It is still a cold wintery landscape on the top of the mountain. Pat and Jeanie returned from days off and said Alum Cave trail was like a luge. They witnessed several day hikers take pretty big spills. All of the trails are still extremely icy. Please do not attempt a hike up with out any sort of ice traction on your boots. The temperatures are still brutally cold. The low last night was 11 with a high yesterday of 25. We are currently under heavy cloud coverage and it the wind is howling. The current temperature is 21.
As the days fly by and I am saying goodbye to all of the amazing folks we have met through out the years, I am reminded how it was possible for us to make it 12 seasons. If it were not for the warm and friendly faces of the spectacular folks we have come to know and love over the years, I would have picked indoor plumbing years ago. Chris and I will miss seeing everyone on a year to year basis. We have looked forward to seeing the kids get older and even meet the next generation that they are starting to introduce to our favorite mountain. We have made some life long friends and I am so grateful for that. My life is forever enriched by my time at the lodge and nothing can ever take that from me. This is not my last post. I am waiting for the weekend to let those of you who have asked about the next chapter in our lives, read about it. Stay tuned for trail updates as well. Safe hiking and see you at the top.
Yesterday was beautiful but brutally cold. The high never reached above 4 degrees. Our 24 hour high was 9. The low was -1. It is currently 12. Hwy 441 is open and folks did hike down Alum yesterday. The trails are going to be icy, so be careful and take your time. Our guests had no problems hiking up yesterday. Everyone made it to the lodge before dinner time.
We are officially down to our last week on the mountain. It won't be long until J.P. is making is way back to the lodge. He is looking forward to his return and hoping some of the big snows are still to come. That is fine with me. I will look up from our house in Gatlinburg and thank goodness that I don't have to trek to the outhouse. As I was walking around camp last night and enjoying the beautiful glow on the snow capped mountain, I was trying to decide if I was going to miss the scenery more than I was not going to miss using the privy at -1 degrees. It was a hard choice, but you can't beat the beauty of this mountain. I am trying to soak in every picture perfect moment before I hike down next Wednesday. I am fortunate to call Gatlinburg home and will be able to lace up my boots and hike up treats for the crew at any given time.
Wowzer........It is cooooollllllddddd!!! The low last night was -2 degrees. It is warming up nicely and is currently 0. We had a good time watching Kristin Farley broadcast live from the mountain. As far as we know, that is the first time that has been attempted. The crew did stay the night with us. I am sure they were happy to be in a warm bed instead of on the trail in this weather.
We awoke to 1.5" of snow on the ground. The trails are going to be extremely icy today. Please make sure you have some sort of ice traction for your boots. If you are hiking up today, I would pack plenty of hand warmers and extra clothing to layer with. If you are hitting the trail late, we ask you to call our office so we know you are out there. You can call Christi at 865-429-5704 and let her know what party you are with and what trail you are on. That way we can keep tabs on everyone and make sure you make it to the top safely.
Hwy 441 is currently closed. The Park Service will be working on the road to clear the ice. They hope to have the road open by noon. If you are hiking up for the night, I would suggest taking the Rainbow Falls trail. It will be the most traveled. Please, start early and give yourself plenty of time to make it to the top. We will have the heaters blasting and lots of hot cocoa waiting on you.
The Lodge is reporting no precipitation, but is has dropped to 20, so all of the wet surfaces are now becoming very icy. Ice traction devices will definitely be needed tomorrow. Hopefully, Allyson will be able to update tomorrow morning.
Allyson is still having technical difficulties from the mountain. She asked that I post the following: Below is a Facebook link promoting the Kristin Farley news series on LeConte: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=904807172877695&fref=nf .
No new weather updates so far.
Good morning from the mountain. I apologize for not posting yesterday, I am having some technical difficulties with my personal computer and I had to get the lodge computer powered up. Unfortunately, I am working on a way to download a photo. I used my phone on my other computer and it is not linked to this computer. So, I will take the day to figure out the issues. I have already sent my camera and card reader off the mountain, so, I have no backup like I normally would.
I am sure you are wondering what the weather is doing. Right now, it is 40 degrees and raining. We have received 1.21" of rain over the last 24 hours. The high was 41 with a low of 31. We can not tell what the weather is going to do. This has been the strangest forecast. We notice it keeps changing. We will keep you posted on any updates that might affect your hike up. For now, it is just rain.
We have some exciting media coverage in the works. Channel 6, WATE, out of Knoxville is on their way up the mountain to broadcast a live media coverage from the mountain. As far as I know, this has never been done before. I believe they are starting with the 4 o'clock news. It should be interesting to see if this is going to work. If you are in the Knoxville viewing area, tune in and you can see the weather for yourself.
In all of my time on the mountain, I have never known it to be cold, cloudy, icy, and snowing in the lower elevations and clear and beautiful at the top. Yesterday was the exception. Chrissy and Alan said they hiked out of the clouds about two miles below the lodge. We had a stellar day at the lodge. It was cold, the high was 28º and the low was 11º, but blue skies prevailed. We stayed in an inversion for the entire day. Chris took a hike to Cliff Tops to capture the stunning photograph above. We are gearing up for a busy weekend. I foresee a lot of hot chocolate being consumed. We are currently looking at 23º and sunny, clear skies. It is going to be a great day to be in the mountains.
Yesterday was a crazy weather day. We started out above the clouds and the temperature was reasonable for mid November. Our high was 44º. As the day progressed, we noticed a cloud cover hanging out over the mountain. We seemed to be stuck in the middle. We watched the temperatures drop and then the sleet and snow flurries moved in. The snow did not last long and we did not see any accumulation. The temperatures proceeded to drop making our low for last night 8º. I have decided that the number one thing I will not miss about this mountain is using the pit privy when it is 8º outside.
We awoke this morning to a beautiful inversion. It is still really cold out there. We are currently looking at 11º. The temperatures are not expected to warm much today. Please, come prepared for extremely cold conditions if you are hiking up today. Be careful for black ice on the trails. There will be some slick spots.
It's a beautiful morning. We have been above the clouds for the past 24 hours. The sun is out and it is currently 37º. The high yesterday was 42º with a low of 36º. I think the inversion kept our temperatures from dropping significantly. There is not a whole lot going on up top. We have had low numbers of guests, mostly couples. I finished up my menu for the crew Thanksgiving feast. It is our biggest meal of the season. We sit down as a family, the Sunday before we leave, and give thanks for the season and the life long friends we have made. It is one of my favorite traditions on the mountain. It takes me a few days to prep the dishes. It is a proud moment when I can orchestrate perfect timing and all of the dishes come out hot and at the same time. I always share pictures, so stay tuned.
Today will be spent preparing for the arctic blast. We have to make sure the water system is shut down and everything is kept from freezing. It is extra work on our part, but after twelve seasons, Chris has it down pat. The biggest part of the job is making sure the guests arrive safely and everyone is warm and well taken care of. So, with that being said, I think it is time to get some hot cocoa on the stove.
I wished I had not sent all of my summer clothes off the mountain. Yesterday was a perfect day for soaking in some vitamin D. The high was a toasty 60º and the low dropped down to 37º. Just goes to show the extreme temperatures we see on the mountain. Talking about extreme temperatures, I don't think those summer clothes would come in handy over the next few days. The forecast is looking frigid. We might see some more snow before the weekend is over. We are seeing a lot of snow melt, so the ground is pretty saturated. This means, when the temperatures drop, we are going to see ice on the trails. If you are scheduled to hike up during this arctic blast, you might want to invest in some ice traction for your boots. Yaktrax, Micro spikes, and Stabilicers are a few of the brands you will find. They are great for walking on packed snow and ice. If you are day hiking, please make sure you have plenty of time for your hike down the mountain. The temperatures will not be very forgiving. We will keep you updated on trail conditions and any news we have on our end. Please be safe and 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!