I always advise people to check out sunrise and sunset no matter what the conditions. The view can change in an instant. One minute you are socked in and the next minute you are witnessing one of the best sunsets we may have had in months. This is another reason it is so hard for us to tell you what the weather may be. Our weather changes on a dime. I always suggest to hikers to be prepared. Carry rain gear and an extra layer to put on when you get chilled. The one thing I have found over the last 11 years, you take what you get and be ready for it. I get emails all the time asking what kind of weather to expect a month from now. The answer is, " I don't know". I can usually tell you that we will be about 20º colder then the temperatures forecasted for the lower elevations. I hope this helps when planning for your next adventure in the outdoors. Just remember, make sure you are prepared.
Hello Mr. Moon
What an amazing sight to see. The big, bright, full moon rising up over the horizon. It was gorgeous last night. We were not so lucky with the sun this morning. Once again, we are socked in. The high yesterday was 60º with a low of 48º. They are calling for rain this weekend. I think our weekend is going to start a little early. Fall is definitely in the air on the mountain. Bonnie, from last season, brought me some pumpkin spice latte packets. They are perfect for this weather. Thanks, Bonnie! The crew is already starting to predict the first snow fall. My prediction is October 13th. We shall see.
Another Dose of Vitamin D
It was another perfect day on the mountain. The clouds rolled in and out. The high was 64º with a low of 49º. Please remember if you are coming up to spend the night, make sure you bring plenty of layers. It is a bit chilly sitting out on the rocks at Cliff Tops and watching the sun go down.
Someone asked where the helicopter pad is located. It is hard to explain on the blog. It is located to the east of the lodge in a little clearing that is close by. There is a path that leads to it, but it is tricky to find.
Colors of the Mountain
I took a stroll around the mountain top to enjoy the many colors that really pop when the air is so clear. I ended up at the helicopter pad and just stared at the awesomeness as the clouds rolled in and out. It has been so long since we have enjoyed days like this that I just wanted to take it all in. The grass provided a soft pallet to lay my head as I listened to the birds sing around me. It sounded as though they were enjoying the glorious day as well. The high was only 60º with a low of 49º. Fall is definitely in the air and it is beautiful.
Fall Surrounds the Mountain Top
I love those fall like days when you can see your breath while watching the sunrise. The air is crisp and the red of the mountain ash berries stands out next to the bright blue sky. Yesterday was one of those days. It was a pleasant 57º with a low of 42º. The mountain top was busy with day hikers and guests lounging around and enjoying the amazing weather. At one point you could hear all of camp break out in a loud roar as UT scored its only touchdown for the game against Oregon. Most of the guests had hiked up portable radios to listen to their favorite team while hanging out on top of the mountain. This morning we are back in the clouds.
Brrrrr!!!! Fleece Time on the Mountain
Brrrrr!!!!! 34º on the mountain last night. The high yesterday was only 52º. Chris said this summer was going to be remembered as "the summer of no summer". On a warmer note, we were able to see the sun coming up this morning. Hopefully, this will help warm us up a bit. The day is starting out beautiful without a cloud in the sky. Looks like it is going to be a spectacular day for a hike. Come on up and grab some hot chocolate with us. We have plenty.
Chill In the Air
The coneflowers have gone to seed and there are only a few specks of color left on the mountain top. After yesterday's inch of rainfall, the temperatures are a little cooler. The high yesterday was 66º with a low of 40º. We are currently socked in with a hint of sunshine every now and then. I did notice a little bit of color on the leaves when I hiked up on Wednesday. There is a familiar chill in the air that whispers autumn.
The Rain and Fog are Back
After five days laying on the beach and absorbing every bit of vitamin D I could manage, I am ready to take on this thick layer of fog and rain. Chris said they had perfect weather for the week I was gone. I guess that makes me the rain link. The hike up the mountain was gorgeous. As soon as I reached the top, I was smacked in the face by a wall of fog. The high yesterday reached 65º with a low of 50º. The warmer temperatures in the lower elevations are helping us hang on to some warmer temperatures up top. I did notice a lot of the mountain ash berries are out. Fall is just around the corner. It won't be long until the crew starts making their predictions for first snow.
Sept. 11, 2013
_Good afternoon to all of you. Today I'm continuing the LeConte Lodge crew introductions with Matt Lowell, who is finishing up his first season on the mountain. But first I'll catch you up on our weather. Most of Tuesday's weather was nice, but we did see our first rain showers in a week. We only tallied a trace of rain with a high of 69 and low of 47 Tuesday. Wednesday has been dry thus far, but with more clouds this morning than in recent days.
Now, I'll turn the introduction over to Matt.
My name is Matthew Lowell. This is my first season on Mt. LeConte and, so far, I am enjoying myself and grateful for the opportunity.
I was born on the Island of Guam and spent my childhood living in various parts of Asia and Africa. As a family, we moved a lot and, because of that, I think adjusting to new places is in my blood. After high school I moved back to the states to get my college degree.
I went to school in Jackson, Tenn., home to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, an overabundance of chain restaurants and an uncanny knack for being hit by tornadoes. While in Jackson I worked my way through college and crammed a four-year degree into four and a half years. I studied public relations and graduated into an abysmal hiring period we now know as ‘the Great Recession.’
After graduation I moved to Nashville for several years. While in Nashville I worked, played music, ate “Nashville Hot Chicken,” and received a free tetanus shot from the city when there was a city-wide flood in 2010. A word to the wise—you never know when you might need to be current on your tetanus. Before working at LeConte I worked for a company that created music for TV commercials.
I was first introduced to LeConte in 2009 when a good friend of mine started working as crew here. I came up to visit and, since then, working on LeConte has always been at the back of my mind. During the winter of 2012 I started thinking about LeConte again and decided to apply for a job here. I was ready for a change of scenery, so when general manager Tim Line offered me a job, I quickly accepted.
I enjoy life on the mountain. I hardly miss television anymore and aside from the convenience of paying bills online I do not miss having the Internet at my fingertips 24 hours a day. Our days are busy but I still find time to read, write, play my guitar and beat other crew members at Yahtzee…especially Chris.
Thanks to Matt for providing the introduction. Allyson is scheduled to return to the mountain today, so I'll turn High on LeConte updates over to her. Thanks for reading. Happy trails.
Sept. 10, 2013
Good afternoon to everyone. I hope you all had rewarding weekends. I enjoyed reading your comments from the last update. Weather on the mountain has been wonderful for about a week. Today has been mostly sunny, which was also the case yesterday. Monday's high was 68 with a low of 52 up top. The chances of rain increase a bit midweek with drier, cooler temperatures expected for the weekend.
I noticed quite a bit of trail work had been completed on the upper half of Alum Cave Bluff Trail. The trail crew has put in a lot of sweat clearing out waterbars, digging drainage channels in low spots and repairing a couple of steps in the upper section of wooden steps. Between carrying all those tools up the mountain and the exertion required to use them in the thinner air--there's not a minute of that work that was easy. Thanks to them for their hard work.
There's really only one trail concern I saw, and that was a frayed cable on the first slide past Gracie's Pulpit (right about halfway up Alum Cave Bluff Trail). Just a short distance past Gracie's Pulpit, you'll notice the first cabled section (this cable is coated in plastic).
Where the cable runs through the eyes bolted into the rock on the right it has become frayed with just a few strands holding on. There is a relatively new slide off to the left there, so don't hold on to that cable with a lot of weight. It shouldn't be a big problem until that section gets icy. I'm sure the trail crew will be working on that soon. They do a great job with limited resources to keep all the avenues to LeConte in good shape.
I noticed my hike up yesterday afternoon felt like the warmest I've done this year (maybe it's just because it was sunny). I always pack extra water and certainly drank more than usual yesterday on my hike up. I especially noticed the warmth around Inspiration Point (just below Alum Cave Bluff), as the rocks were sun-baked and radiating a lot of heat. The trail was also the driest I've seen this year, which makes for better footing.
I passed four gentlemen (who were also doing their fair share of sweating) on their descent between Alum Cave Bluff and Gracie's Pulpit. "I can smell the finish line," one of them told me. To which I replied, "You may just be smelling me." At any rate, please pack plenty of water. You're welcome to refill those water bottles up here at the blue-handled spigot beside the office.
During this time of year hikers need to be cognizant that they may experience three seasons on an overnight hike to LeConte Lodge. You can certainly feel summer on your ascent up the mountain, enjoy nice autumn temperatures when you arrive up top and, with any sort of breeze at all, overnight lows in the 40s might remind you of winter.
The purple gentian and grass of Parnassus are moving past their peak, but still impressive and in abundance around Grassy Slide as you near the top of the Alum Cave Bluff Trail. Meanwhile, up top at the lodge, the mountain ash berries are putting on a display with their bright, red berries cast against a blue sky.
That's the news around LeConte today. Hope to see you soon. Happy trails.
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!