It was a chilly day on the mountain yesterday. The high was 21, but with some cloud cover and wind gusts it felt colder for much of the day. The low was 6. It was 12 degrees and cloudy at observation. It looks like we'll have another clear day today, with warmer temperatures. I came up Alum yesterday without using my Microspikes. The crowds have broken up much of the most dangerous ice and the snow provided sufficient traction. Be sure to take your time on the way up and if you are not up top by 3pm, TURN AROUND!
As I hiked up with my pal Jacob yesterday, I thought about how joyous it is to share this place with friends. Tolstoy said that happiness is only real when shared. I disagree, but it is undeniable others help put things into perspective. Like altitude, I let myself become acclimated to the beauty up here at times. It was like seeing the mountain through new eyes to stop and hesitate at Hesitation Point, watch the widowmakers crash down near unsuspecting tourists and marvel at the hardy vegetation that survives in the rock crevasses up top.
PS: A special shout out to the MLK Masochists, who just stayed in the Mt. LeConte shelter on brutal January nights for the 20th straight year! That is both awesome and insane. Way to go, guys.