The bitter cold is here to stay, as I woke up to single digit temperatures yet again. It is currently a whopping 3 degrees out there, with clear skies above and a deep sea of cloud below! Only the highest peaks were poking out thus morning, and it seems the clouds are slowly burning off. The inversion has been concealing the valley since yesterday, but I have gotten a couple sneak peaks of the snow. Oddly enough, we didn't receive but a trace amount of snow the other day. As I sat and watched the clouds break, I caught a glimpse of the forest below us, deeply coated in white. Looks as if the lower elevations got a couple of inches! Once the cloud sea clears up, I'm eager to see the valley floor. After moseying out to Myrtle Point this morning for another freezing and pleasing sunrise, I can tell you that the wind chill is no joke up top! With temps nearing zero already, wind chills could drop as low as -15 with a decent gust! That being said, wear some warm base layers and quality windbreakers! Luckily, I invested in some very warm gloves, because loosing a finger is my biggest concern! Highway 441/Newfound Gap Road is currently closed due to snow/ice, so Alum Cave and the Boulevard are inaccessible. Also, if you plan on hiking one of our trails this morning, be on the lookout for ice and downed trees! The ice near the summit is especially bad, upper Alum is coated as well. Bring ice traction if you have it! Good spikes can be a little pricey, but if you are on the trail constantly, they are essential when exploring in conditions like these...
Yesterday's high was 20 degrees, with another bone-chilling low of 3! Skies were clear the whole day, however, the cloud sea stuck around all day! Inversions make for the best sunsets! Looking ahead at the forecast, the day should warm up ever so slightly as it progresses. Clear skies are expected up until Wednesday afternoon. Snow is still on the radar for Friday, so I'm hoping for some powder!
"7:23 a.m. Here I am, another sub-zero morning stroll! The crunch of the earth echoed as a scrambled up the trail. Light winds blew frost off the evergreens, looking similar to soft flurries of snow. I stumbled upon one of my favorite clearings on the mountain, Apollo Point! Apollo is located between the shelter and High Top, giving you a great vantage point for the sunrise. My plan was to press on to Myrtle, but I always take a brief moment to see what's in store. Looking out over the neighborhood, the sea of cloud showed no signs of giving up, still brewing after 24 hours! A thick stripe of orange glowed just above the cloud line, the sun was eager to escape. By the looks of it, I was in for a frozen treat..."