It was yet another clear, gorgeous day yesterday. The high was 46 degrees and the overnight low was 33 degrees. It was 37 degrees and clear at 7am observation. It looks like it'll be another great day on the rock.
The Boulevard Trail was in better shape than I had expected. There were only 2 blowdowns that I would qualify as sketchy, as opposed to 4 on Bullhead. However, I would still highly recommend Rainbow Falls or Alum Cave for winter travel. The Park Service's trail crews are understaffed for the winter, so these trails likely won't be clear until the Spring. These blowdowns will only become more treacherous as the limbs ice over and getting around them will be increasingly difficult. I still think Boulevard is the most difficult trail to the lodge, especially in the winter. It's 8 miles from Newfound Gap and gets limited sunshine, which makes the ice much trickier than other trails up the mountain. The potential for snow slides is also greater than most other trails, as the treadway is quite narrow.
A few quick shout outs to end today's post. I'm thinking of Alan Householder today, who is recovering from his recent knee surgery. I hope you come back stronger than ever! Best wishes to Chris Vargo in his 50 miler in San Francisco tomorrow - can't wait to run some more mountains with you this Spring! And a big thank you to Kim for getting me this beautiful new book - just as I was daydreaming about settling in the South, she reminded me of the incomparable beauty of New England! I can't quit you, alpine flora!