It's a snowy day up top. The mountain is in a post-snow cloud at the moment. There is a sickly pallor hanging over camp... the clouds seem to want the mountain to curl back up and come back to bed, while the fresh, bright, new snow is insisting on day. It'll be a fun tug of war to monitor all day. The high yesterday reached 20 degrees. The low was a degree! Yup, just one. Thank you February. It's about time winter got started. It's currently a degree and cloudy. The mountain received 4 new inches of snow after I went to caretaker dream land (more snow, visions of steaming coffee mugs, bobkitten stalking, old books and older friends) last night. There's about 6 inches of total snow on the ground and it feels a bit deeper up top with drifts, heavy winds and cold temperatures. This is dying weather, so be sure to be prepared if you plan on summiting.
I was able to get out for a little sunset hike yesterday. I've been limited with my knee injury and have spent a lot of time working on my indoor projects, like writing letters, reading books and drinking every kind of tea available in the United States. It goes without saying, but there are few feelings quite as dramatic as climbing the main staircase and only see animal tracks for over an hour. Not a single human on the mountain other than myself. Every step forward a new step, crunchcrunchcrunching to glory, truth, the solution to whatever fantasy the thin air creates. Air so cold you choke, creating a light headed yet pleasant, ultimately ecstatic feeling (I bet Chris, Allyson & Lindi could tell y'all about that after their recent summit successes!)...
_I heard reports of a red fox last weekend and his/her tracks were out, as well as all kinds of birds, squirrels and rabbits. The wind was vicious at Cliff Tops and I could only hang for about 20 minutes. I had to do pushups to keep the feeling in my hands. Quite a contrast to this time ten days ago, when I was taking my evening walks in an airy green checkered flannel, board shorts and flip flops! It's good to be back.
Oh, and check the Park Service's twitter feed to see if the roads are back open...
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