We had a mild night. It got down to 30 degrees. It was up to 42 on the summit yesterday. It was 34 and clear at weather observation. Looks like another nice day. The ice has melted at lower elevations, but there are still quite a few tricky sections high up on Alum.
I had a great day yesterday. I hiked down to Park Service HQ and introduced myself to dispatch. It's nice to finally have faces to put to the call number 700. I met Mr. Wightman who was kind enough to field my questions about the WFR course offered at the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont. It'd be great to get more qualified without having to leave the park!
I hiked up Alum and saw a lot of people coming down. It looks like all the widowmakers have crashed, but I'm sure there will be more on their way soon. I made it up here in record time and made some tasty soup for dinner. It felt good to finally do a long day.
12/3/2011 12:24:29 am
Good writing and photography JP. I look forward to reading your updates each day. In fact, now it is the first site I open, ahead of Fox News, Sports, Facebook, and all the others.
12/3/2011 12:35:21 am
Enjoying reading your posts. You are doing an excellent job with your daily blog. Thanks for keeping us updated.
12/3/2011 01:05:22 am
Love your updates !
12/3/2011 01:06:17 am
O! I got it! Logging term,most in Pacific Northwest and Redwood country.
12/3/2011 01:07:08 am
Hey JP!! Thanks for the awesome pics and updates!
12/3/2011 01:08:37 am
And we all want you to have your Wilderness First Responder!
12/3/2011 01:29:19 am
You would think the Boomer Squirrels would be more nervous at Alum than they are w/ the Widow Makers coming down.
12/3/2011 01:49:22 am
I loved your post yesterday I headed up your way. It was a delight. I saw a Mama Bear and 2 cubs on my drive from Townsend to the Visitor Center. What a treat that was - haven't seen a bear in the Smokies since I was a kid! Then the walk along the Alum Cave Trail (only made it to Arch Rock) was just what my soul needed. I took tons of pictures, loved the little bit of snow, the temp was perfect and the roar of the mountain creek was music to my ears. Thanks for inspiring me to do something I've never done before! Next to make it up to Alum Cave!
12/3/2011 02:19:45 am
Great pics and commentary. I hope you have a good season up there, and like the rest of the envious people on here, keep up the good "work"! At least you got plenty of time to study for your WFR course!
12/3/2011 02:40:11 am
Good job JP. You're a natural at this. Thanks.
12/3/2011 03:03:58 am
JP, I was wondering if you could give us some insight on how to become the winter caretaker at Le Conte. Thanks for the posts and pictures.
12/3/2011 04:20:17 am
Thanks for the updates and pictures. The photos and quotes are great. Thanks a lot.
12/3/2011 10:33:34 am
You have made it to my favorites bar.
12/3/2011 11:05:43 am
Hey JP you are definitely sending the "good vibrations" (even though you are a long way from the beach) to all of us.
12/3/2011 02:13:56 pm
I hope the sunsets never get old for you! Thank you for sharing what you see each day with us.
12/3/2011 10:36:09 pm
Like Jacob, I was wondering how they go about selecting a winter caretaker, as well as crew members; I was a special forces ranger in Viet Nam, have extensive training in survival, rescue, much more and have applied to be a crew member; I'll be content to continue as a guest. And I'm searching for someone to hike with. Great job there nonetheless !!
12/3/2011 11:26:37 pm
12/4/2011 04:02:12 am
Thanks for the quick response. I love the Smokys and Le Conte. I am lucky to have a job that I enjoy; I am a teacher in Missouri. I just have always been curious as to how crew members were chosen. Again, thanks for keeping a good blog!
12/4/2011 05:30:16 am
Yes, JP, thanks for the speedy reply; I work two good full-time jobs and as much as I'd love to work at the lodge, or in the Park, I'm content; Yes, it's hard to land a position there, and I'm thankful for the courteous people they hire; I had probably hiked the AT before you were born; I'm an old(er) codger, but I'm fit as a fiddle; Keep up your good work and posts.
12/5/2011 09:00:26 am
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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!