It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top! The high yesterday reached 21 degrees. The overnight low was 2 degrees. It was 2 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received 3 inches of new snow overnight and there is 3 inches of total snow on the ground. There is sure to be some black ice lurking beneath the fresh powder, so please be sure to wear traction if you intend to reach the summit. It is still bitter cold out and is supposed to remain so all day. Please be prepared for the conditions. Get out and enjoy the snowy bliss!
I had a memorable hike up Rainbow yesterday morning. I took a valley night (thanks for watching the lodge Peanut!) to go to my friend James' Trail Running Film Festival in Knoxville and had a lovely morning for hiking back up. After another great breakfast at Crockett's Breakfast Camp, Grace and I got to Cherokee Orchard road around 10:30. The trail was in surprisingly difficult shape - there was a very thin layer of black ice on almost every rock, so unless you were standing on soil, you would lose your footing every so often. The light was phenomenal - a bright fog that allowed you to be in your own little world about 50 feet at a time. I saw a stag rather early, he watched me for about 10 seconds then bolted into the ether with pure style and grace. You couldn't see the Falls from the trail, which was fine, I was in a mood eager to move and get settled up top before the winter weather came in. The upper sections between the Falls and Rocky Spur were a mixture of fire damage and hoar frost, creating an eerieness that made my spine tingle. By the time I reached Rocky Spur and the home stretch, things were clearing a bit. It was 18 degrees when I made it into the kitchen. I got some hot water going and sat back and waited for the show.