Not much of a line for the hammock today.
It is a balmy 30 degrees this morning. The wind is blowing and the fog has made itself at home. It rained yesterday with a mix of sleet and snow. Luckily, it did not stick. The high yesterday was 36. The trails are all clear of ice and snow. Trillium Gap trail is open, but only from the Rainbow Falls Trailhead. You MUST park at the Rainbow Fall trailhead parking lot and hike the connector trail to the Trillium trail. As of now, all of the trails are in good shape. You will not need ice walkers of any kind. I think I see a nap in my future, and I don't think it will be in the hammock today.
With the summer season just around the corner, I have been thinking about the many hikers that will be on the trail. Trail etiquette is always a good topic when it comes to hiking on a well traveled trail.
For those of you who are first time hikers there are a few suggestions that will help make your hike a nicer experience.
1.) Disposing of waste. Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches in the ground and 200 feet from any water source, campsite, or trail. Then fill the hole and disguise it. Pack out any wastepaper in a plastic bag and dispose of it properly.
2.) Respect others outdoor experience. Remember that others get out into nature to enjoy the peace and quite. Leave your rock concert voices at rock concerts.
3.) Leave on footprints, take only pictures. Leave objects where you found them. Let others enjoy the beauty of nature as well. If everyone picked the beautiful flowers there would be no more beautiful flowers.
4.) Never feed the animals. I know the squirrels are cute, but remember they can bite. They should not rely on human food to survive. If you feed the squirrels on top of Mt. LeConte, they learn to rely on the food. When it is time for them to leave the mountain and go lower looking for food, they do not leave. Winter comes and there is no food for the squirrels. Remember, let the wild animals be wild and do not feed them.
These are a few suggested trail rules to follow. This will make for a more pleasurable trip for everyone. Now, get out and go hiking. Happy Hiking.
Another night of 23 degrees. All I can say is at least it did not snow. I can handle the cold weather, but I think I am done with snow for a little while. Yesterday was a nice cool day on the mountain. The high was 50. Chris and I checked out Myrtle Point and were greatly rewarded. There seemed to be a lot of day hikers out and about. It was a good day to hike up and grab lunch. Did you know we are the highest restaurant east of the Mississippi? Just another interesting fact concerning LeConte Lodge.
Just when I think spring has sprung, mother nature plays a little joke on us. 22 degrees last night. It was a tad chilly on the mountain this morning. I was so excited because four deer made their way into camp yesterday. I thought spring has finally arrived. I have been watching the spring beauties pop up around camp. This blast of cold air makes me wonder if we are in store for one more snow before mother nature gives us our constant warm temperatures.
Now, this is the type of sunrise I am used to. Fog on the mountain, things are definitely getting back to normal. We did not the get the rain we were hoping for. The sunshine has been great, but we are in much need of some rain on the mountain. I get asked, quite a bit, what we do during our time off while on the mountain. Days like this are great for indoor projects. Some of us love to read, knit, write, or the best activity, take a nap. That is one thing about the mountain, it encourages you to slow down. Life is simple up top. Just the way I like it.
I have been asked to share with you some of the experiences I have had with under prepared hikers. I must say that there is not one story that stands out, but a mixture of stories.
My first experience has to do with snow and ice. For some reason, when it snows, more people show up then when it rains. I will give an example of hiking up here this year. We came up March 12th. The top of the mountain has a good 2 feet of snow. Chris and I were about 20 minutes from the lodge when we passed three college kids hiking down. They either had on blue jeans and tennis shoes or, as one kid was wearing, tennis shoes, no socks, and shorts. I know people think, " Nothing is going to happen to me". If something had happened, they could have died from hypothermia. It is so important to be prepared in weather like that. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have seen people hike up in the snow wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes.
Another example involves staying with your hiking group. We have had many instances, on top of the mountain, were kids have hiked in front of their parents and become separated. There are many turn offs on the top and kids may not pay attention to the trail signs. It is so important for children to stay with in view.
These are few of the emergencies I have come across while living up top. I have many more examples and I will hang on to those for another day. If there are other subjects you would like me to address, feel free to email me and I will see what I can do.
Routines are getting back to normal. The llamas made another trip yesterday. It feels good to be back in full swing of things. We are still enjoying the beautiful weather. Spring time means it could go away at any time. The guests are enjoying the warmth and relaxing vibes that Mt. LeConte has to offer. The high yesterday reached 64 with a low of 44. I got out around camp and caught some guests soaking up the rays.
If you had asked me in March when the trees would start blooming, I would have said June. It is amazing the weather we have had in April. Yesterday reached 60 with a low of 37. It is looking like another amazing day up top for today. The crew are taking advantage of every moment they have off. Soaking up as much vitamin D as possible. We know how finicky the weather can be. We could get snow again before spring comes to an end.
The trails are all looking good. There are a few patches of snow here and there, but nothing to serious. Trillium is still closed until May. I hope every one has a great day and gets out to enjoy this beautiful spring day.
You asked for it so here it is..........(drum rolls)
143"of snow from November 2009 thru March of 2010
Here are some other interesting facts for the 2009 Calendar year:
Hi 72 degrees on August 10th
Low -22 degrees on February 4th
Early snow October 17th
Late snow April 21st
On my last hike down the mountain, Chris, Katie, and I started hiking after dinner. Knowing that the sun was going to set before we made it out, we all had flashlights and extra batteries. We encountered three day hikers that had left the lodge around 5:30 pm and had only made it half way before the sun the set. They were now hiking without flashlights. This can make for a very dangerous scenario. We left them with one of our flashlights and continued hiking to the car. Our discussion quickly turned to what makes for a safe day hike. These, of course, are all suggestions.
1. Make sure someone knows where you are going. Have a contact person to call when you get off of the trail.
2. Always carry plenty of water. Carry more then you think you are going to need.
3. Have a sturdy day pack to carry some emergency supplies.
4. Supplies: an emergency kit with a mirror, space blanket and some general first aid supplies, such as bandaids. I always carry duck tape wrapped around my water bottle. Duct tape has fixed many of my hiking gear. Flashlight is a must. Snacks. I always carry some form of fire starter, just to be on the safe side.
5. Do your research about the weather. What kind of temperatures? Change of socks is always good. If it is going to be cold, take layers to put on or take off according to your activity. It is extremely dangerous to get caught in cooler conditions in cotton. You do not want to have soaking wet clothing and catch a chill. Cotton does not dry fast enough to keep you warm.
6. Now, the important information. Always keep in mind how long you have been on the trail, when the sun goes down and how long it is going to take you to get out. If you are prepared with a flashlight and the correct gear to get you thru the night, it is not going to matter. If you are day hiking and you do not have the correct gear, turn around in time to give you plenty of time to get back to the trail head. Do not be concerned with reaching the top. The peak is not going any where and you can hike it later when you are better prepared.
As I stated before, these are all suggestions. We have witnessed many different emergencies on the mountain and a lot of them could have been avoided if they followed some of these suggestions. I hope these help with your next day hike. Happy Hiking.
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!