All is well at LeConte Lodge, silence is plentiful up here. The only sounds being uttered at the moment are being created by me, so I'm trying my hardest not to disturb the quiet. Green tea sits eagerly to my left, warm blue flames sit to my right, what more could you ask for? At the moment, it is a whopping 25 degrees outside with cloud cover revealing the valley floor every now and then. A small amount of snow melted yesterday in the exposed areas, so now we're down to 7.5" around the cabins. Looking at today's forecast, there's a chance of light snow throughout the day (less than 1"). As if we need any more snow! Saturday has snow on the radar as well, so I will welcome the new snow with open arms. The wind has not made an appearance in a few days now, and I'm getting concerned. Light gusts of 15-20 mph are expected, but none has occurred yet. What's a mountain top with no wind? I miss the wispy sound it makes when it travels up and over the hills. It's a very distinctive sound, those who have traveled to LeConte during times of high winds know what I mean. Those looking to come check out the snow today are in luck, all roads leading to LeConte's trails are open! Also, a kind soul trimmed the trees that were down on Alum Cave trail, so the climb should be a little easier. Do not underestimate the snow, travel is twice as hard with a compact blanket covering the trail. Fortunately, footprints have already been made on most of the trails, so you won't have to pave the way. Ice is not an issue with all this powder on the ground, so traction is pretty good. Use caution on some of the step-ups and long staircases, snow drifts can cover them entirely in some spots! On another note, enjoy your time on the trails today! I will be strolling along the Boulevard and Appalachian Trail today, so I'm looking forward to seeing the snow along the Sawteeth Mountains past Charlie's Bunion!
Yesterday's high temperature was a scorching 31 degrees, with a low of 25. I spent a lot of time exploring the top of the mountain, I even ventured off the trail (only to get soaking wet). Thin clouds prevented the sun from shining for a quite some time in the afternoon, but we were eventually treated with a glimpse of the valley floor. Clouds rose up and over the ridge, revealing a beautiful array of white on the hemlock trees. With this heart-stopping visual, I figured sunset would be out of this world. The clouds had other ideas, giving me sneak peaks of what lies beneath. Sunset or no sunset, I was still in awe. This mountain looks entirely different with an array of white dispersed erratically. As always, be cautious and courteous out on the trail. Take your time to appreciate the elegant snow and frost-covered trees. Stay sharp and have fun!