The morning broke clear and cold, with temperatures at the house near 10 deg. F when Jeff picked me up around 8:45 and we drove one exit up the highway to the rest area off Rt. 80 on Donner Summit and headed north onto the southern slopes of Castle Peak. The snow was in great condition, although somewhat thin, and undulating terrain normally buried by blowing and drifting snow was a challenge for route selection. Dave met us at the parking area providing crunchy chocolate chip cookies as morning fuel for our endeavor. The night air had been very still and very clear, so a thick mat of surface hoar covered the slope, reflecting the bright sunlight back to us like a million diamonds.
Just before our lunch break, the weather become more unsettled and a thick cloud bank rolled in from the south
The trip back to the car was complicated by a series of stream crossings. Jeff led us expertly to thin snow bridges which we crossed with haste before they became saturated with the flowing water beneath.