The season has really started off with a bang. We hiked up in 24" of snow, the airlift was delayed by four days, and we had our first medical evacuation. Lifestar flew in from Sevierville to pick up a patient that had stayed in the shelter on Saturday. He was complaining of an elevated heart rate. Tuesday was the first day the weather cleared off enough to fly him out. The park rangers hiked up and took care of him until they could get him off the mountain. The patient seemed to be doing well when they flew him off. I have not heard any news since.
I have had a few questions about how many people hike up in the snow. You would be amazed. It seems that more guests hike up in the snow then the rain. The weather conditions are improving. Yesterdays high was 34 and the sun was shining. We had an inch of snow melt. We now have 18" on the ground. Hopefully today will bring more sunshine. I hope so because my laundry is frozen to the line.
I have received several questions for hiking advice for first time hikers in snow. I thought I would address these questions this morning.
1. Start out as early as possible. Let some one know what trail you are on. ( the only trail open at the moment is Alum Cave Bluffs trail)
2. Bring an extra pair of dry socks, clothes to layer with, and plenty of snacks and water for the hike up.
3. Some sort of ice walker. ( yak tracks, micro-spikes, stableicers, etc.)
4. Hiking poles are a big help.
5. Hats, gloves, and any other piece of clothing to keep you warm.
TAKE IT SLOW. Be careful and have a fun hike.
Now, to fill you in on the conditions up top. The low last night was 15 with a high yesterday of 21. There is 5" of new snow with a total of 19". It is currently cloudy and windy up top.
P.S. check out the guest sightings page.
Opening day brought a dusting of snow and more on the way. The conditions on the mountain are extremely slick. It rained all day yesterday and melted off some of the snow and then froze over night. The high yesterday was 38 with a low last night of 23. We are expecting more snow on the way today. The good news is we are open and ready for the first guest to arrive.
WARNING!!!! If you are hiking up the mountain today, it is very important you have some sort of crampons. Yak Tracks are fine. Any type of ice walker will do. IT IS VERY SLICK!!!!!!
Remember, Alum Cave Bluff trail is the only trail open. We did receive high winds yesterday, so there may be quite a few blow downs. Please be very careful and happy hiking.
I know that spring is supposed to be here, I just have a hard time believing it. We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground. If we could just get a few days of warmth and rain, that would make a difference.
I had a few people asking about the llamas. The llamas will be using Bullhead trail for the first part of the season. I am not sure when the first trip will be. The trail is very deep and the snow has a hard ice pack on top. That would not be easy on the llamas. We are going to take it day by day. We have plenty of clean linens and food to last for a while.
For all of you hiking up in the next week, remember the trail closures:
Rainbow and Bullhead are closed until March 27th.
Grotto Falls trail head is closed until sometime in May.
The Park Service is asking for hikers to not take Boulevard trail for a while. It has not been cleared of blow downs and has a lot of snow on it.
Alum Cave Bluff trail is the only open trail for the next week. I will keep you posted on any future trail updates.
The airlift is finished. We flew for another 3 hours on Friday. The supplies are up and we will be open for business on Monday. We will be selling t-shirts and lunches on Monday, if you are bored you should hike up and see us. The crew will be working hard for the next few days. We are still walking thru tunnels of snow but it does seem to be melting. The high yesterday was 34 and the low was 27. It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on top of Mt. LeConte.
The clouds moved out and the helicopter moved in. We were able to get about 4 hours of flying time in. Today will be last 3 hours. Spirits have picked up and we now have fresh food on the mountain. Funny how a little thing like an orange makes your day brighter. Once the airlift is done, the crew will get to work on making the lodge beautiful for the first day of guests on Monday.
The weather yesterday was decent. The high was 37 with a low of 28. Snow is continuing to melt off. Please, if you are hiking up here this weekend, check out my earlier post on trail closings. Have a safe hike and see you up top.
WE ARE FLYING!!!!!!! I will post pictures later. I have a few boxes to unload.
It never cleared off enough to have the airlift but it is getting warmer. The snow level is now 18". The low last night was 29 with a high yesterday of 38. I have been getting a lot of questions about the weather and snow on the trails. If you have reservations for this coming week, keep checking back. Conditions in the mountains change day to day in the spring. It does not take long for snow to melt. We have had a lot of day hikers the last few days. Alum Cave trail is passable. I will keep you posted on any closings that are happening. I hope I see everyone up top. Now, it is time to go blow the clouds away so we can get the supplies up. The crew is going to line up across the mountain and blow really hard. Let's hope it works.
Here are the latest trail updates.
Rainbow, Bullhead, and Trillium will be closed until March 27th. The road to Rainbow and Bullhead will be open Saturday, March 27th. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail leading to the Grotto Falls trailhead will be closed until May.
Boulevard has not been cleared of blow downs and there is quite a bit of snow on the ground. It is highly recommended to not hike out Boulevard.
Alum Cave Trail is the only trail that is passable at the time.
Please check back on the National Park website or Leconte Lodge website for further updates.
WOW!!!! What an awesome day yesterday. We had sunshine the whole day. Unfortunately, there were clouds down below. We are still waiting on the airlift to happen. The high was 40 degrees, which helped melt some snow. We now have 24" of snow on the ground. The low last night was 23". If anyone is planning on hiking up, remember the snow is slushy and very slick. You will need crampons and extra clothes to change into. You will get wet.
We can currently see the lights in the valley. There are a few clouds hanging over us. I am uncertain if the airlift will happen today. Please keep sending us good airlift vibes.
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!