It's another beautiful morning up top. The high yesterday reached 14 degrees. The low dropped down to 1 degree. It was 5 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new snow, but there is still around 16 inches up top. The trails are extremely strenuous. Do not attempt to summit unless you have legitimate winter gear and a taste for the masochistic. The lodge is still CLOSED. Prepare to be self sufficient if you intend to stay at the shelter.
The snow has added an incredibly dynamic element to my last few days up top, it's fun, challenging, and, of course, stunningly beautiful - all at once. The snow is flowing off of every surface, adding a layer of awe inspiring purity to our already elegant mountain. In spite of this constant beauty, we must be reminded of the double edged sword that comes with these deep winter conditions. Sure, it's easy for me to say how glorious and wonderful it all is - I have a heated cabin to crawl back into at the end of the day, years of experience and top notch gear. It's a constant give and take with the backwoods in these kinds of conditions - fantastic visions comes with great risk. Please consider this before you enter the backcountry this week. The Park Service has had to make rescues and there have been as many close calls. Use your brain and don't take any chances - Nature can take your breath away in more ways than one.