Shadows and snow created beautiful scenes along the trail. For me, winter hiking is as much about pausing to enjoy the buds, birds, snow patterns, and animal signs, as taking in the grand views.
We were surprised at how few hikers we saw along the way. Perhaps many people were still tired from shoveling snow or were still trying to dig out. There were a dozen or so other hiking parties of twos and threes and a few solo hikers, but often the hike to Mt. Pierce is crowded with hikers. Many of the folks yesterday were continuing on to Mt. Eisenhower. They had a clear, if windy and bony path to the peak. Compared to a year ago, when we climbed Mt. Pierce, the visibility yesterday was crystal clear. Here's a comparison of the view in February 2012 and 2013.