This mornings low was 9 degrees with high winds. I estimated the wind chill to be around - 9 degrees. There is still 4” inches of powdery snow on the ground. Clouds have, again, taken over Mount Le Conte.
Plan and prepare for winter conditions with snow and ice on the trails. I consider ice-traction mandatory for a safe ascent / descent in these conditions.
24 hour temperature range | High: 9 Low: 2
NOAA 7-Day Forecast
Mountain - Forecast Weather
Entering in the cold silent kitchen, I made my way to the nearest kerosene lamp. Once lit, I took to heating water. Check and check, only one more thing to do before sunrise. The snow was measured and the contrast in temperature recorded. Dispatch confirmed my weather report and I sat down with a cup hot lemon water, waiting for the time to strike. Wind howled against the cedar shingles. I waited.
Cheeks tight, my boots broke the windblown trail. The preferred morning commute was well under way. Golden light seeped through the evergreen canopy, painting fallen neighbors suspended above the earth. The pinks hues illuminated the belly of the clouds. The scene numbed the cold - time slipped away. My aching hands were happy to head for home, but my mind was happy riding on the wind.
It felt like winter; and for that, I was happy.