It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degree. The overnight low was 23 degrees. It was 28 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation, but there are still 2 icy inches of crusty snow up top. I would definitely recommend some sort of traction devices if you intend to reach the summit. You can find Kahtoola MicroSpikes at NOC, just outside the park boundary. They are worth every penny!
I had a fantastic hike up Alum yesterday evening. It was cold at the base, but the comfortable kind of cold that makes exertion feel perfect. As we reached Alum Cave, we could tell we were reaching the cloud level. There was a marvelous haze that acted like a prism, playing all kinds of games with the light coming through the trees. We were enraptured for a few minutes, then hiked above the clouds and couldn't believe our good fortune. It was warmer than at the base, the sun was shining bright on the slushy trail and a A+ sunset was brewing... These are the kinds of days that make every real or perceived sacrifice, every pang of loneliness, every bout of FOMO worth it... when it is good, it is beyond words good.