2:30 PM Update:
US 441 has just been re-closed due to ice and snow. We are now up to 6" of snow on the ground with flakes still falling. A new wrinkle to the conditions are the increasing winds. We are getting gusts in excess of 20 mph currently, which is causing snow drifts to form. Temperatures remain in the mid 20s.
11:30 AM Update:
It's definitely been an interesting week on the mountain. Late yesterday evening, before the last of the light faded from the sky, we witnessed a quick shift in the precipitation. The clouds that had been misting on us much of the day quickly skipped from sleet to snow. Temps slowly creeped below the freezing mark, leaving us to wonder what kind of scene we would wake up to in the morning. Once again, we were to be blessed with another day in May with snow.
We received 4" of snow during the night, coming after 0.3" of rainfall. The melted snow accounted for another 1" of liquid precipitation. Yesterday's high temperature was a meager 47, and our low bottomed out at 25. It's been holding in the mid 20s ever since, with snow flakes once again coming down. Given the forecast, it's highly likely that we'll see a bump in the accumulation before this system moves out.
US 441 is now open. Cherokee Orchard remains closed above Twin Creeks. It should be said that if you are intent on ascending this mountain, please take all factors into consideration. We had a handful of guests start early and arrive late yesterday, all of whom made the climb up from the visitor center. This inclusion of Old Sugarlands Road with Rainbow Falls makes for a long day, one made even longer given the severity of downed trees. And now there is snow and ice that isn't done falling yet, which will certainly require more energy and more time to hike through. If you aren't used to hiking in these conditions, or equipped with the gear that would allow you to do so safely and comfortably, please think through your options. The mountain is not going anywhere. Please don't put yourself or others at risk.
Temperatures are expected to remain frigid up here throughout the day. The sun is slated to take back control tomorrow with a rise in day time temps. Trail conditions will be soggy as the snow melts. We won't be seeing the llamas again until the roads and trails are cleared of all debris. We gathered reports yesterday of numerous trees down on all trails to and from the mountain.
Have a great weekend and be safe.
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!