February 14th, 2016
It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 16 degrees. The overnight low was -4 degrees. It was 14 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still about 5 inches of snow remaining up top. The trails are actually in great shape - there hasn't been a freeze thaw cycle yet, so traction is not much of an issue. Get out and enjoy this beautiful Sunday!
February 13th, 2016
It's a beautiful, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 22 degrees. The overnight low was -2 degrees. It was -2 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received a trace of snow and our snowfall depth is 6 inches. I came up Alum yesterday afternoon and would still recommend warm winter boots, wool socks, gaiters and traction devices. The snow is relatively packed down, but it is due to be uncomfortably cold today - be prepared for the elements! Get out and enjoy this beautiful Saturday!
February 11th, 2016
It's another beautiful, snowy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 8 degrees. The overnight low was negative 7 degrees. It was 8 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday and the snowfall is 13 inches deep. The trails have yet to be packed down, so I'd definitely recommend heavy winter gear and Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit. As of this posting, US 441 is closed. The Park Service is working hard to get all the icy area roads open! Get out and enjoy the park in all it's wintry glory!
I spent the majority of the day yesterday relaxing in my cabin, reading, writing and just lazing the day away. The only thing that could have made the afternoon better would have been Bearcat purring on my chest! I will be hiking down today, doing some laundry in town then coming back up tomorrow afternoon. The blog will return on Saturday. Enjoy the wintry weather!
February 10th, 2016
But how to: Alone, elegantly, a wolf on a rock, old pale and dry, dry bones rattling in the leather bag, eyes alight, high, dry, cool, far off, dim distance alone, free as a dying wolf on a pale dry rock gurgling quietly alone between the agony-spasms of beauty and delight; when the first flash of hatred comes to crawl, ease off casually foward into space the old useless body, falling, turning, glimpsing for one more time the blue evening sky and the far distant lonesome rocks below - before the crash, before... With none to say no, none. Way off yonder in the evening blue, in the gloaming. Edward Abbey
It's another beautiful, snowy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 5 degrees. The overnight low was negative 6 degrees. It was negative 6 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received another 6 inches of snow, bringing our total up to 13 inches. It looks as though we're due to receive a few more flurries throughout the day. It is bitter cold and the deep snow is very fluffy, making for slick conditions. I would recommend full winter gear if you intend to reach the summit - winter boots, wool socks, gaiters and Microspikes are a must. There are a number of road closures throughout the park, you can check on their status here... It is serious weather out there today, be safe and enjoy it!
I have always had a love for snow. It has only grown since I've discovered my love for the mountains. They compliment each other well. There is something majestic about the way snow transforms the landscape, seemingly enhancing quietude, and bringing an even deeper sense of peace and abiding to the world. I went for a few little jaunts yesterday, in between long reading and napping sessions. February is the finest month for torpor, my annual hermitage of rest and relaxation. I spend most of my time outside pushing hard, testing my limits and seeing just how much I am capable of seeing - it is refreshing to spend February unplugged from my ambitions. I am going to ski a bit this afternoon, take a few photos (if my phone doesn't die in the cold), finish planning my summer expedition and maybe even finish a book or two. I couldn't realistically hope for a better day...
Happy Birthday, Luke. I wish you were here for my first real powder day of the season. You're missed down here in the mountains.
February 09th, 2016
It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top! The high yesterday reached 27 degrees. The overnight low was 2 degrees. It was 2 degrees and cloudy at 7 am observation. The mountain received 7 inches of new snow and our total snow is 7 inches. I hiked up Alum yesterday morning and it was very icy in patches. While the new snow will lend some traction, I would definitely recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit comfortably. As of this posting, 441 is closed. Check on it's progress with this link... Get out and enjoy the day!
I had an absolutely amazing hike up yesterday. Just as my friends and I reached the Alum Cave parking lot, we spoke to a friendly ranger who informed us that they'd likely be closing the road soon. It was dumping snow and road conditions were worsening quickly, but I knew that this would make for a great hike. I changed into my hiking clothes, packed my bag full of goodies and took off. The flurries were falling fast and my cold toes seemed a small price to pay for the opportunity to see the commute I've done hundreds of times be transformed into something new again. I'm always game for a big snow hike, but it's especially nice after all the mild weather we've had this year. Just as I got to the ledges above Alum Cave, it started to clear a bit. The contrast of the bright blue skies and snowed over everything was phenomenal. I didn't see a single person on the trail and the quiet chatter of the forest was overwhelming. I can't wait for more moments that match this special feeling throughout the year to come. Making big memories in the woods is the way to live.
February 07th, 2016
It's another beautiful, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 23 degrees. The overnight low was 13 degrees. It was 14 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new snow or precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are still a bit icy in spots, but there aren't any impassable sheets of ice... Get out and enjoy this fine Sunday morning!
February 06th, 2016
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 19 degrees. The overnight low was 3 degrees. It was 13 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. I went down Bullhead and up Alum with relatively little trouble yesterday. There are a few icy patches, but it is easy enough to dance around if you go without traction. Get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
February 05th, 2016
Nature has been trapped in islands surrounded by a sea of fakery and artifice, where people can contemplate its wonders and take photos with its inhabitants, be they animals, plants, trees, rocks, rivers, or mountains, as if they were strange exhibits in a museum, never understanding that in times past, those rocks, valleys and rivers were not a heritage that had to be protected, but were our homes, our supermarkets, our schools. Kilian Jornet
It's a beautiful, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 34 degrees. The overnight low got down to 3 degrees. It was 3 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received a trace of snow, which measured out to .20 inches of liquid precipitation. There is sure to be some ice on the trails, so be prepared to slip a bit in spots if you don't bring traction. It's shaping up to be a beautiful day, get out and enjoy it!
One of my heroes said it best - the mountains are calling and I must go. Maybe I'll see y'all on the trail!
February 04th, 2016
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 45 degrees. The overnight low was 25 degrees. It was 26 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new snow or precipitation and there is no more snow remaining up top. The trails are sure to have a bit of ice on them, but I doubt that Microspikes are necessary. Get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
February is my favorite month. I am stuck in job limbo, waiting to hear about employment opportunities for the spring and summer. Although this isn't the most comfortable scenario, it is challenging in the right ways. It pushes me to think about what kind of experience I want out of this summer. Desperation leads to some great day dreaming. I am looking into a big hiking trip with my pal Billy and there is nothing that thrills me to the bones like the prospect of another great expedition. The big joys of adventure are on the horizon and for the time being, I get to wonder about wandering while on my peaceful mountaintop. Sometimes, life feels grander than we let ourselves believe.
February 03rd, 2016
It's an aggressively stormy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 47 degrees. The overnight low was 38 degrees. It was 44 degrees and raining at 7am observation. The mountain received 1.22 inches of rain, starting after dark last night. There is just about no snow remaining up top. I'd expect whatever patches are left to melt out by this afternoon. The trails are sure to be super soggy, so be prepared for a wet day out there!
Last night was one of the more impressive storm displays I've seen this season. It rolled in late last night, but you could sense it coming all afternoon. The winds were impressive throughout the day, with clouds flying over from Cliff Tops towards the lodge like wispy fighter pilots. It started raining heavily just as I was turning in and I had a symphony of wind and tree noises whistling through my cabin as I passed out. The winds were strong enough to make me wonder about just what kind of gusts it'd take to blow the walls down... Even sitting still is an adventure in conditions like this...
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!