It’s very interesting that just about everyone opted to go up the trail to the cabin. Remember in that scenario I said the trail was fairly steep. Going up a steep trail and even though it is semi packed, with each step you are going to sink into the snow a few inches. This is very demanding and inevitabley you are going to start to sweat. As the temperature drops with nightfall, each time you stop to rest you are going to get chilled. If you don’t make the cabin before you are entirely exhausted, your in big trouble. Except for the very fit I’am sorry to say this would be my last choice.
A lot of this depends on present conditions. If your getting cold and the snow is swirling about, the best thing to do is build a fire, build you a little nest and stay put. This is what is advised by most survival and search and rescue teams. The most important and critical thing to do is stay dry and warm. If you are having trouble getting a fire going, take a few small branches and dip them in the gas tank. In extreme conditions when every thing else fails, torch the entire sled and cover it with branches. So what if it’s a $10,000 new sled, what’s your life worth. If you don’t have any matches just pull the spark plug, sprinkle a little gas around it and pull the starting rope.
In my situation I opted to walk out even though it was fairly cold I was dressed warm, it was downhill and no swirling snow. I didn’t try to hurry and I knew that I could stop and build a fire if the need arose. I also chose this option because nobody knew I was up there and if I had gone to the cabin I might still be there.
There are a lot of variables in these situations but as I said before the most important thing is to keep your cool and stay dry and warm.