my baby told me, darlin' if you can't get a pardon, better get a parole. i told her i'd be out by mornin' when the sun is dawnin' with a money roll.
It was yet another clear, gorgeous day yesterday. The high was 46 degrees and the overnight low was 33 degrees. It was 37 degrees and clear at 7am observation. It looks like it'll be another great day on the rock.
The Boulevard Trail was in better shape than I had expected. There were only 2 blowdowns that I would qualify as sketchy, as opposed to 4 on Bullhead. However, I would still highly recommend Rainbow Falls or Alum Cave for winter travel. The Park Service's trail crews are understaffed for the winter, so these trails likely won't be clear until the Spring. These blowdowns will only become more treacherous as the limbs ice over and getting around them will be increasingly difficult. I still think Boulevard is the most difficult trail to the lodge, especially in the winter. It's 8 miles from Newfound Gap and gets limited sunshine, which makes the ice much trickier than other trails up the mountain. The potential for snow slides is also greater than most other trails, as the treadway is quite narrow.
A few quick shout outs to end today's post. I'm thinking of Alan Householder today, who is recovering from his recent knee surgery. I hope you come back stronger than ever! Best wishes to Chris Vargo in his 50 miler in San Francisco tomorrow - can't wait to run some more mountains with you this Spring! And a big thank you to Kim for getting me this beautiful new book - just as I was daydreaming about settling in the South, she reminded me of the incomparable beauty of New England! I can't quit you, alpine flora!
It was another gorgeous day yesterday. The high reached 34 degrees, yet felt much warmer with abundant sunshine. The overnight low was 21 degrees. It was 33 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The amount of clear days I've had up here so far is making me think that I'm either on a lucky streak or have falsely remembered more of the gloomy, gray, covered in cloud factory days from last year... either way, I'll take it. There's no choice, really.
I had a nice hike down & up Alum Cave yesterday. It's always refreshing to get out before it feels like the woods & world beyond have risen for the new day. I was on the trail around 8am and felt the crisp bite of winter's force in my lungs, a nervous, frenetic energy had me stumbling all over the trail with my uncoordinated & under caffeinated limbs. I was working my hands to stay warm, clenching and unclenching, alternating which I'd put under an armpit to regain a fleeting moment of feeling. These discomforts are always worth it, for those savory views and quiet moments away from crowds on the trails you love. I could've had a cup of coffee, but all things come with their price.
I'll be checking out the Boulevard trail later on today. I'll have a report tomorrow - if I make it back alive!
It was a sneaky nice day yesterday. The high was 38 degrees and the low dipped down to 22 degrees overnight. The mountain received .15" of rain yesterday. The trails are still in passable shape. I have yet to check out Boulevard, Rainbow and Trillium, but have heard that Rainbow and Alum are your best bets for a passable hike.
Yesterday was one of my favorite types of days on the mountain. It started off with weather that keeps folks away from the high peaks, swirling winds and an ominous, drizzly cloud dominated the sky through the early afternoon. I did not see another hiker until 3:30. At about 4, I decided to take a little hike around the mountain. I'd intended to go out to Myrtle and feel the wind, but noticed some clearing. I decided to check out Cliff Tops and see if the departing storm could mean my favorite weather event was going to take place - I'm talking about inversion! I was lucky, as always. The high peaks were majestic islands in the sky and a dynamic sunset lingered on the clouds as if they weren't quite ready to absorb the pure white moonlight just yet.
I'm looking forward to a night hike to celebrate the frost moon!
It was yet another beautiful day yesterday. The high was 47 degrees and it got down to 27 degrees overnight. It was 37 degrees and drizzling at observation. The mountain received .25" of rain yesterday evening. It looks like the clear weather has departed for the day. The mountain is in a cloud, a silver dome of mystery.
I hiked down Alum Cave yesterday with a few friends, picked up my mail in town (much thanks to the NOC for continuing to help me!) and grabbed some lunch. I was able to catch a ride back to the trailhead (thanks so much Marty!) and headed up Bullhead. I would not recommend coming up Bullhead, other trails are much more easily passable. There are at least 4 blowdowns that require significant acrobatics.
I'm often asked if I ever get lonely up here. The short answer is no, not really. I choose to view boredom as a failure of the imagination. If I feel a hint of it, I do something. It's that simple. While I certainly miss friends and family from time to time, I look at this as an opportunity to consciously deprive myself in a way that will better enable me to cherish the time I have with them. For the most part, I have plenty of books to keep me company and one of the worlds' most majestic parks as my backyard. What more does a man need?
my ceiling holds the moon and stars above. so i'll never be a lonely man a walkin', never live one day without love.
Shall I ever again be able to connect the faces of outward nature, the mist of the morn, the star of eve, the flowers and all poets, with the heart and life of an enchanting friend? No. There is one birth and one baptism and one first love and the affections cannot keep their youth any more than men. Emerson
It was another beautiful day up top. The high was 41 degrees and the low dropped overnight to 26 degrees. It was 29 degrees and clear at 7am observation. We've had a good spell of clear days lately. I keep expecting it to turn, but I'll keep on riding this pleasant wave before the clouds come back.
Alum is in fine condition. Be cautious on the icy sections up top and be sure to turn around by 3pm or so if you don't have a headlamp! I'll be checking out Bullhead today, so I'll be sure to mention how that looks tomorrow. Have a pleasant day out there, folks!
It's another beautiful day up top. The forecasters are projecting these clear skies to continue for the next few days. Yesterday started off quite cold at 11 degrees and only got up to 16 during the day, but the temperature steadily rose overnight and peaked at 26 this morning. The trails are a little icy up top. Traction devices are not necessary as long as you're cautious.
I had a spectacular hike up Alum yesterday with a few friends. We took our time and soaked in the sights along the way. We stopped for long breaks at Inspiration Point and Alum Cave, then had a great sunset at Cliff Tops, and a stunning sunrise at Myrtle Point - the whole grand experience. The colours at sunrise were especially jaw dropping. I'd gladly relive these last 24 hours as my Groundhog Day.
It was a cold night on top! The overnight low dipped to 11 degrees. The high yesterday was 45 degrees, though it never quite felt warm with all the cloud cover. We received .10" of liquid precipitation yesterday from the low hanging cloud that engulfed the mountain around 2pm yesterday afternoon and lingered through the evening.
As you can see from the photo on my porch, there was a bit of frost. I did not notice any precarious ice around camp, so I would expect that the trails are still in passable shape. Be sure to pack an extra layer (or three) for once you get up top - it's generally about 20 degrees cooler up here than at the trailheads. Keep in mind that the lodge is closed for the season and we offer no guest services (coffee, cocoa, food, lodging, etc.) during the off season. Be prepared to fare for yourself! Enjoy the weekend!
It is bound to be another beautiful day up top. The high yesterday was 53 degrees, the overnight low was 29 degrees and it was 36 degrees at observation. It's probably a bit too early for me to be worried about what this means for my winter snowfall, but it did feel disturbingly warm up here. I haven't gotten out to explore the other trails, but Alum is in fine condition. There's very little ice left after yesterday's abundant sunshine.
I had a wonderful hike down Alum yesterday afternoon with our backroom braintrust member Ron. Thanks for everything, Ron! Especially the nifty new radio antennae! I came up Alum at around 5pm and caught some of the sunset's afterglow at Inspiration Point and Alum Cave, it was better than a fine wine. I'll be hanging around camp today anticipating some big crowds. Enjoy the day!
yes, there are things that i'm still so afraid of but my courage is roaring like the sound of the sun.
It looks like yet another beautiful day atop LeConte. The sun has started to show through the clear skies quite definitively after a milky mixture of reds, oranges, purples, and every fine palette in between for 'sunrise'. It was more of an evocation than a pure rise, as the clouds suggestively picked up hints of the sun's glow throughout the 30 minute performance. It's good to be back...
Yesterday's high was 40 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. The mountain received no new precip and it looks as though we'll have good weather for the holiday weekend. The trails are still a bit icy up top, so be prepared to slide around a little.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It goes without saying that I have much to be thankful for this year...
Well, our time has come to an end. The 2012 season is in the books. The crew will be strapping on their packs and heading off the mountain in a few hours. It has been a crazy year. Record temperatures and record snows. I am happy to be heading to the land of comfy couches and a big ole' fireplace. Oh yeah, and indoor plumbing. I will keep you all up to date on our summit of Kilimanjaro. Be on the look out for a few hijacked posts of images from the big mountain. I am going to pass this on to JP and let him say hello. I know he is looking forward to keeping you all up to date on his daily wanderings around the mountain top. See you in 2013.
Greetings, folks! My name is JP and I am thrilled to have returned for my 2nd season watching this glorious mountain. I'll be keeping y'all posted on the mountains' daily conditions, as well as my ramblings through the park. Yesterday's high temperature was 43 degrees and the overnight low was 31 degrees. Skies were partly cloudy at observation and it looks as though the mountain will have clear skies today and tomorrow. Happy hiking!
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