Ooh, what a trip. I love knowing there's rain in the White Tanks, but I usually don't have the chance to hike in it. Today was different. A late start put me on the trail around 12:40. The first mile was cloudy and uneventful. Right around the 1st mile post it started to rain. I took a few minutes to adjust some layers and throw the rain cover on the pack. Even with the cool temps, the only way to keep from overheating was to unbutton my long sleeve and unzip my shell.
The rain was still coming down at the second mile post. The clouds really started to push their way in, and with the extra bit of elevation gain, visibility was a thing of the past. There was no anticipation for reaching the ridge because I couldn't see it. I was able to roll up there in no time. The trail to the summit was much of the same. Route finding towards the very top was easier than I had expected with all of the haze. I sat down for a minute on the north side of one of the buildings to shield myself from the wind. Someone thought it was a good idea to put two pairs of sunglasses in the already crowded summit jar, and I had a good old time trying to get one of the pencils out. Blah, signed my name, blah, looked around, blah, time to head down.
The summit trail on the way down was totally exposed to the wind and the rain which were coming at full force now. All I could think about was my Bassett Peak trip last month which didn't seem so bad anymore. After sitting down for a few minutes, my body lost all of its warmth. Going downhill made it feel even colder. Goat Camp turns into a nice stream when there's enough rain. My socks, shoes, gloves, and pants were completely wet. I knew I wasn't going to be dry until I was home, so every puddle became fair game for stomping. There were two bikers heading up near the Bajada junction. And all this time, I was confident that I wasn't going to see anyone.