The early morning silence today is golden, no sounds have been uttered aside from the crows. The wind has taken the day off, and I cannot complain! At the moment, it is 26 degrees out there, partly cloudy and calm. Looking at the forecast today, temps should hover right at or just below freezing, with partial cloud cover throughout the day. Snow still resides on just about everything up top, with only around half an inch melting in some spots yesterday. In addition, we received trace amounts of snow flurries yesterday evening, but nothing compared to what currently lies beneath. It looks like Highway 441 is still closed through the park, so Alum Cave and the Boulevard are inaccessible at the moment. Those planning on making the climb today should plan accordingly. With trees still down and deep snow covering the path, travel up and down LeConte will be considerably slower. Fortunately, it is not windy and bitter cold outside! Upon exploring the Boulevard trail yesterday afternoon, I concurred that the snow drifts are definitely over a foot in some spots. Slopes along the trail can be dangerous, deep pockets of snow conceal obstacles along the way. I took a couple spills during the trek, but the snow padded my fall! As you can see by my first picture, the icicles aren't leaving any time soon. Beautiful displays of nature are hidden all around, some are in plain sight. This snow is perfect packing snow! If it wasn't life-threatening, I would be out there sledding right now!
Yesterday's high was a toasty 31 degrees, with a friendly low of 25. Throughout the day yesterday, clouds migrated through the park, encasing LeConte ever so often. Pockets of clear skies would come and go, only to be taken over by a large mass of water vapor. During these pockets, I closely examined the surrounding land. Snowfall is pretty spotty on the Northeast end of the park, with the hefty amounts starting at around 5,000 feet or so. During brief moments of sunshine, the snow would begin to melt ever so slightly. From the looks of it, we lost around half an inch around the lodge. Certain spots near the summit saw brief direct sunlight yesterday, causing the snow to slightly deplete. However, snow in the shaded slopes is still as deep as ever, some spots are significantly deeper than what we have around the cabins. Thinking back on what I said yesterday about skiing down the trail, the snow is perfect for it! Steep slopes covered in untouched powder, a dream come true for some folks...
"Skiing is the only sport where you spend an arm and a leg to break an arm and a leg..."