The still silence. The whipping of the wind. The pitter-patter of passing precipitation. The consistency of the clouds. The calming trickle of the creeks. Mt. LeConte sits idly in the crosshairs of winter’s last gasps while spring insists on making a roaring arrival. March, a month known for its climatic turbulence in these parts, signals not only a changing of the guard among seasons, but also a reawakening of the heart, mind, and spirit. While bare trees and light frosts linger for several more weeks atop coniferous covered peaks, some of the smallest and most fragile of species punch their way through compacted and leaf-laden soil and announce to the world, “I’m awake! I’m alive! And I’m here to stay!”
The summit of Mt. LeConte is about to make its own grand proclamation as it slowly stirs and staggers out of its winter slumber. The clanging of hammers, the cadence of increasing footsteps, and the return of tantalizing smells rising up from the kitchen mean another season for LeConte Lodge is creeping ever closer. Soon a revitalized crew will make their annual ascent to perform the long list of necessary tasks to get these cozy cabins ready for an excited group of distant travelers. That means eight months of memory making once the supplies have been delivered, the beds made, the tables set, and the shirts folded.
The weather has the most obvious impact when it comes to living life in the wilderness and operating a backcountry lodge. Looking at the forecast these next couple weeks has made this much apparent...everyone needs to do their favorite happy sun dance. Yesterday marked day one of what could be a lengthy stretch of cloudy confines. Our temps hovered around 40° much of the day. Most of the rainfall we received fell during the night, totaling 0.48”. Trails are clear of snow and ice, but count on having to meander through some mud.
Special thanks to our stable of winter caretakers these past few months, specifically Steve, Kemp, and Pnut. Hopefully you all enjoyed their musings and visual offerings of life on the mountain.
Time to get after it. Those water tanks won’t fill themselves!