before the main staircase became the premier high altitude sledding track in the world.
It's a blustery day up top. The high yesterday reached 35 degrees. The overnight low hit 21 degrees and it was 28 degrees and overcast at 7am observation. The mountain received about 2 inches of new snow overnight, but we had about 6 inches of melt during the day. Our total stands at about 8 inches of snow. The drifts are quite high with all the wind we received last night. I came up Alum yesterday afternoon and did not need spikes. The new snow provides just enough traction to get to the summit, but as always, I would recommend carrying a pair of Microspikes just in case you feel uncomfortable.
I had a fantastic hike back up yesterday after pizza time in town. The sun was bright, the snow was brighter and brightest of all were the smiling faces enjoying our treasured national park on President's day. It was nearly warm enough to go shirtless, reminding me of long summer hikes through the Greens. I got to Alum Cave feeling a little low on energy and met a group of young ladies who gave me some apples, peppers and hummus! It was like a mirage, especially in the Cave with that arid rockscape... even if it was all in my mind, it felt real enough. The quiet on the way up from the Cave is fantastic on these winter afternoons. All that could be heard is the building roar of wind around ledges, distant ravens and a placated heartbeat. All these little moments add up.