It's a beautiful, cold, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 23 degrees, recorded early yesterday morning. The overnight low was 1 degree. It was 7 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received the liquid equivalent of .03 inches of snow with a trace on the ground. There is still about an inch up top. I'd wear traction for any hike today, as the cold temperatures will have formed plenty of black ice. There will also be a bit of snow covering those slick areas, which are some of the most dangerous conditions (just these type of conditions broke my ribs last season) on the mountain. Be careful out there today folks!
It's amazing that I haven't had to use Microspikes yet this season (that will change with tomorrow's hike), but my season reached one of my favorite weather induced milestones recently. When it is particularly cold and snowy, the Park Service is likely to close the road until it is deemed safe. That typically makes winter hikes even more treacherous for the average park visitor, with icy conditions and an even smaller window to hike in daylight hours. All this typically means for me is that the mountain is cold (it almost always is, I get used to it), but it's also significantly quieter. This season has felt particularly active, with next to no ice and warm temperatures welcoming 'winter' hikers. Yesterday was one of the first weekend days I can recall where I was able to stroll around camp in the afternoon and all that filled my ears was the ebb and flow of the wind, the creak of tired cabins and the busy chatter of red squirrels. It is a different kind of peace without people.
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