Starting off this Monday above the clouds but beneath the stars. A cold front pushed through in the middle of the night bringing some rain and much cooler temps. What rain we got eventually froze on the surface so there is plenty of slick ice around the mountain. We dipped down into the lower 20s before sunrise and are not expected to escape the 30s as the day progresses. The sun will be out and shining, but these winds are going to give the air some significant bite. Sustained winds of 10-15mph with gusts of 25mph are happening already, so windchill factors will have it feeling like the low teens up here at times. Layer up and come ready for cold if a summit is in your plans today. And know when to turn around - day hikers - as it will get even colder tonight, wasting no time as soon as the sun drops.
Today and tomorrow are the last opportunities to partake of any visitor services, whether they be purchasing merchandise or snacks. Once we halt hosting overnight guests on Wednesday, all other on-site services stop for the season as well. They will resume in late March 2021, although our reservations office and online store will keep charging hard through the winter months. Until then, visitors to Mt. LeConte will need to come fully prepared for their hike and the elements. That means plenty of food, hydration, and the appropriate gear to safely and comfortably traverse the mountain in typically harsher climates.
Have a great start to the week.