June 30, 2017
It is already upon us...the end of June. It may be the halfway point of the calendar year, but there's still quite a bit of time left in the lodge season, which means opportunities abound to visit your favorite mountain! It's been significantly warmer and humid today, despite the rain. We never got below 50 degrees yesterday, and temps continue to hover between it and the low 60's. We tallied 0.16" of rain during the night, and it's been on and off much of today. They're still calling for rain chances this weekend, so come prepared for wet conditions if ascending the mountain is in your plans. Fortunately, the rain helped cool things off for our fuzzy friends bringing us supplies.
Speaking of fuzzies, it's time to feature another LeConte packing All-Star...EARL! (aka Earl the Squirrel, Big Earl, the Tank). He is one of our more burly llamas, having been with the team longer than most. His development over the years has also been greater than most. In his earliest days, Earl wasn't too keen on the whole work notion, notorious for leaping fences on packing days. Alan quickly recalls many of their first trips ascending the mountain together, where Earl would average sitting down upwards of 40 different times. Chrissy characterizes him with several qualities similar to that of "Eeyore." He's come a long way, though, as the last couple of seasons have been some of his best. Earl can be quite vocal, sounding off when he wants a treat, or proclaiming his dissatisfaction with having to load up for the next haul. Don't be fooled, llamas can be intelligent creatures, and one of his most persistent habits comes on the journey down the mountain. Every time Earl packs, when passing by the sign post 0.2 of a mile above the parking lot along Roaring Fork, he'll start mooing and trotting a little faster, knowing full well his work day is almost over, with treats soon to follow.
We're grateful for Big Earl, and enjoy having him on the team. Hopefully some of you will get a chance to see him on the trail. Have a great weekend!
June 29, 2017
It's a mishmash kind of day in terms of the weather. We've been in and out of the clouds since daybreak, with on and off winds, and it sounds like rain is moving in late this evening. Some liquid precipitation would be appreciated as we've gone the last several days without recording anything. Temperatures should also remain mild through the weekend. Hard to believe that this date 5 years ago we tapped 80+ degrees for the first time on the mountain in recorded history. Here we are getting into the 30's at night the last few days. Knowing how muggy and buggy it can be in the valley during the summer, I think I'll gladly take the latter.
We're happy to share with you that the backcountry shelter up the hill from the lodge is once again open to use! It remains under a Bear Warning for the time being, so continue to use caution if you entertain staying there in the near future. All reservations, permits, and questions pertaining to the shelter can of course be taken by the NPS backcountry office or smokiespermits.nps.gov - their reservation website. It's been a few weeks since we last saw a bear in camp, but please continue to be responsible with your belongings during your time in the woods. Also, the squirrels. Please don't feed them. They seem to be multiplying in numbers every day, and feeding them only increases their desire for mischief. Thanks!
Have a great day.
June 27, 2017
We're just skirting the cloud base today, admiring the clearer skies that seem to be gracing the valley below. It's a brisk 50 degrees out, if that even sounds right for this time of year. Yesterday's high reached 53, and our low was once again 37. Things are expected to remain mild the next couple of days, but chances for turbulent weather increase through the weekend. We'll see how it shakes out.
Those of you who have made the trek up to the lodge so far this year have observed the various construction materials stashed around the premises. This past week we finally began those projects. We're so thankful for Crowder Construction and friends for doing some great maintenance work.
Have a great day.
June 26, 2017
It's been a gorgeous day to be outside. The clouds have creeped in and out over the last two days, only giving us brief moments of uninterrupted sunshine. At one point there was the lightest of light mists, but nothing more. The main talking point recently has been the cooler climate. Last night we got down to 37 degrees! Highly unusual even for LeConte standards in late June. Day time temps continue to hang around in the upper 40's and lower 50's, so bring those layers, especially if there's a sunset. They're calling for more rain tonight into tomorrow, so one more factor to consider in your hike.
Have a great rest of the day.
June 24, 2017
After a gorgeous afternoon on the mountain yesterday, we've been riddled with intermittent showers. Some have been downpours while others are light mists. The bulk of Friday's 0.9" of rainfall came in a rush during the night. We'll see how much we report tomorrow in what should hopefully be the culmination of this tropical system. Sunday certainly looks to be more promising in the way of sunny and dry conditions. Yesterday's high temperature turned out to be 64 degrees, with a low of 53. It is currently 56, cloudy and rainy, but the winds have finally scaled back. It was getting pretty raucous at times, especially if the rain was coming in at every angle along with it.
Enjoy your weekend, and if you're visiting the region for the July 4th holiday, be sure and include a trip to Mt. LeConte in your plans. Take care!
June 23, 2017
The wind is howling up here today, more so than yesterday. We're enjoying a sunny break in the action, but it sounds like more atmospheric disturbances are on deck for tonight. We tallied 0.5" of rainfall yesterday, and temperatures remained fairly stable. Our recorded high was 57 degrees, with only a low of 53. With the sunshine beating down on the mountain, it's surpassed 60 degrees at the moment.
Everyone who isn't working is trying to soak up some quick rays before they disappear again. We're currently waiting on the llamas to arrive with the last of this week's supplies. If you choose to get out in these conditions, be mindful that trees, particularly those in the burned areas or hemlock forests, are more susceptible to falling. Dress for wind and rain as well.
Have a great rest of the day!
June 22, 2017
The rain has moved in and looks like it is here to stay. With Tropical Storm Cindy making landfall, expect that moisture to keep things wet along these mountains for the next few days. Yesterday's brief but heavy soaker dropped 0.45" of rain on us, with clouds breaking up just enough to offer guests a picturesque sunset. Our high temperature for Wednesday came in at 66 degrees, with an overnight low of 50. We're hovering in the mid 50's currently with periods of light rain. Be sure and pack those appropriate layers if you intend to summit the mountain.
Coming up Alum Cave Trail, one can still see Mountain Laurel and Dwarf Rhododendron in peak bloom. The purple Catawba Rhododendron are well on their way out and much of the white Rosebay Rhododendron is still in its budding phase. A couple more weeks and they ought to be opening up nicely. Around camp, things continue to green up at an alarming rate. Sadly, it appears the deer have nipped the heads off of all of the Turks Cap Lilies by the Dining Hall. Oh well, guess they have to eat too.
Stay dry out there and have a great day.
6.21.17: Ask and you shall receive
We are lucking out with gorgeous sunsets!
Most of our evenings get foggy pretty quickly and then all of a sudden it clears up for a wonderful display of purple and oranges. Dollywoods fireworks make the evenings especially special.
63/49 are our temp, prepare yourselves for a very, very wet weekend! Rain is in the forecast the next days , umbrellas and raincoats are a must.
Do we have any readers who are birders?
There is some adorable bird I cannot see, but it's small, if not smaller, than a junko and makes a “mew-WHEET” sort of call. It is high up in the trees and I would love to know what it is!
There are also 3 deer and a tiny, barely as tall as your knee, fawn that hang out around the outskirts of camp. It is fun to watch them because the fawn will stand out of the mothers sight. She'll start running around, making snorting noises until they are reunited.
It’s quite fascinating.
And the fawn is so cute.
Also, keep an eye out for salamanders, they are somehow getting inside buildings lately.
Weather gets weirder everyday here!
It's humid up here, and chilly at night. 65/52 have been the general temps the past few days and no rain yet rain even though we've been hanging out in the clouds for a bit now.
The next few days sound like frog stranglers with Wednesday as our only sunny day this week!
For real guys, bring your rain stuff! Also, lots of water. It's so humid on the trail dehydration is getting to be an issue for hikers so please make sure to drink plenty of water. Bring up something to mix with your water, like electrolytes, to help your body recover.
People hiking up Alum early in the morning have spotted a mama bear and cubs walking about, so please keep your distance until they pass through. Make some sort of noise to alert them to your presence!
Llamas Wednesday and Friday!
6.16.17: Making my way downtown
We are getting hot and humid up here!
70/48 were our temps complete with 1.21" of rain, a gorgeous sunset, sunrise, and then glimpses of inversions through the fog....bring your camera, you never know what you'll see up here!
So Alum Cave is open 24/7 this year so hike up to Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, the Bluffs, and the lodge whenever you'd like!
Rainbow Falls is undergoing construction thanks to the awesome ACE crew and will be closed Mon-Friday.
Bullhead is closed indefinitely due to the fires we had last year, please respect the closed trail signs!
Randon rainstorms are still in the forecast so be prepaired!
Also, don't forget to pack water and snacks for your hike up. It's getting hot and humid so please keep hydrated and nourished.
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!