Good afternoon. We've been graced with a splendid day on top of LeConte. When I woke up at 4:45 a.m. the clouds had already broken and yielded to a brilliant full moon, which made the lodge glow with the blanket of white on the ground. However, it was plenty cold--the type of cold where you can see your breath inside the kitchen for the first 30 minutes of breakfast preparation.
Reintroducing itself via an impressive sunrise, the sun has been our companion all day, resulting in some good melting weather. As I type, there's an 18-inch icicle swaying back and forth as it clings to the wood-shingled roof by a prayer--a real LeConte cliffhanger. The icicle has been sweating out its precarious situation one drip at a time. I predict it will be beginning its journey to the Tennessee River soon.
Tuesday's high was 42, but that came early in the morning before the temperature plummeted during the day to an overnight low of 12 degrees. We received 0.36 inches of rain Tuesday morning before the switch to snow. We totaled about two inches of snow Tuesday. We've already climbed to 40 degrees as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
I've talked to hikers this morning who've arrived via the Alum Cave Bluff and Trillium Gap Trails. Both said there were some tough, slippery sections as you neared the lodge. I imagine there might be some stubborn icy spots hanging around for a couple of days, especially in shaded areas.
As a precautionary measure, we delayed Wednesday's llama resupply trip to Thursday. Trail conditions and temperatures should be more pleasant then, especially considering the LeConte llama string received summer buzzcuts late last week. A shivering llama is a pitiful sight. It's a long season, and we couldn't operate without them or our llama wranglers, Alan and Chrissy. No sense putting them in needless hazard when Thursday sounds more favorable.
Thank you for your reading and your nice comments. I turn over the updates to Allyson tomorrow, who returns from a short set of off days. Hope to see you all at LeConte Lodge soon. Happy trails.
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