It's a gorgeous, snowy day up top. The high yesterday reached 27 degrees. The overnight low was 18 degrees. It was 19 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received an inch of new snow, hopefully a sign of more to come. There is an inch total up top and the trails are in good shape with fresh snow for traction. There are still some slick spots of black ice, but for the most part the trails are a pleasure. Keep an eye on the Park Service's twitter account for road information!
Last night was perfect. I sauntered around the mountain and set down my sleeping bag off trail hoping to meet some of my neighbors. The lingering clouds created an inversion cap over Gatlinburg, blocking out the perpetual hype of civilization and leaving a spectacular starshow for me to enjoy. 19th century entertainment. The fresh snow reflected the moonlight with an otherwordly glow and come to think of it, it may as well have been another world. It bears little resemblance to life in the valley. I felt like a ghost wandering around, listening for my fellow night creatures, revelling in the solitude and snowy perfection and the quiet expectation of wild encounters.