It's a beautiful day up top. The high yesterday reached 31 degrees. The overnight low was 17 degrees. It was 18 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is no snow remaining up top, but the trails should be a bit slick with the cold temperatures we had last night. Be on the lookout for black ice!
Yesterday evening my friends and I were treated to one of the best sunsets I've seen up here. I've jokingly started grading sunsets and knew straight away that this was due to be an A+. Clingmans' resembled a majestic whale coming up for air and the clear conditions let the orange glow linger long and long. The clouds hung around the valley all day, obscuring any signs of civilization. There were no lights from Gat Vegas and Pigeon Forge blotting out the moonlight, so we had no trouble walking back in the dark without headlamps. It was another one of those evenings for which the right words just do not exist.
There are lessons in life that can only be learned through fairly massive deviations from our normal, comfortable routines. These lessons alter our perspective on life and better equip us to deal with life’s unforeseen challenges. They can sharpen our optimism and generate a deeper appreciation for the simple things in life. Jared Campbell
It's another gloomy day up top. The high yesterday reached 44 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 29 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received .13 inches of rain starting in the late evening. The trails are still pretty saturated, so be prepared for some wet shoes if you intend to hike up. Enjoy the day!
Yesterday afternoon was the foggiest day I've seen this season. The mist was ethereal, lending an other worldly quality to the trails I am beginning to know by heart. It was wonderful running down Trillium yesterday, catching some wonderful light at the Falls and then entering the grey further down the trail. Every step was different, beautiful in it's own moment.
It's a beautiful, cloudy day up top. The high yesterday reached 44 degrees. The overnight low was 34 degrees. It was 34 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received .66 inches of rain yesterday evening. There is no snow remaining up top and very little ice left on the trails. Be cautious to avoid black ice, but I've had little trouble going up and down over the past few days without any traction devices. Enjoy the day!
You haven't seen the Smokies until you haven't not seen the Smokies. These cloudy days are just as perfect as the sunny days. They give your mind a chance to recharge from the unsubtle beauty of a gorgeous day and appreciate them all the more in the future. Give me the variety of the East, the play of light on fog curling up over mountain ridges, the forever verdant fauna, all kinds of mud (which we should have definitely have more than one word for, the same way eskimos have a dictionary for all different kinds of snow) and precipitation! Getting to see the sun 300 days a year out West sounds nice in theory, but this diversity in weather means that there is ALWAYS something new to see, from day to day, hour to hour. There is so much variety in every step here and despite being the most visited National Park in the country, it still feels underappreciated. Get out there and savor it.
It's a cloudy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 49 degrees. The overnight low was 41 degrees. It was 43 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received .32" of rain yesterday, most of it coming overnight. It sounds like there is a 100% chance of rain going into this evening, so be prepared for a wet day if you intend to hit the trails. There is very little snow remaining up top and a bit of ice on the shadier sections of Boulevard and Alum, so please be cautious on those sections. Enjoy the day!
It's another beautiful, clear day up top. The high yesterday reached 50 degrees (!!!). The overnight low was 34 degrees. It was 42 degrees and clear as could be at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still about a 1/2 inch of snow remaining up top. There are still quite a few tricky sections on Alum, so be sure to bring some sort of traction device if you intend to summit safely. Enjoy the day folks!
It's a blustery morning up top. The high yesterday reached 43 degrees. The overnight low was 40 degrees. It was 42 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received 1.84 inches of rain yesterday, storming through much of the afternoon and evening. There were some pretty high winds, as well. There is no more snow up top and very little remaining on the trails. The trails are pretty saturated, so expect wet feet if you plan to hike up today!
I will be taking the next few days off the mountain. The blog will return on the 27th. Enjoy the holiday season!
It's another gloomy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 42 degrees. The low was 32 degrees. It was 41 degrees and mostly cloudy up top at 7am observation. The mountain received .13 inches of rain yesterday. Coupled with high temperatures, this has melted all the snow and a majority of the ice. The trails are sure to be saturated today, so be ready for some mud!
It is one of those Smoky Mountain days where one can never quite tell whether it is morning or evening. The light is shifting in the wind with an apocalyptic fury. The winds' forever wail coupled with the mysterious scurryings on my cabin roof make for a strange paradise. These are the kinds of conditions that remind me about how we are all just visitors here, the plants and bugs and real mammals are the only ones who can truly call such a hostile place home. We need to take this seed of humility and let it flower into reverence, treating these places with the love and respect they deserve.
Much thanks to my friendly trail angels yesterday! Your holiday treats are so greatly appreciated. I am a lucky guy.
It is a gloomy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 37 degrees. The low was 24 degrees, recorded early yesterday morning. It is currently 33 degrees and mostly cloudy. The mountain received no new precipitation and a good bit of the snow melted yesterday afternoon. There is still patchy snow and some ice remaining up top. Be sure to pack some sort of traction devices if you intend to summit!
The cloud is all pervading right now, the world I know hidden behind a veil of ever changing moisture. I love strolling around camp in conditions like this... it always evokes such poignancy. On beautiful, clear days the world is big, you feel small with your thoughts inconsequential and feelings trivial. The contrast of these mysterious fog laden days with those big forever summer days is fitting today, one of the shortest of the year. With not as much distance and scale to feel out there, we are forced to dwell in our minds, where are emotions take on a special resonance without clear sunny grandeur to distract as one meanders. Just another gift from the mountain.
It's another beautiful morning up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degrees. The overnight low was 24 degrees. It was 25 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still patchy snow remaining up top. I came up Alum yesterday evening and there is snow and ice past the double stair, but conditions are not too tricky. Enjoy the day! Oh, and HAPPY WINTER!!! It is time to begin.
It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 34 degrees. The overnight low was 24 degrees. It was 25 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received about an inch of snow last night. It is all fresh and powdery, so traction shouldn't be too bad. There is sure to be some black ice lurking beneath certain poorly draining sections, especially on Alum and Boulevard. Be prepared to slip a bit if you intend to go above Alum Cave. Enjoy the day!
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