Winter came early for me this year. Went on an "easy" backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas just outside the Eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park along the Tioga Pass. "Easy" being on quotations because this was supposed to be a 5-mile hike in along a big lake with small elevation gain towards the end to get to some smaller lakes and an easy 5-mile hike out looping around the other side of the lake.
The weather forecast for our hike in the Yosemite area was "showers" and lows in the mid 30F. Not so bad at 8600', right? But we also got an update from the ranger that the spot we're going was going to be in the low teens (F) and windy. Against our better judgement, it couldn't be that bad if they were just having showers a thousand feet below. Forecast could be wrong, right?
Winds were pretty strong as we hiked in and we were forced to find shelter earlier than planned since the temperature was dropping and it was starting to snow already. Boy, were we in for a long night! We stayed in our tents for over 14 hrs, luckily the weather had calmed down sometime between midnight and 2am. We woke up to this gorgeous view the following morning. It had snowed between 6" to a foot in some areas.
Location: Saddlebag Lake, Lee Vining, CA.