March 24, 1998

3/24/98 Mount Collins Shelter

13.5 miles (199.1 total)

Woke to an additional two to three inches of snow. But with the sun out, it was a winter wonderland. At times I was walking on virgin snow, sometimes just following animal tracks up the slight depression that was the trail. As we went higher, the views were fantastic. Unfortunately the snow began to melt also. The trail was a channel full of slush. My boots and socks were soaked, but if I kept walking, I was OK. We stopped at Clingmans Dome tower. Up this high the landscape was really different. With so many evergreens and snow, it seemed more like Colorado. We shared the shelter with four guys on spring break, and Pufferbelly & Granny. Tomorrow I go into Gatlinburg while Mountain Man keeps going (I gave him my toilet paper since he’s a twice-a-day man and was almost out.)

Snowed about 3" every night in the Smokies
but usually was sunny during the day

View of Clingman's Dome, the highest point along the AT

Mountain Man was pretty much hip deep in the snow