After visiting Zion National Park, drove to Cedar City and slept in the Walmart parking lot before heading west to Great Basin National Park. I stopped in at the visitor center, saw the rifle that had been found leaning against a tree for over a hundred years and while the Park does not require any permits, I did fill out an plan with the park staff.
From there I drove up to the trailhead and parked, there was basically no one else and the roads to the upper campgrounds were still snowed in.
From there I organized my gear, loaded my backpack and hiked up the trail to the upper campground as that was as close as I could camp. The hike up was rather uneventful, there were a couple of French tourists and some birds.
I set up camp underneath a picnic table, it made it easy to put my tarp over me and was one of the few places where the ground was both flat and dry. I had a dinner of boiled hotdogs and then crawled into my sleeping bag.
I woke up shortly after midnight and began hiking up the mountain. It was dark and the snow was frozen solid, I lost the trail once but was quickly back on track. On my way up and across the first big ridge, I slipped and whacked the back of my leg with my crampons and tore my snow pants.
Just before sunrise I was making my way up the peak itself, but a lenticular cloud formed on top of the peak and the wind really picked up. I tried to continue, but the wind and snow was too rough and so I turned round and headed back down the mountain.
As you can see, the peak was completely socked in, although it did clear off later in the day.
I hiked all the way back to camp and took a nap then just hung out for the rest of day.
I got up again right after midnight, put my gear on and headed back up the mountain. It was easier this time because I could follow my tracks from the day before, and it was not nearly so windy. I passed the point where I had turned around the day before and followed the snowed in switchbacks up. At the base of the summit block, I pulled out my ice axe, it was steep enough that I was going to need it.
I could see a few tracks preceding me from a while back, but otherwise it was snow covered. At about this point I started getting altitude sickness, my head was hurting and I was feeling nauseous. I stopped and had some water, my bottle had a thick layer of ice all round the inside, but there was still some left unfrozen.
I finally made it to the top, dug a small hole with my ice axe and waited for the sun to come up.
I watched the sunrise and how it slowly lit up the mountain range to the south before heading back down the mountain.
Going down, I could see Bald Peak in the distance, and since it wasn't too far out of my way, I decided to climb it before I went back camp.
On the top of Bald Peak there was a frosted in weather station and great views of Wheeler Peak.
From there I headed back towards Mt. Wheeler into the valley and from there back to camp. I decided to head out that day, so I packed up and hiked out passing more hikers and trees that had been carved many years ago by sheepherders.
I made it back to my truck and drove down the mountain, stopping in at the museum and then driving west on the highway until I got to a campground where I saw a bullsnake and watched the sun set on the peaks I had climbed.