It's a beautiful, grey morning up top. The high yesterday reached 19 degrees. The overnight low was 6 degrees. It was 10 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is still about 3 inches of slick, hardpack snow up here. The trails are pretty slick, I would definitely still recommend Microspikes if you intend to summit and descend safely. Enjoy the day!
I had a fantastic hike up Rainbow from Twin Creeks yesterday. There are few greater pleasures than wandering through an essentially closed National Park. I hiked the road for a few miles, marvelling at the snow laced trees. The peace and beauty was otherwordly. The tumult of the icy streams was a fantastic contrast to the tall, noble trees abiding by their banks. The Falls were starting to form a cone near their base. I would expect them to freeze up on Thursday morning. I reached the final .6 junction just as the light was fading in it's pre-sunset show. The dim gold glistening through the thin spruce fir forest was a fitting exclamation point.
Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn night; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch. These are the measures destined for her soul. Wallace Stevens
It's a beautiful, clear, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 31 degrees. The overnight low reached 12 degrees. It was 12 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received .71 inches of freezing rain yesterday. There is still about 3 inches of very slick, hardpack snow up top. I would definitely recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit. As of this posting, Highway 441 is closed. Check out the Park Service's twitter feed for updated road status.
I went out for a short jaunt yesterday afternoon, just as the impressively raw weather was cresting. Freezing rain was flying sideways, leaving you to cinch your hood and shake your head at just how real reality can be. We are typically selective with our days in the backcountry, but when we limit ourselves to 'nice' days, we miss a great deal. I will remember the cruel winds whipping my face at Cliff Tops and the way the sleet was just solid enough to hurt far more than every non-descript sunny day combined. I am the luckiest man alive.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll throught the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver
It's a beautiful, blustery day up top. The high yesterday reached 27 degrees. The overnight low was negative 7 degrees, recorded shortly after observation yesterday morning. The mountain received no new precipitation, although there is heavy snow in the forecast for today. There is still 3 hardpack, slick inches of snow remaining up top. I would definitely recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit today. Enjoy the winter weather!
I had a fantastic hike out to Cliff Tops last night. The winds were blowing in sincere gusts, as unpredictable and wily as ever. If the wind were a person, I would wish to meet him. The storm clouds were building on the horizon, looking as imposing as any advancing army. The colours in the clouds were spectacular, blues and greys that seemed solid due to their intensity. I sat there, counting my breaths and my blessings. I lost count.
It's a beautiful, blustery & COLD morning up top. The high yesterday reached 22 degrees. The overnight low was negative 12 degrees. It was negative 7 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received an additional inch of snow, bringing our snowfall total to 4 inches. It is supposed to remain very cold throughout the day, so be prepared for frigid temperatures if you intend to reach the summit. I would recommend Microspikes today, the trails are still very slick. Enjoy the wintry wonderland!
It's a beautiful, grey morning up top. The high yesterday reached 23 degrees. The low was 5 degrees. It was 15 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is still 3 inches of hard packed snow and ice on the trail. I'd be sure to bring some MicroSpikes if you intend to summit. In typical winter conditions like today I'd also recommend wool socks, a dry pair of socks to change into when you reach the summit, winter boots, snow/rain paints, wool baselayers, a windproof shell, a hot thermos of coffee and a positive attitude. Check out this helpful gear list for a bulletproof, snowtastic winter hiking experience. Enjoy the day!
i could drive out to the ocean and just stare in awe. i could walk across the beaches and sleep under the stars. our love would seem trivial and obscure. and i would never feel lost anymore.
such wild love - do you think there is anywhere, in any language, a word billowing enough for the pleasure that fills you, as the sun reaches out, as it warms you as you stand there, empty-handed - or have you too turned from this world - or have you too gone crazy for power, for things? Mary Oliver
It's a beautiful, clear and COLD morning up top. The high yesterday reached 18 degrees. The overnight low was negative 3 degrees. It was 5 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received an inch of snow yesterday afternoon, bringing our snowfall total to 3 inches. It looks like the next few days are bound to be frigid, so be sure to pack all sorts of layers, fresh socks and windproof gear if you intend to reach the summit. I'd recommend MicroSpikes if you intend to reach the summit, as well. The trails are still really slick!
I had a great time wandering around the mountain yesterday afternoon. An unexpected burst of snowfall came through, showering the mountain with thick perfect flurries. Within an hour there was some feathery accumulation and the wind was raging and rearranging the new snowfall into sleek drifts with the beautiful deliberation of a kid making a sandcastle. There was a deep abiding silence, which always seems more real when the snow falls and you can confirm - no footprints. Just one man, one mountain. A perfect ratio.
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life a little more nearly, to get down off this feather-bed of civilization, and to find the globe granite underfoot and strewn cutting flints. Robert Louis Stevenson
It's a beautiful, blustery fog filled morning up top. The high yesterday reached 40 degrees. The overnight low was 17 degrees. It was 18 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There are still 2 inches of snow remaining up top. It is very, very slick out here. I fell harder than I've ever fallen up here because I was too lazy to use my spikes to walk across camp. Learn from my mistake! Be careful if you intend to get up high!
The mountain is in a shroud today. We've had some abundant sunshine the past few days and it was marvelous - but the variety of weather up here is as beautiful as another sunny day. It is always in flux, forever in motion. An eerie yellow grey glow is lighting up the kitchen right now, setting an ominous tone for a quiet cabin day. The clouds lend an air of mystery to the usual sights around camp; a cabin hides here and a tree emerges there. The birds seem more active on these days, unafraid to give away their position with their morning songs. Get out and enjoy the mystery!
ps: Happy Birthday LO!!! Love you so much!!!
what if to love and be loved's not enough? what if i fall and can't bear to get up? oh, i wish, for once, we could stay gold.
In these sometimes sad and decadent days, our sense of ourselves as innocent pioneers, brave and young and full of adventure, in a land defined by its promise, seems remote. We may be spiritual beings, but what greater rapture is there than living a life hot on the senses, one augustly physical? With vicarious longing, we search their lives for the outlines of what we have lost: risk, passion, curiosity, exuberance. Diane Ackerman
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degree. The overnight low was 23 degrees. It was 28 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation, but there are still 2 icy inches of crusty snow up top. I would definitely recommend some sort of traction devices if you intend to reach the summit. You can find Kahtoola MicroSpikes at NOC, just outside the park boundary. They are worth every penny!
I had a fantastic hike up Alum yesterday evening. It was cold at the base, but the comfortable kind of cold that makes exertion feel perfect. As we reached Alum Cave, we could tell we were reaching the cloud level. There was a marvelous haze that acted like a prism, playing all kinds of games with the light coming through the trees. We were enraptured for a few minutes, then hiked above the clouds and couldn't believe our good fortune. It was warmer than at the base, the sun was shining bright on the slushy trail and a A+ sunset was brewing... These are the kinds of days that make every real or perceived sacrifice, every pang of loneliness, every bout of FOMO worth it... when it is good, it is beyond words good.
And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore. If you are a brave man you will do nothing.; if you are fearful you may do much, for none but cowards have need to prove their bravery. Some will tell you that you are mad, and nearly all will say, "What's the use?" For we are a nation of shopkeepers, and no shopkeeper will look at research which does not promise him a financial return within a year. And so you will sledge nearly alone, but those with whom you sledge will not be shopkeepers: that is worth a good deal. If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg. Cherry-Garrard
It's a cold, grey morning up top. The high yesterday reached 37 degrees. The overnight low was 22 degrees. It was 22 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received an inch of snow overnight, bringing our total to about 2 slick inches. We also got plenty of freezing rain throughout yesterday, totaling 1.55 inches. The trails are sure to be slick and nasty. It is the kind of day that Microspikes are not just a good idea, but necessary if you intend to reach the summit without hurting yourself. Be careful and have fun out there!
I love hiking, but yesterday was a fantastic day to be indoors and watch the storm's fury. The weather couldn't make up it's mind about whether it wanted to be freezing rain or snow, but it definitely wanted to make you suffer. It was just a horrid day to be out. The trails refroze, new ice is now coating our slick base and the winds were howling all day. It was 'dying weather' to be sure, consistent rain just above freezing. The masochistic part of me misses the challenge of being out in such weather... realizing you have to move to stay alive, knowing you'll be drenched and cold to the bone no matter what you do... and having to make due with what you have. Gather water, change layers and crawl into your sleeping bag to let the gentle night take you and all your weariness in... Grappling with nature on honest terms.
nine times out of ten, our hearts just get dissolved. well, i want a better place or just a better way to fall.
That night, as I lay wondering whether I would get sleep or explosion, I got the idea instead. A man who couldn't make things go right could at least go. He could quit trying to get out of the way of life. Chuck routine. Live the real jeopardy of circumstance. It was a question of dignity. William Least Heat-Moon
It's a beautiful, foggy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 48 degrees. The overnight low was 34 degrees. It was 37 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday and there is still about an inch of snow remaining up top. The trails are pretty slick and unpredictable. I would be sure to pack some sort of traction device if you intend to reach the summit. Get out and enjoy the fog world!
I was fortunate enough to get out and enjoy some of the abundant sunshine yesterday. I hiked down Alum to meet a friend. There is simply nothing like the fluidity of motion after 3 weeks of rest. I was skipping down the trail, floating along the rock and ice. The warm weather was lending the forest a rich, loamy scent. It was a classic late winter day, with ice underfoot and sun overhead. We were mesmerized by the taste of springtime, enjoying the warmth on legs and arms and the soft breezes that seemed to come just as we were feeling a bit overheated. It was just... another day in paradise.
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!