It's another brisk, clear day up top. The high yesterday reached 32 degrees. The low was 13 degrees. It was 18 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday and there was a bit of melt with the abundant sunshine we received yesterday. There are about 4 inches of snow left up top, but most of the trails are packed down. It looks like another great, sunny day, so get out there and enjoy it!
Yesterday, I skipped down the mountain with the joie de vivre of a kid who just had school cancelled. I figured if fate was going to be kind and reward me with a(nother) day to remember, it'd be today. The temperatures have been consistently cold and it was supposed to warm up soon, so yesterday was my golden window to see Rainbow Falls totally frozen. I can't depend on the weather to bring me a bobcat, fox or bear sighting, no matter how silent I like to pretend I am tiptoeing around the mountain in my slippers in the dusklight, but a frozen waterfall is a surer bet. I can try to describe it, you can look at the photos, but there is nothing compared to the essence of being there. It is the kind of thing that makes your mouth hang open, speechless and dumbstruck and enraptured.
A big thanks to Larry for the coffee gifts and for taking down some postcards to mail to my beloveds! There is no blog without caffeine. That is not a threat, just a fact.
There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading -- that is a good life. Annie Dillard
It's another brisk, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 24 degrees. The low got down to negative 2 degrees. It was 13 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday. The snowfall total is still around 6 inches total. Things are supposed to warm up here over the next few days, so expect some thaw/refreeze action on the trails. It should be a wonderful day to be out. Enjoy it!
The fresh, untraveled snow gave the woods here a lovely, untamed quality. As I was walking through the powder on my evening rounds, I meditated on how lovely the contrast is between the abundant, green tunnel woods of summer and the stark, subtle tones of winter. In winter, these woods are like a haiku. There is not much substance, but they are hinting at the interconnectedness of all things. It is up to the reader to put these clues together. Like a master poet, Nature continually astounds - especially when you smugly begin to think you have seen it all. There is no such thing, this classic is constantly reinventing itself.
seems like everywhere i go, the more i see the less i know. but i know one thing, that i love you. i love you, i love you, i love you.
It's another brutally cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 18 degrees. The overnight low got down to negative 12 degrees. It was negative 8 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received 3 inches of new snow, bringing the snowfall total up top to about 6 inches. The trails are sure to be in decent shape with fresh powder, I would definitely recommend some sort of snow pants and gaiters, but spikes and snowshoes would be overkill. There are few slick spots with this much fresh powder. The low temperatures expected over the next few days should keep the powder well intact. The roads are sure to be a mess, so please have patience as the Park Service does their best to get them open. You can check on their status on the Park Service's twitter feed.
I had a great run down to Rainbow Falls yesterday. The powder was fresh, it was like running in sand... on your own private island. The quietude was stunning, I am always a little shocked by how few take advantage of this marvelous time to be in the park. It takes a few moments to adjust to the cold and quiet and purity, but once you do a calm settles over your mind like a heavy fog. There is nothing to focus on but your steady breathing, quick footfalls and ever changing snowscape surrounding you. It is impossible not to feel good after exercising in these harsh conditions. Endorphins are a beautiful thing.
I've heard rumours that the Falls will freeze solid with 4-5 days of sub 25 degree temperatures and we've been nearing that threshold. When I arrived, I found a huge cone near the bottom and a few serious icicles hanging from the top. It had not yet frozen solid, but with last night's crazy cold, it may have today. It would be well worth the 2+ mile hike up to check it out!
it's a hammer of justice. it's a bell of freedom. it's a song about love between my brothers and sisters all over this land.
It's a gorgeous, blustery day up top. The high yesterday reached 27 degrees. The overnight low dipped down to 13 degrees. It was 15 degrees and lightly snowing at 7am observation. The mountain received another trace of snow and our total is still at around 3 inches. The mountain is due to get another few inches throughout the day, so expect snowy glory if you hike up today! The fresh powder should make for adequate traction. Enjoy!
My stint on the rock is over half complete, it is time to break out of this spectacular present and let my thoughts meander towards the future. The unknown is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, a mindspace of danger and insecurity that builds fortitude. The thrill is now gone, the terror has become relief in the face of future work, security, and most importantly, above treeline visions!!! I am fortunate enough to be working for the legendary Randolph Mountain Club in the words-are-not-adequate White Mountains of New Hampshire this coming spring. There are few places that compare to Mt. LeConte and I'll be lucky enough to be transitioning to one of them. Mountain life for life!
you'll never hear me talk about one day gettin' out. why put a new address on the same old loneliness?
The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. Annie Dillard
It's a beautiful, cloudy sepia-toned morning up top. The high yesterday reached 34 degrees. The overnight low was 16 degrees. It was 26 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received a trace of new snow, but there was a bit of melt yesterday. The snowfall total up top is down to about 3 inches. The trails are starting to get pretty slick, so I'd recommend some sort of traction devices if you intend to summit.
I had a wonderful, lazy day around camp yesterday. With the roads closed, sun shining bright and a few chores on my to-do list, the mountain seemed to unfurl and the peace just flowed in. Occasionally it is just as glorious to sit around camp, read books and 'cultivate stillness' as it is to get out hiking, have visions, and 'move or die'.
I received such an absurd amount of generosity this past weekend, it would be impossible to thank everyone by name. But please know your efforts at making my life a little more comfortable up here with books, coffee, bolthouse smoothies, fresh fruit, vegetables and good cheer is greatly, greatly appreciated. Sometimes the simple life ain't so simple, but tiny luxuries that many take for granted are enough to make my day(s). Thank you all.
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 21 degrees. The low dipped down to 7 degrees. It was 16 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is about 4 inches of snow left up top. The trails are starting to get slick, so be prepared to slip a bit if you're planning on hiking up. The roads are currently closed, but you can check on their status on the Park Service's twitter feed. Enjoy the day!
It's a beautiful, blustery day up top. The high yesterday hit 17 degrees. The low was negative 10 degrees. It was 12 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday and our snowfall total is at about 4 inches. The winds are swirling right now, it is sure to be a brisk day on the trails. The mountain is due to receive a dusting of snow this morning. The trails are still rather powdery, but there are slick spots, so beware! Enjoy!
It is a cold, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached a mere six degrees. The low got down to negative 16 degrees. It was negative 10 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new snow and the total up top is down to about 6 inches. The snow has gotten just packed down enough for it to be slick. It is exhausting work to get up the trails, so please take that into account when planning your hike. It took me about 25% longer to get up Alum than it usually does due to the tricky snow and ice conditions. Be prepared for an intense day if you plan to hike up.
I had a wonderful, perspective shifting hike yesterday. My buddy Aaron and I decided to go big and started down Bullhead at around 9:30 am. The bitter cold held off once we got further into the trees, it seemed as though they were respecting our ambition and shielding us from the harshest of the elements. The snow was soft, we were skating down the mountain on the more gentle sections. After a quick lunch in town, we headed up to get a view of my mountain home from Chimney Tops. There had hardly been anyone on the trail (besides a few intrepid sledders!) and we hiked through fresh snow for the final mile of our ascent. The last few handholds were covered in snow, we blew it aside and enjoyed the fantastic view from our well earned perch. After some graceful buttsliding and a tricky descent in the snow, we glided down the trail. We paused to listen to the trees creaking in the deep freeze and building winds. Finally, we headed up to Alum. The golden light slanting through the trees was beyond words. It buoyed us as our legs were starting to drag. The Almond Snickers helped, too. We caught sunset from above the double stairs and made our way to the lodge through the beginnings of the night, fu-Inlé. All day I was dazed by how fortunate it was to have these marvelous woods set aside, a place to feel yourself in the splendor of the great other. So beautiful, so necessary. Everything pales in comparison to this level of awe.
It's a gorgeous, brisk morning up top. The high yesterday reached 9 degrees. The overnight low was negative 2 degrees. It was negative 1 degree and clear at 7am observation. There is still about eight inches of snow left up top. It is sure to be a cold one on the trails today, so be prepared for negative windchills. Check out the road status on the Park Service's twitter feed. I've gotta hit the trails, it is too beautiful to be behind a screen today. Enjoy!
O the joy of a manly self-hood! To be servile to none, to defer to none, not to any tyrant known or unknown, To walk with erect carriage, a step springy and elastic, To look with calm gaze or with a flashing eye, To speak with a full and sonorous voice out of a broad chest, To confront with your personality all the other personalities of earth. Whitman
It's a bitter cold morning up top, but there is glory on the horizon. The high yesterday reached 24 degrees. The overnight low dipped down to negative 10 degrees. It was negative 8 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received 6 inches of fresh snow, starting around 11am yesterday. The mountain now has a total of about 10 inches of snow, with deeper drifts up top. The trails are sure to be tough without much foot traffic, so be well prepared for a slog if you plan on coming to the mountains today. The Park Service is hard at work trying to get the roads safe, so please be patient. You can check on road conditions on their twitter feed.
Yesterday was one of the highlights of my season up top. Sadly, there are few days where the snow is really flying like that. I ran out to Myrtle Point and Cliff Tops and back a few times, just doing my best to make memories and soak in all this snowstormy wonder. The wind was threatening to blow me aside, I lost my footing a few times and fell in the snow, collapsing like a joyous, overmatched child. Some wonderful mix of ecstasy and exhaustion was overtaking me. There is no way to avoid this manic exhilaration when the mountain is in furious snow. It is addictive.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!