13.5 miles of hiking • 3000' elevation gain • 1 night

Wandered up to McNeil Point in the rain with snow on the ground. My subaru couldn't quite make it to the trailhead, so we parked at the last major junction and walked the last 1½ miles each way to the trailhead. It was terrible out—raining and windy, hovering around freezing temperature, and very very strong winds. We made it up the climber's route right at dark, quickly dug out the shelter, and emptied the fire logs we carried in our backpacks into the fireplace. We closed up the shelter door by hanging a tarp and had a rather cozy night while it stormed heavily outdoors.

In the morning, we woke to 6" of new snow and enjoyed a couple excellent and long glissades on the way back to the car.

In retrospect, this was a dumb hike. The climber's route was iced up pretty solid and made the climbing fairly treacherous. Additionally, we didn't quite make the shelter before darkness fell because we didn't think the snowpack would be so unconsolidated and therefore didn't bring snowshoes, so we did the last hundred feet by headlamp. We were soaked from the rain and cold from the ~30mph sustained winds. It wasn't a problem, but we might have been in trouble if we had been moving any slower or started any later in the day.

You live and you learn.