It's a cold, gray day up top. The high yesterday reached 26 degrees. The overnight low was 2 degrees and it was recorded around 10am yesterday. It was 26 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow on the ground. The trails are in good shape - I hiked up Alum yesterday without spikes and had no problem. There are a few short sections where you need to rock hop, but it is not a serious concern quite yet. Get out and enjoy this lovely Friday!
I had a wonderful hike down to the valley with my friends Grace, Casey and Eliza. It was intensely cold up top yesterday morning - the thermometer kept plummeting after I did 7am observation. It was so cold that we could see our breath in the kitchen and our eggs were slightly frozen. We left at 10am (when the thermometer read 1.8 degrees) and headed down Alum. The warm sun on the ledgey sections was much appreciated. The ambient temperature was so cold that the ice almost felt sticky, rather than slick. It was my first truly bitter cold day since I was caretaking at the AMC's Carter Notch Hut in the White Mountains this past April. On that blustery day, I ran up to Carter Dome in shorts, a wool baselayer and Microspikes. I was tired of letting the bitter cold dictate my running and decided not to pay much attention to the forecast that morning. If the sun was out, I would go. I got what I deserved and was greeted with sub-zero windchills up top. I hid behind a rock and ate a Snicker bar, waved at the Presidentials, then started my icy descent. Winter's cold brings specific joys - I missed the way your breathing seizes with each cold pulse of air and how distinctly good the sunshine feels relative to just how cold everything else is. The cold itself is an isolator - it keeps people at home, leaving those of us who venture onto the trails to an entirely different mindscape.