Winter in Goldtown, California, is rarely harsh. But this year snow covers the whole area. No one can get out to pan for gold in the icy creek for weeks on end. Then the weather turns warmer and flooding threatens to wash away the town?s tents--including the Coulters? tent!There?s never been a winter like this in all Jem?s eight years. After the flooding, a new storm dumps two feet of snow on Goldtown, and it doesn?t look like it?s going to melt any time soon. That means all the wild critters are coming down to the low country looking for food to stay alive. It isn?t all bad, though--animals mean Pa can put out a trapline to make some money for the family.Jem goes along to help with the traps. But a sudden storm leaves them both stranded in the wilderness. What if they can?t make it out of the mountains and back home in time?