Keep LeConte Out of the Firing Line
Good day to everyone. We're basking in a beauty of a Thursday afternoon at LeConte Lodge. I'm surprised there haven't been more day hikers out and about. The visibility rates excellent, and you can see as far as your eye is good. For me, that stretches to the Cumberland Mountains on the lodge side of the mountain and the observation tower on top of Clingman's Dome on LeConte's backside. The azure skies cloak the top of Tennessee in a glorious fashion.
By midmorning we had already bettered our Wednesday high of 34. The overnight low plummeted to 16 degrees. We haven't seen such a cold night since March 6, which was a huge airlift day for us prior to opening (and Alamo Day for all you history buffs and Col. David Crockett fans).
I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I did want to pass along a couple of things that will help protect our fine mountain. Perhaps you all can help us by passing along the good word. As you can see in the photo to the left, I was dismayed to find a fire ring off the trail to the backcountry shelter. I understand it wasn't a huge bonfire. But when you live in a windy environment in wood cabins a long way away from the fire department, it doesn't take a big fire to complicate your day. No campfires are permitted on Mt. LeConte, including the shelter area. For years people degraded the resource by chopping down trees (which already have a tough life gracing the top of our rugged mountain) for firewood, prompting a total fire ban on LeConte. Nor is anyone allowed to chop down deadwood on LeConte. Gravity and nature will do their work on their time schedule. Though most of the below tree stumps are not recent casualties, they serve as a row of tombstones and a reminder to fiercely protect what enriches LeConte. While some trees fell naturally, a short walk through the shelter area reveals too many stumps decapitated by human hands.
Keep LeConte special and have a fine day.
Jeanie (& Pat)
4/12/2012 06:49:22 am
Thanks Nathan, for another great post. Glad it warmed up for you all. And Thanks for the reminder about the campfires. I guess some people just don't think. I've got "LeConte" Fever so this blog sure does help keep me at work instead of throwing in the towel and heading your way. Can't wait to get up there. Have a great day!!!
It was a very cold night here in Michigan too. I think the low was 25. Not nearly as cold as LeConte. Brrr! I'm ready for it to stay warm and quit teasing us. Boy what a traggic loss that would be to loose all of the Lodge. Wow!! Keep preaching, if you reach one about no fires its worth it.
4/12/2012 02:22:49 pm
Six months from today, we will be spending the night at the lodge. As always - we can't wait! Looking forward to those fall colors this time.
4/12/2012 10:55:12 pm
I really appreciate the daily blogs, especially when ya'll post the weather temps up there, it helps prepare for our trip up on Sunday!
4/13/2012 01:03:34 am
@Gina (and anyone else who is interested). Here is a link to the daily posted temperatures from Allyson and Chris on Mt. LeConte and various other locations in the area, just in case you missed them. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/productview.php?pil=MRXRTPMRX&versions=8 I hope this will help you and others in planning your trips to the mountains.
4/13/2012 01:18:02 am
Like Jeanie above said, some people don't think about the consequences of building open fires, especially in windy conditions; Personally I think many of these inconsiderate people also do not care; perhaps they think they're privileged or something; I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and I hope I'm not being overly eccentric, for it's nearly impossible for me to understand and comprehend how some unthinking and uncaring folks can do things like this, and littering on the trails; When I see even the smallest of bits of trash, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, and the like, discarded along any trail it infuriates me ! I have filled several small trash bags while hiking in the Park before with such items; And, yes, fire around the lodge could be deadly n many ways; I appreciate all the comments here from the folks who truly give serious thought to thier actions and that have a great love for the lodge as I do; I may not get up there as often as I'd like, but through this site and my memories of my visits I maintain my desire to be a guest and supporter of the lodge; Keep up the good work Nathan and crew !
4/13/2012 01:57:05 am
I don't think we can generalize that those who build fires are the privileged elite or anything. They probably simply don't know any better. Either that or they figure they were good Scouts back in the day and "know how to build a safe fire." Probably more ignorant than arrogant.
4/13/2012 02:51:40 am
Priviledged & elite is staying in an expensive lodge where provisions are brought in by helicopter...
4/13/2012 05:26:37 am
4/13/2012 01:06:29 pm
Yes, privileged may ot be the right description of those who litter, etc. Like Randy said, they probably just don't know better !
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