyable, surreal landscape.
The route for the day took us over the north shoulder of Mt. Foerster which involved a short, steep climb (about 35 to 40 degrees) of about 300'. Firm, refrozen snow required the use of crampons for the first and only time of the entire trip.
Steve is about to top out on the shoulder.
The shoulder led to a huge, gentle bowl where the visibility was very poor. The standard route continued along the crest, but we decided to go down into the nearby treed valley for protection from the weather.
We found ourselves in the beautiful, gentle valley of the Triple Fork of the Merced River.
By the afternoon the showers became scattered and large patches of blue appeared, so we headed up the valley to recon tomorrow's route and enjoy the scene.
The one or two inches of new snow over the old, firm snow made for great cruising.
The "Mid" held up well during the snow showers.
Our camp positioned us so that we could get back to the "standard" route at Post Peak Pass (longer) or the east shoulder of Triple Divide Peak (shorter). We could also skip the standard route all together and short cut west over to the vicinity of Red Peak.