I expect that the sun will continue to improve trail conditions. Crew member Walt headed down on off days Wednesday and reported that Alum Cave Bluff Trail remains passable after the new snow. He did mention a few slick spots on the log footbridges, but they're lower in elevation and should melt quicker than ice up here on the summit.
Wednesday saw another inch of new snow, pushing us to about five inches of snow this week. We still have 16 inches of snow on the ground at LeConte Lodge. We certainly didn't get any melting done yesterday with a high of 29 and low of 18 this morning. We're still expecting overnight temperatures to submarine below freezing. While I think we'll see some helpful melting the next few days, conditions will probably be most slippery in the morning after the refreezing and before thawing resumes later in the day.
Now back to introducing Lindi, the pride of Somerset, Pa. Lindi filled out our 10th and final crew position in 2012, and no one she works with regrets her decision. She's been filling double-duty for us on Sundays--waking up early to lead sunrise service and working a full day as a crew member. I'll turn it over to Lindi.
Lindi Berkey lives a life that begs for one adventure after another. When she calls home to talk to her mom, her mom begs her to settle down or start a career. Lindi, in return, tells her of her newest set of plans and adventures.
So a phone call home last April went something like this.
Lindi: "Mom, I've got some interesting news for you, but you're gonna want to be sitting down."
Mom: "Oh heavens, what is it this time?"
Lindi: "I'm quitting my nursing job, losing my benefits and giving up my apartment to move to a national park and work full-time in a lodge! Sound good?"
Phone calls like that to the Berkey home aren't always well received, nevertheless last May Lindi moved to the mountain and became the 10th and final crew member for the 2012 season. Although this is her first year on crew, Lindi is not new to LeConte. She first hiked up in 2010 a few times to help lead Sunday morning worship services at Myrtle Point. Last year she was our regular chaplain, hiking up every Saturday, spending the night and then leading church services for the guests and crew before hiking down Sunday afternoon.
Having the opportunity to be part of the LeConte staff has been an amazing blessing. How few people get to watch the weather roll in or the seasons change from a vantage point like Mt. LeConte.
Lindi has gotten to travel and see some amazing places from the elk rut in Yellowstone to the shores of Belize to a 14,000-foot view in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yet LeConte will always hold a special place in her life and she looks forward to another fantastic year as chaplain next season.