It started raining softly at first. The bigger clouds looked like they were going to stay south of us. We marched on along the trail, still a few miles from the lake. The drops got bigger and started falling faster. There were more of them. Then they got hard. Ice. We tucked under a big spruce. It didn’t matter. For a half-hour it thundered and lightninged and hailed like hell, pummeling us. By the time it subsided, two inches of ice balls covered the alpine landscape. In some places where the rain washed the hail down the singletrack, the ice balls were six inches deep. When we reached the lake we were cold, but also grateful the storm didn’t arrive before we left, because then we might not have gone.