Day four started pleasantly enough with thin high clouds, plentiful sun, and light wind.
We headed downstream about a quarter mile to top off with water for the day at this water hole.
The weather was somewhat encouraging, but with a dark shield slowly moving in from the north and the forecast of a sturdy low pressure system moving through today, we decided to take the direct route up to the east shoulder of Triple Divide Peak and bypass the Post Peak section of the regular route.
We headed up to the shallow notch just left of center and then on up the broad ridge to the left.
Glide cracks and avalanches were common sites on steep granite slabs. We gave them a wide berth for sure.
The scene on top of the broad ridge was sublime.
The east shoulder of Triple Divide Peak was easy to cross. We were able to skin to the top and ski directly off the other side. Just east of the crossing the terrain was much more rugged.
The trip from the east shoulder of Triple Divide Peak and the south shoulder went pretty quickly with a shallow traverse and a gentle climb. Here's Steve about midway between the two shoulders.
The ridge south from Triple Divide Peak was also easy to cross here, but was dramatically steep and tall for many miles south.
The weather came in pretty hard as we descended from the south shoulder with poor visibility and strong winds, so we decided once again to head down to timberline to find shelter.
Once we found a nice spot we proceeded to set up the Mid. Surprisingly the weather improved and we started to second guess our decision to bail out. We used the quiet spell to fortify the mid with tall walls and plenty of snow weight on the edges.
No sooner had we completed the fortification than the weather deteriorated sharply. Moderately heavy snow with strong, gusty winds forced us into the Mid, where we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening. We were no longer second guessing our decision!
I poked my head out at one point to survey the situation and snapped this pic.
The wind and snow battered the Mid well into the night, but as morning approached the weather seemed to come in shorter bursts. The Mid held up well and we slept cozily.