After a few scheduling conflicts, the helicopter showed up around 3 pm yesterday. We were able to fly for a couple of hours. The plan for this morning is start as soon as the sun peeks over the horizon. Thank goodness the weather forecast looks spectacular. It is pretty chilly this morning. The low was 21º with a high of 39º.
As for trail conditions, there are still some patches of ice, but we have seen a lot of dayhikers and they seem to have had no problems. The trails may be a little muddy, but I am guessing the sun helped a lot over the past couple of days. Remember, if you are hiking up for the day, we are not open yet. Please bring any snacks you may want with you. There is water available at the spring located a few yards down Trillium Gap Trail.
Hopefully, day 4 will be the day. The helicopter was not able to make it to town yesterday. The pilot seems to think they can be here by noon today. As of right now, the valley is socked in. We would not be able to fly at the moment. At least we have another gorgeous day up top. The high yesterday was 49º with a low of 26º.
There are plenty of floors to scrub and windows to clean. The crew has been working hard to get the lodge ready for our first guests next Monday.
Day 3 and we are not sure we are going to get to fly. Yesterday was a beautiful day up top, not so much down below. The helicopter was stuck in Atlanta due to low cloud coverage. As of now, we have another clear day up here but the valley is socked in. We are hoping Atlanta clears up so the helicopter can make it to Sevierville. The other issue we have is the wind. It is whipping around at the moment. Wind is not favorable when the helicopter is trying to land a net in a very small space. So, once again, it is a waiting game. As of now, we will eat our pancakes and sit around swapping stories.
The low last night was 29º and the high yesterday was 47º.
This is the kind of sunrise we like to see when we are supposed to have an airlift. We are waiting for the helicopter to fly in from Atlanta. Unfortunately, Atlanta is experiencing heavy fog. You never know how things are going to play out when you are relying on the weather to make it possible. Today will be a waiting game. We WILL be ready as soon as the pilot says "It's a GO". It is currently 30º on the mountain. Maybe this extra time will allow it to warm up a bit. It can get a bit cold under the helicopter.
Someone asked for a picture of the shirts. As soon as we get the shirts on the mountain and get them unloaded, I will post a picture. We have some really cool items for sale this year. Some of the items can be seen on the lodge website. Check out http://www.lecontelodge.com/store/.
We even have the Hudson Bay blankets available for purchase. They are only for purchase from our online store.
I hope to have some pictures of airlift for you tomorrow. In the mean time we are eating our pancakes and waiting patiently for the word to start. At least we have a beautiful day to enjoy on the mountain.
Filling lamps and trimming wicks is the chore on docket for today. We are sitting in a swamp land and the rain is still coming down. The mountain received .72" of rain over the last 24 hours. The low was 32º with a high of 38º. Most of the snow has melted and the trails have turned to mud.
Needless to say, we are not flying today. The mountain is socked in and the clouds are going nowhere. We are hoping for good weather tomorrow. If we get a little bit of good weather we can fly for half a day if need be.
It is a nasty mess outside. I guess it is a great day to be inside scrubbing the kitchen. The crew has donned their face masks and claimed their cleaning aids and are hard at work making the kitchen sparkly clean.
It is currently raining/snowing. The snow on the ground is now a sloppy, slippery mess. If you are hiking in this weather, please be extremely careful. The current temperature is 32º. The high yesterday was 46º.
We are scheduled to begin our airlift tomorrow. That all depends on the weather. It must be clear for us to fly. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather forecast for tomorrow is incorrect and it will be sunny and beautiful.
Good morning from high atop LeConte. The 2014 crew made their way, through slush and ice, to the lodge. We took the evening to get settled and to get to know each other. It is always interesting to learn about the folks who will be your family, not only for the next 8 1/2 months, but for the rest of your life. We have family all over this nation, and we can thank Mt. LeConte for that.
The mountain is a little chilly at the moment. The current temperature is 29º with 3" of snow on the ground. The high yesterday was 42º. The low was 11º, but that was from the start of yesterday morning. The trails were pretty slushy yesterday. There are a lot of patches of ice. We used our traction devices and we had no problem. Some of the ice walkers you can look for are Micro Spikes, Yak Traks, or Stabilicers.
On a different note, Chris and I are sad, but excited about our future, to announce that this is our 12th and final season on the mountain. This job has been a life changer and we are the luckiest people alive to have called this home for 12 years. It took some major soul searching to make this decision, but we think it is time to let someone else call this mountain home and bring some new energy to the lodge. Remember, change is always a good thing. Before you start asking what we are going to do next, I will let you all know in November. I will keep you guessing for the next 8 1/2 months.
And last but not least, I am going to turn the comment section back on. Here are the rules:
1.) Keep to topic.
2.) Ask questions that are in reference to the lodge or the trail conditions.
3.) The last one is key- BE NICE
I do not have the ability to ban anyone from this site. I also do not have time to monitor it every waking moment. Please, folks, let's have fun and act like adults and I will keep the comment section up and running.
Let the 2014 season begin. :)
Emerson speaks of a plus quantity being essential to every hero - that is a feeling of superiority to all circumstances however solemn, a carelessness, a dash of recklessness, which implies a certain disrespect for every thing but one's own will - (I don't father this amplification on Emerson) and men who have the buoyancy of will may doubtless go far with it. William James
It's a beautiful, spring morning up top. The high yesterday reached 38 degrees, although it felt much warmer in the afternoon sun. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 29 degrees and clear at 7am. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are almost entirely clear.
Spectacular pinks, purples and oranges tint the early morning clouds. It is a fitting good bye view from my cabin window. I'll be taking off early tomorrow morning, the blog will return when Chris & Allyson are back on the mountain sometime next week. Enjoy the Smokies for me while I ramble northward to my beloved New England mountains!
your ship may be coming in, you're weak but not giving in to the crimes and the wills of the valley below.
It's a beautiful, slightly (although it feels much more significant after our summery temperatures over the past few days) snow covered day up top. It feels like a fitting goodbye from the mountain gods. The high yesterday reached 38 degrees. The overnight low was 28 degrees. It was 30 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received a trace of snow overnight. The trails should still be in pretty good shape, but be sure to look out for black ice under the snow. There are bound to be a few tricky spots remaining.
There is still quiet richness, there is still subtle beauty, there is still the never ending show for your sacred sensorium. Forget about what you do not have.
It's another beautiful, springy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 45 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 31 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new rain or snow and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are pretty close to clear of ice, with only a few minor tricky sections remaining. If you are cautious, you should have no need for traction devices. Enjoy the day!
Remember what Thumper said, if you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all...
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!