It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten properly hailstormed during a hike, so we were lucky enough to reset that counter.
The intent was to hike to the Shelf Lakes, a beautiful backcountry hike in the Snowy Range of the Medicine Bow Mountains. Food, water, gear, early start, check check check.
In the Rocky Mountains, you always want to be off ridgelines and peaks before the daily afternoon thunderstorms. Today we got a little surprise with an early storm far before our afternoon cutoff time.
We waffled a little bit between turning back and waiting it out, finally deciding to wait it out.
We donned our rain gear, put our rain covers on our packs, and found a spot under some willows to sit and wait.
Three, count em, three separate hailstorms later, we emerged from under cover and started making our way up the trail.
As we crested the ridge between South Gap Lake and North Gap Lake, we saw a low, dark storm moving in and decided that the old saying "Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor" made sense here, and turned back.
It’s amazing to see clear blue sky in one direction, and bad news when you turn 180 degrees!
I Do Believe
We spent 30-45 minutes huddled under these short spruce scrubs while three different hail storms blew through. A storm would come through, we’d wait 5 minutes for the thunder to pass, then another storm would blow through.