Would I be too early in the season, and blocked by snow from communing with the Ancients?...
Timing was critical. My purpose for being in the area was to deliver scientific equipment, including an underwater robot, to western Nevada for a project with Aqua Survey Inc. This little excursion could not be allowed to interfere with my westward advancement. I intending to hit the trail head at 10000 ft altitude by 6 Am, and needed to be skidding back down the Great Basin mountainside by 10.
Imagine my disappointment when the first light of the day revealed that the trail disappeared quickly under hard snow. It was the kind that you break through every few steps up to your shin, and the trail itself was completely obscured.
After a half an hour it became apparent that I would put my delivery time in jeopardy if I continued to try to pioneer a route that might or might not introduce me to the kind old gentleman I was hoping to meet. I had to turn back. When I got back to the trail head, I soaked my feet in the creek for a bit, for a souvineer of the visit.