Day Zero Storm Front


This morning I jumped out of bed at six am, amped to start hiking. My pack was packed, my dad just had to drop me at the Mexican border – I couldn’t wait to get going! But then I looked out the window.

It was absolutely, depressingly pouring. The weather forecast called for a 100% chance of rain every hour until late afternoon, with a high of 49F, snow down to 6000 feet, and a severe wind warning with gusts exceeding 50 mph. The storm was also expected to dump 2-3 feet of new snow in the Sierras. Brutal conditions in which to begin a 2,650-mile trek, especially in the southern California desert where hikers typically complain about 100-degree heat this time of year!

It was tough to do, but I decided to put off my start by one day to let the weather sort itself out a bit. My dad and I spent the day exploring the relatively sunny Salton Sea (150 miles to the east and 4000 feet lower) and reading increasingly encouraging weather forecasts for the mountains. Things look good for clearing tonight, so, after the slight delay, I should be on the trail first thing in the morning.

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