Woke up blessed once again this morning! A little bit of a chilly start, but I cannot complain. At the moment, it is 17 degrees out with an ever-present sun and, wait for it, 8.5 inches of snow on the ground! We received 4.5 inches of fresh powder throughout the day yesterday, silent snow fell gracefully on every living (and non-living) thing. I'm currently sitting in the kitchen by the heater with a cup of Joe, sun rays beaming confidently through the front windows. I hope the sun doesn't plan on wiping out some of our precious snow, because it is quite the sight! If you plan on hiking up to LeConte today or tomorrow, be advised! Highway 441 is closed due to snow/ice, which means Alum Cave and the Boulevard are inaccessible. After making an intelligent decision to hike up 50 lbs of groceries up Alum at night, I can tell you first hand that travel is EXTREMELY difficult with this amount of snow on the ground! I broke trail all the way down the mountain during heavy snow fall, then proceeded to break trail again on the way up! My tracks were concealed by another white blanket, to my surprise. Snow becomes an issue about 3 miles from the lodge (right at Inspiration Point), and it continues to get deeper and deeper until you reach the top. The last mile is pretty dangerous, snow drifts start to become a threat really quick! Steps become invisible, and traction is terrible in most areas. Some of the sections where the trail wraps around the rock have drifts over a foot deep! That being said, I strongly recommend staying low today. I know, it's hard to resist, right? If you simply cannot resist the temptation, please be careful out there. Travel will be slower than usual, and harder than usual, so keep that in mind. Heavy snowfall and clear skies, the perfect mixture of beauty and hostility!
Yesterday's high temperature was a balmy 27 degrees, with a low of 17. Snow fell constantly throughout the day, with hefty amounts on the top half of the hill. Walking down the mountain, snow continued to fall until the last mile of the trail, turning into freezing rain in an instant. Looking ahead, clear skies will dominate the mountain today, with slight chances of snow on the radar yet again tomorrow! Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20s today, with lows in the upper teens. I am ecstatic about the snow, so I will be out throwing snowballs, making snow angels, and taking photos all day! This mountain looks like a whole different world right now. Trails become unrecognizable, and each step is twice as hard...
"With every falling flake, a unique spark of interest falls from heaven..."