It is a magical morning atop Mt. LeConte. Skies are clear, calm, and quiet in this grand winter solitude. A dusting of snow was added to yesterday’s larger amount, bringing our total accumulation closer to 11” of fluffy and fun powder. Been quite chilly with a high of 28° and a low of 13°. We’re still in the low teens as the sun makes its climb into the sky. Forecast for the weekend looks like it’ll be stunningly sunny and clear, great for enjoying the outdoors. Another spin around the mountain in cross country skis is in order.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is still closed on account of the conditions. Cherokee Orchard Rd reopened yesterday afternoon. If you intend on reaching the summit this weekend, come dressed appropriately for the cold and snowy conditions. That means warm, dry layers, traction devices, and plenty of snacks and hydration to trudge through the deep snow. Remember, the lodge is closed so there is no indoor escape. You are responsible for your own level of comfort. Such winter majesty in these mountains can pose equal parts beauty and treachery for anyone caught out unprepared.