Charmed by Rampart Lakes, and fascinated by the heights above, I wanted to go back and climb the ridge to see the view. Although the weather report said “partly cloudy, 30% chance of rain” I figured that gave me 70% chance of dry weather, so up I went.
My plan was to ascend to the ridge above Rachel Lake, then turn right and ascend the ridge to Alta Peak. Then I would descend to Lila Lake, camp there, and perhaps climb Rampart Ridge the next day.
As I passed Rachel Lake it started to rain lightly, and as I neared Lila Lake it was coming down pretty hard. So I decided to set up camp and wait for a break in the weather. Learning from the previous trip, I brought my tent rather than my hammock, so I could at least set it up and jump inside quickly. Unfortunately it is not much roomier than the hammock: there was just enough room for my sleeping pad, and I could not really sit up.
So I sat in my tent all afternoon, then went out in the rain for a while to make dinner, then went back inside. It rained all night, and was still raining lightly in the morning. I had about a pint of water in the tent (I guess it was coming through the walls). The mountain above was still shrouded in thick clouds, so I decided to just head on home.
As I descended, the trail got dry in spots, then completely dry. I wonder if it even rained down at the trailhead. But I did have a pack full of wet tent, clothing, sleeping bag — everything.
I will have to come back when there is a forecast for clear weather.