Sgt. Rock says there’s only one plausible reason for duct tape on the ceiling:

It snowed all night best as I could tell. It also turned out the shelter roof leaks. I woke up at about 0330 to a bag soaked through from a drip on the ceiling. It leaked in a few spots which left stalagmites of ice on the floor but the one over me just soaked through my down bag. Now I understand why there was duct tape on the inside of the shelter on the ceiling as some previous hiker must have tried to stop a leak on himself as well.

Sarge was over 500 miles up the trail at Damascus, Va, on the 27th of February, so he’s making excellent progress. A few hardy through-hikers start out in the winter every year to experience hiking in the snow and having the trail to themselves, and to get as far north as possible before the summer heat hits. Little close to the edge for my taste, but I’m not exactly a Medal of Honor winner in the courage department.

(Yes, it looks like I’m well on my way to falling off the wagon and getting re-addicted to Trail Journals. Only takes one cigarette to get somebody smoking again, same concept.)