It's another beautiful, wintry day up top. The high yesterday reached 42 degrees. The overnight low was 32 degrees. It was 36 degrees and partly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain is in the fog right now, but it appears as though it will clear. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still a trace of snow hanging around. There is still quite a bit of ice on the trails. I went down Alum and up Rainbow yesterday and there were some long, icy sections. I would definitely recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit. It's looking like it'll be another beautiful day, get out and enjoy it!
I had an awesome adventure yesterday. My friend Becca and I ran down Alum, then went up and down Chimney's and finally finished our day by cruising up Rainbow. The ice on Alum was sketchy for our first mile, but it was a beautiful, warm day and we had no business running around in shorts in January and complaining about a little bit of ice... We also noticed the new railing that the Park Service put on the Styx Branch bridge. Nice work! We then drove over to Chimney's and raced up there, earning our majestic view of LeConte. Finally, we stopped for snacks in town then came up Rainbow. I didn't see another person above the Falls, a welcome sight after how busy Alum and Chimney Tops felt. There's something about being left alone to struggle with your pain that makes it taste sweeter. After hours of movement, the flood of endorphins leaves an intoxicating residue. As I crossed the ridge towards Rocky Spur for my first view of LeConte, the sun was shining at a perfect angle, strong and firm, warming my bare arms for the final push. It's hard to single out moments in a day that full, but that was special.