February 17th, 2016
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling. Kerouac
It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 29 degrees. The overnight low was 19 degrees. It was 19 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received 4 inches of new snow yesterday, bringing our snowfall total to 9 inches. I would recommend full winter gear if you intend to reach the summit. As of this posting, US 441 is closed. I'd allow between 4-6 hours to get up Rainbow or Bullhead in these conditions. If you intend to reach your car by dark, I'd be sure to leave the summit by 3pm. Get out and enjoy snow before it melts over the coming days!
I went for a short run yesterday evening to get out and feel the storm. The snow was marvelous, allowing for great traction and a sense of renewal on these trails I've done hundreds of times. I was hoping to run into a fox or bobcat on their evening rounds, but they're still too clever for me. The wind was a battering ram at Cliff Tops and the flurries were flying towards me from all directions at the precipice. I wandered back slow, ducking below the snow-laden trees, laughing myself breathless and enchanted.
2/17/2016 09:01:30 am
Love the pic. We have a similar one in our house from that area...no footprints. Enjoy, JP!
Tammy ( Tx )
2/17/2016 09:24:00 am
JP, I had to kind of laugh at your time table to hike to the top and back for today's conditions there. That's for hikers who are well conditioned and in good physical shape and have well fitting and worn in hiking shoes or boots! Hehe! My Valentine's Day "gift" was the loss of my ENTIRE big toenail from my hike up and down Leconte back in October! Would love to be in the swirling, angry snow, to then enjoy the peaceful beauty of the snow covered mountain after the storm's calm. And all by myself, like, you. Just beautiful! Have an adventurous day of discovery in the snow up top today!
2/17/2016 10:11:41 am
Great picture today. What a place to be when it snows.
Cathy from Ontario
2/17/2016 02:11:25 pm
Hi Marilyn and Tammy....thank you for sharing your toenail tales. It has made me feel so much better after my traumatic experience last June on my 1st hike up and down LeConte after a wonderful night's stay high on top. I ended up loosing both nails on my big toes and 3 other toenails. I am happy to say that my husband and I survived the hike of a lifetime and my toes are just about back to normal and are finally able to be painted again :) I appreciate your tip in purchasing new hiking boots which I plan to do soon and also the tip on how to wear your socks. Looking forward to more hiking in The Smoky Mountains this coming spring. LeConte is a very magical place and I am proud to say I Hiked It 2015! Thanks for sharing ladies and Happy Trails to you!
Marilyn and Tammy Tex.so funny to read about your toenails(big ones ) the time we hiked to Hen Wallow Falls it was so steep coming down,when we got bk.to r.v.Carl and Cassie were complaing with their calves and I was almost in tears with my b.toes they were already blue and I tried to get Carl to drill them but he wouldn't and 6 plus mo.they came off and same way with Ramey's Cascade don't remember with Alum to Lodge but probably same thing.I am like you Marilyn I bought a new pr.of Merrell hiking boots in P F and the lady said,get a 1/2 size larger and I didn't have that problem in Nov.Wish we could meet up at Lodge and chat with J.P.but that is a TIME JOKE with me,too old and couldn't get a half mile in that snow.LOL
Tammy ( Tx )
2/17/2016 02:58:41 pm
Tgb and Marilyn, I hope I have gotten smarter and taken care of the problem. I went to our R. E. I. here and let them fit me. I bought a pair of Keens, 1 whole size larger (because my feet were still sliding to the toe), they added a cushioned insert to make the shoe fit tighter, then laced them a different way that also helped keep my foot from sliding. I tried them out on their "rock slope" and it all seems to have taken care of the problem. I am going to go break them in in a couple of weeks around here on these giant granite domes. I actually MAY take a rappelling lesson from a guide out there. My daughter said I am going to kill us both!
2/17/2016 08:29:59 pm
If ur looking for a good comfortable pair for easy hiking/road walking, look at the hoka line. Mine are bout a year old, holding up good on read walking. Have massive cushioning - like srltrapping a bag of marshmellos to each foot but not as heavy. One asics shoe weighs more than apair. Would recommend for big trail hiking or trail running tho. Feet are too far off the ground.
2/18/2016 04:45:40 pm
How long do you suspect there will be snow cover on the ground?
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