The weather forecasts for the weekend have been dismal, so when the sky is blue this morning I decide to see if we can take advantage of whatever window the weather might leave open for us. Mark and Kate agree to join us. It looks pretty good going up the canyon, though there’s a dusting of snow on the hillsides. The river crossing looks really cold, so I attempt an intricate rock-hopping route, made possible only by my two ski poles. Mark follows me, Ann plows straight across, and Kate hops halfway then gives us and plunges in. We’re all thankful for some warm sun on the other side. But it doesn’t last. We set up two routes (Battle Axe 5.9+ and Ogre 5.10a), when it begins to graupel on us. Before this weekend I would have said it started snowing, but being in the company of an atmospheric scientist (Kate) improves our understanding of the situation. We’re in the base of a cloud where the water is crystalizing into little pellets that pelt & melt on the skin. It’s facinating, but not very comfortable climbing. We all get up both routes, then bail perfunctorily back across the river and down the canyon to Coopersmiths, where our sprits recover fully with a good meal and fine microbrew.