It's a rather dreary day up top. The high yesterday reached 46 degrees and the overnight low was 35 degrees. It was 40 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. This warm front has nearly melted all the snow, leaving patchy conditions up high. There is still a little bit of ice on the trail, so continue to use caution and pack some sort of traction devices if you intend to wander around the summit.
I had an awesome (awesome in the most literal sense of the world, all kinds of awe was buzzing around and through me) hike up Alum last night. I got to the parking lot around 5:25, just as the sun was setting on the high peaks. There is a special kind of adrenaline that comes with racing darkness and I wanted to use my headlamp as little as possible. I got through Arch Rock before it got pitch black and crossed Styx Branch just as the moon was peeking through my rhododendron laced wonderland. I turned on my headlamp and continued to venture up, up and away. I took a big breath, the kind that makes your fingers tingle - at Inspiration Point and let the last rays of colour on the horizon set themselves deep into my mind. I am so grateful that I continue to be thrilled by these mountains, this strange pursuit of peak experiences that bring me ever deeper into Nature's all enveloping grace. The peace of wildness is ours for the taking. Grab it while you can.
Much thanks to my trail angels Dick, Ann and Buddy for bringing me up some much appreciated tea and dried fruit! Looking forward to seeing y'all again!