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Sierra Alive

Nighttime, October 29, 1992, Desolation Wilderness. This night the sounds outside changed. If it was snow, it was not the big soft flakes that fall quietly without notice, but rather a pattering all night of tiny granules. Morning. High winds and the Sierra's first blizzard of the season. When morning dawned, the pattering sound was quiet. I looked outside and saw snow falling everywhere. The mountains were not even visible and I could barely see the distance across the small lake. This was the day we were to have packed out, now with snow and all. The winds became fierce. After we had organized everything inside the tent, we prepared to meet the "out of doors." With snow falling quickly, we headed up the trail for our long journey out. Immediately, the snow worsened with high winds blowing it everywhere making visibility impossible and the drifting so deep we'd often sink to our waists. A few times I'd step and fall head over heels, but more often Pat or I would fall backwards into the snow. An exhausting and time-consuming stand-back-up process would follow. Shortly, we lost the trail and nothing looked familiar.

got to rain got to earth got to clouds got to snow
got to night got to wind got to hands got to fire

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