It's a beautiful, cloudy morning up high. The high temperature yesterday reached 37 degrees. The overnight low was 25 degrees. It was 26 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is still about 4 inches of drifty, hard packed snow remaining up top. The drifts are especially high along certain sections of trail, so be prepared for an adventure if you intend to reach the summit. I would still recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit. There are some very icy sections of trail. Enjoy the day!
I had a fantastic hike up Alum yesterday afternoon. The mountain was tucked into its friendly cloud blanket and it was as still as it's been for days. It was a great day to wander around and see what the past few days of serious wind did to the trails. There are a few blowdowns, a lot of icy branches strewn across the trail and a seemingly infinite number of little fir tree clusters. There is a snow drift on Alum just below Cliff Tops that is larger than any I've seen in the Smokies. It almost seemed like a practical joke when I first discovered it. The slushy snow conditions made for some difficult trudging, but it was all worth it, as always. I forgot just how quickly some warm, wet conditions can accelerate the melt around here. I am looking forward to seeing the sun again and welcoming my old friend Spring any day now!