Good morning world,
The weather has taken a drastic turn this morning, sunshine and blue skies are a thing of the past! At the moment, it is currently a warm 35 degrees out there. Unfortunately, we lost some of our precious snow yesterday, so we're standing in about 5.5" right now. Ominous clouds hang over head, while aggressive gusts of wind raise the hairs on the back of your neck. As the sun rises over the Western North Carolina mountains, grays become more and more present. Our usual predawn colors have been eliminated by a stout storm cloud. Dark blue hues are present down below, city lights begin to grow dim as the morning unravels. Here I lay in the darkness, face illuminated only by the screen of my computer. Window cracked ever so slightly, inhumane gusts of wind snake their way into my cabin. The call of a single bird can be heard in the distance, pausing for a breath every 2 seconds. I thoroughly enjoy how abrupt the weather is on this mountain. A complete change in conditions can happen overnight, and even in a matter of minutes. Ironically, winds have started to pick up as I punch each letter on my keyboard! Looking at today's forecast, a "High Wind Advisory" has been issued for the Northeastern portion of the Smoky Mountains National Park, and other surrounding areas. Gusts of 50+ mph are anticipated until Tuesday evening. In addition, heavy pockets of rain are possible over the next two days, with moderate rain showers being the most prevalent. Temperatures should hover around the high 30 to the mid 40s early this week, which is significantly warmer than recent bone-chilling days. With a hefty amount of rain in the near future, it looks like this weekend will be our next window of sunshine. With it being only Monday, patience is virtue during these dark times...
Yesterday's high was a pleasant 36 degrees, with a chilling low of 15! Looking at my rain gauge this morning, it seems we received trace amounts of rain either last night or early this morning. With crystal clear skies and sunshine throughout the morning and afternoon, snow blindness was a huge threat. Skies started out cloudless, with wispy strands of clouds slowly getting thicker and thicker. Come sunset time, the clouds blocked the grand finale with minutes to spare. The snow disappeared from the hemlocks within hours, truly a sad sight. Overall, another beautiful day spent up high! Hanging out around the snow-capped lodges and frosted trees yesterday morning felt similar to an alpine ski resort. Blue skies above and a small sea of clouds below paired well, and the views were incomprehensible...
If you are planning on making a trip to the top of Mount LeConte, please be advised. Heavy snow cover and possible ice sheets reside towards the top, so you might want to bring some traction for your boots! Sun-exposed areas have little to no snow, while shaded slopes remain unscathed. Footing is an issue in some areas where the snow covers rocks and roots, so watch your step as you make the climb. As of right now, Highway 441 is currently open, so all trails are accessible. With high winds on the radar for the next few days, road closure is a possibility, Whether it be high winds alone or downed trees, the highway could very well close again today or tomorrow. That being said, be sure to check the road status before entering the park. Also, use extreme caution along exposed portions of the trail. One strong gust of wind can send an unsuspecting individual over the edge, so use those cables to your advantage! Stay smart out there, folks! Bring a hefty rain jacket, some dry socks, and a passion for discovery and exploration...
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!