This was to be a long nine hours hike, and the forecast was for storms in the afternoon. Based on my first-day pace, I anticipated hiking ten hours. Everyone left early.
All morning I walked through cloud and did not take my camera out. The storms arrived and the rain and wind were cold. During a break in the rain I put on my warmest clothes.
I use a stop-watch to keep track of time. At seven hours hiking, expecting ten hours total, with the weather turning cold, wet and windy, I started looking for possible spots to shelter. However there are few flat spots and it is all boulders and rocks. Putting up a tent was not possible.
What a relief to see a sign indicating the hut was 30 minutes ahead. I walked it in 8 1/4 hours.
I was put in one of the “winter” shelters. These are left unlocked all winter for hikers and skiers. There I met a young man from Colorado who is studying biology and thinking of becoming a vet. Two days earlier I had been chatting with a young man from Ohio who is studying biology and thinking of becoming a vet. The contrast between the two men was stark.