This was a quick overnighter to the snow, Three of us, David, Greg and myself, met up in the Bay area and drove up to the Pinecrest area, in the STanislaus National Forest ( California). The weather forecast called for a 30% chance of precipitation on Saturday, sunny on Sunday. After someone almost calling it off, we went for it and the weather was great. We decided on a somewhat short hike in, sice we didn't have much daylight, and we had some new, unfamiliar gear to play with. We did a 4.5 mile loop, with snowshoes and one on crosscountry skis.
David was trying out his homemade pulk and some cross country skis; Greg was trying out my Tarptent Sublite Sil, and my comfy Exped Down 9. I was the only hammocker with my Warbonnet Traveller, BigMamaJamba in sil, 3s Crowsnest and my custom Javan Dempsey Quilt, with 3.25 inches of loft.
There wasn't a whole lot of snow. Some places were soggy, others crunchy, nothing too hard.
We decided to camp in a nice meadow, near a creek that had a bit of water running through the ice.
I don't think I can comment next to individual pictures, so I'll try to explain them here.
The pack leaning against David's truck, is my Osprey Hornet 42L, which surprisingly fit all my winter gear.
David was eager to try his pulk, which he was happy with, but decided to change a bit before the next trip; it mainly had to do with the PVC pipes hitting his butt. He was very happy with his good old Duomid as his shelter.
Greg borrowed some gear and really liked the warmth and comfort of the Exped 9. The sublite was a bit small for him for winter, as the condensation wet his sleeping bag.
We retired to our shelters at 6:30 pm and had a looooooong night ahead.
I had my tarp in porch mode for a while, but as we went to bed, it was getting colder than expected, so I pitched it down, and closed the doors. I rigged up a little suspension with pins and shockcord, for my underquilt. Prior to leaving for the trip, I could not find my Gossamer Gear pad, so I brought my Ridge Rest instead. I though I could get away with not using it, also because I thought the stiffness of this pad, would push the sides of the Crowsnest further away from me, which I did not want. I kept waking up every half hour or so with a bit of CBS, until FINALLY around 10 pm I reached down and grabbed the pad and wiggled it under me. After that I was out until 9:20 in the morning!!
We don't know how cold it actually got. I left one of my Gatorade bottles with water on the ground, and it was frozen, but not all the way through.
It was a nice quick outing, with plenty of time to set up our camp, make a fire, etc. David and Greg dug down into the snow to have nice vestibules, so they could step out of their shelters, instead of crawling.
I showed off my homemade noseeum snakeskins, and how easily and quickly I was set up and sipping hot cocoa while lounging from my Traveller.
Thanks for all your help and inspiration.