In the instant you leave far behind all human relation, wife, mother and child, and live only with the savages - water, air, light, carbon, lime and granite... I become a moist cold element. Nature grows over me. Frogs pipe; waters far off tinkle; dry leaves hiss; grass bends and rustles; and I have died out of the human world and come to feel a strange, cold, aqueous terraqueous, aerial etherial sympathy and existence. I sow the sun and moon for seeds. Emerson
The high yesterday reached 32 degrees. It was 31 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The low was 9 degrees yesterday morning. It warmed up throughout the day and continued to do so overnight. The mountain received no new precipitation. There are 5 inches of snow on the ground up top. The trails are in pretty good shape. There's enough snow on the ground to give you some purchase and make traction devices unnecessary. Be sure to factor in that it takes a bit longer to hike in the snow. Footing is worse and you're unable to make the quick progress you're accustomed to on clear trails. Turn around at 3pm if you aren't up top, unless you have a headlamp and enjoy night hiking!
_It's another beautiful morning up top. I just came back from sunrise reverie with my dear friend First Man. We looked out upon the sky of purple, orange and pink fire marvelling at the universe at our feet. It's impossible to look at those mountains and not feel the tug of sweet sentiments, having hiked their length from Springer to Katahdin nearly 3 years ago. We're blessed to have such fulfilling memories... the only thing sweeter is the fact that we have a lifetime of such blissful adventures ahead of us.
_A big thank you to Mark Bengel of Florence, KY for bringing me a set of fantastic new wool socks from Red Wing Shoes. Happy feet make a happy caretaker!
and i will hang for you. and you will hang for me. and the northern lights will take us in like refugees.
It's a stunning morning up here today. The high yesterday reached 38 degrees. The low reached 8 degrees and it is currently 9 degrees and clear up top. The mountain received 5 inches of new snow, bringing our grand total up to 6 inches. There is a sea of clouds outside the kitchen porch. There are some gentle reds and oranges shading the horizon. It's good to be back.
_I had a fantastic hike up Rainbow yesterday. There was a light snow falling at the trailhead and I had a pack weighed down with canned goodies (thanks Ron & Marty!). It was a good excuse to take it nice & easy. I was watching the snow fall to the ground and all of the sudden I was at the Rocky Spur Overlook. I can not recall falling into such a wonderful lull while hiking since my days on the AT. It felt like a sober blackout. Perhaps the new snow intoxicated me! I really don't remember much of the hike beyond Rainbow Falls ... it was like I wasn't there.
__It is finally beginning to feel like winter. I can see my breath in the kitchen and have to blow into my hands every few minutes to keep typing. It's my favorite kind of pennance.
Remember, for the latest road conditions, check out the Park Service's twitter feed. Happy hiking!
Hello everyone! Allyson here. Chris and I just wanted to hijack JP's post and wish you all a very happy new year. See you in March.
they try and they try but everything that they do is the ghost of a trace of a pale imitation of you.
I apologize for not posting yesterday. I was having trouble with the internet connection during the morning storm. We had some severe winds on Christmas night and received 1.70" of rain. The high was 41 degrees and the low reached 31 degrees. It was 36 degrees and raining hard at 7am observation.
I saw a big buck while I was coming up the Bullhead trail yesterday. He was the largest animal I've seen above the Old Sugarlands trail. Fittingly, on the one day I couldn't find my camera! I heard him crawling up through the brush, thinking I'd perhaps see a Smokey Mountain Bear. As he bound onto the trail, I counted 8 points on his antlers. We had that unique and sacred animal interaction when we locked eyes. I forgot who I was for the minute he was sizing me up and then he gracefully lept over a few blowdowns. I followed his prints for about another mile, doing my best not to step on any sticks but move quickly enough to see him again. It was magical.
_The high yesterday reached 36 degrees. The low was 13 degrees. It was 18 degrees and clear at observation. The mountain received 2 inches of new snow! It's an absurdly gorgeous day up here. The colours during sunrise were phenomenal, a gentle pink lighting up the inversion clouds. There is plenty of stunning hoarfrost coating the trees. It looks as though I could walk a little ways down the Alum Cave trail and continue on the clouds towards Clingman's Dome. It's been my most spectacular morning thus far.
_I'll be taking a few days off the mountain to visit with a friend in Knoxville. I'll be back up on the evening of the 29th. There'll be a few 'relief caretakers' up here to watch the place. My next posting will be on the morning of the 30th. Enjoy the holiday week!
We have left the land and have embarked. We have burned our bridges behind us - indeed, we have gone farther and destroyed the land behind us. Now, little ship, look out! Beside you is the ocean: to be sure, it does not always roar, and at times it lies spread out like silk and gold and reveries of graciousness. But hours will come when you will realize that it is infinite and that there is nothing more awesome than infinity. Nietzsche
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 37 degrees. The overnight low was 31 degrees. It was 34 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received .40" of rain yesterday. We were up in the clouds until evening, when some stars decided to make a guest appearance after a few evenings off. There's almost no more snow left up top and only a few icy sections left on Alum.
This fine morning feels like a blessing after the past few days. I truly do enjoy hiking in the fog, with the mist veiling the universe beyond and only my memory to serve as guide to the local sights. It is it's own kind of special. But still, somehow after a few gray days it's easy to forget what a show the morning puts on. These clear days with a little bit of cloud cover gently shake the sky to life with a mix of warm pinks, lavenders and a hint of orange. It is simply beautiful. There is no point in making it more complicated than it needs to be.
It's a soggy day atop LeConte. The high yesterday reached 36 degrees. The low was 27 degrees early yesterday morning. It was 36 degrees and raining at 7am observation. The mountain received .70" of rain, which means we likely would have received 6-8 inches of snow. My White Christmas is shot!
The trails are sure to be treacherous today. There has been plenty of rain and the temperatures have been warm enough to melt some of the snow. There was ice intermittently from the Double Staircase up to the Lodge on the Alum Cave trail. Be sure to pack Microspikes and use caution.
I spent a good portion of the day yesterday reading in my rocker and watching the wind whip the trees just outside my cabin. There was a special quality in the way the trees were being animated by the powerful winds. It was a raw lullaby. There's so much energy, so much life up here. It's difficult to maintain a sane emotional ballast up here with all the wonder pulsing around me. The highs are high and awe is continually tugging on my pant leg like a young cousin.
As I walked in the woods I felt what I often feel, that nothing can befal me in life, no calamity, no disgrace (leaving me my eyes) to which Nature will not offer a sweet consolation. Standing on the bare ground, with my head bathed in the blithe air, and uplifted into the infinite space, I become happy in my universal relations. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental. I am the heir of unaccustomed beauty and power. Emerson
The high yesterday reached 30 degrees. The low was 10 degrees early yesterday morning and it was 27 degrees and clear at 7am observation. It looks like it will be a stunning day out. These clear, bluebird days with a light layer of snow coating the trees are amongst my favorites. Besides every other day up here, of course. The trails are pretty icy, so bring some sort of traction devices or be prepared to slip around a bit. Enjoy the day!
The high yesterday reached a mere 13 degrees. The overnight low dropped to 6 degrees and it was 9 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation, but there is still about 2 inches of snow up top.
I hiked a little ways down Rainbow Falls trail yesterday. The trail was in better shape than I was expecting. There is some ice that requires caution, but you can get by without using traction devices. There was enough snow on the ice to have some kind of purchase as you make your way up the mountain. Be sure to pack extra layers, it's very cold. It looks like it will be a gorgeous day, with temperatures increasing, some clear skies in the forecast and wind driven snow blanketing the trees. Happy hiking!
It is finally winter. You can tell by looking outside, having the paralyzing early morning air steal the breath from you, and looking at a calendar today. I wish I had a wind gauge up here, things were really rocking up top. I was getting a little worried about the solar panels! The high yesterday reached 36 degrees and the overnight low dipped to 10 degrees! The current temperature is 10 degrees and it is snowing lightly. The mountain has received 2 inches thus far and we also had 1.70" of rain yesterday. The snow started falling around 8pm.
The trails are sure to be a mess today. There was a ton of water on the trail yesterday afternoon and I'm sure it has frozen. I would definitely recommend Microspikes or some other traction device. I also saw a few small blowdowns on Alum yesterday evening, there are bound to be plenty more. For the time being, the Newfound Gap road is closed. Keep an eye on the Park Service's twitter feed for more updates. Happy winter!
Things are crazy up top right now! I could hardly walk from my cabin to the kitchen without sliding down the mountain! We are experiencing every pallette of rain, some of which has immediately turned to ice. My front porch is a sheet of glace. It's almost like Nature is trying to get me into the holiday spirit and remind me of ice skating at Rockefeller Center! The high yesterday was 41 degrees. The overnight low reached 31 degrees. It was 33 degrees and cloudy at observation. The forecast is calling for storms through the afternoon, so be prepared for some nasty weather.
I had an amazing night hike up Alum yesterday evening. The waning moon hung over the ridges as I ascended, a gentle guide to coax me up the mountain.There's nothing quite like taking some quiet moments, turning off my headlamp and turning my attention to the stars. You could taste the approaching storm in the air. It's so easy to make memories up here.
A special thanks to Dave Scanlan and Jackie Huskey for their trail magic! The blueberries, tea and NY Times are much appreciated!
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!