Sunny Day, Sweepin' the Clouds Away
The weather is looking much better for the next few days. The high temperature for yesterday was 24º with a low of 10º. The sun came out and recharged the crew. They should be good to go for a little while. This morning brought a thin cloud layer on top of camp, but we can see the valley below. That is always a good sign. Hwy 441 opened yesterday. That means Alum Cave trail is accessible. Now, remember that no one has been on Alum Cave so it is going to be deep in places and you may be the first one breaking trail. Some of the crew hiked down Rainbow yesterday and said it was in great shape. Unless you are experienced hiker, I still recommend Rainbow. All of our guests made it up yesterday. We had 48 in camp. Everyone seemed happy and warm once they reached the top. Well, it is time to get breakfast ready. Happy hiking and be safe out there.
3/28/2013 12:41:09 am
Wow!! Looks very crispy up there this morning. Beautiful picture.
3/28/2013 01:06:46 am
Cold, frigid, and dark. What more could I ask for !? For a winter visit anyway. I, too, am ready for spring in its fullest. THe very thought recharges me. Glad to see that you had a full house. Good morning !
3/28/2013 01:11:39 am
Beautiful shot!! It has snowed here for the last 4 days, but thankfully nothing on the ground, just cold. More than ready to put away the down coat and break out the Chacos!!! Bring on spring!
3/28/2013 01:37:33 am
Thank you so much for your faithful morning posts- we hang on to your every word anticipating our trip this weekend. We will take our very first hike up your beautiful mountain on Saturday. We are going to be bringing the sun with us. I don't care what that forecast says. I am 49 years old, but as excited as a child waiting for Christmas morning!!
3/29/2013 12:48:22 pm
Went up Rainbow Falls and down Alum Cave today (3/29). Both trails packed snow and icy over large sections of trail. Highly recommend yak tracks and trekking poles to make for a faster, but more importantly safer, hike. Snowing all afternoon and still doing so when we exited trail so maybe more accumulation tonight? A little snow accumulation on the trails may actually help with traction.
3/28/2013 01:41:02 am
Oh, wait, we will be there for Easter morning! Maybe I'll bring some eggs to hide.
3/28/2013 02:05:29 am
Have a great trip!!!!!! I hang on every word as well!
3/28/2013 10:06:15 am
Wouldn't be hard to hide eggs up there!
3/28/2013 11:53:17 am
Just don't color them and unless they are brown eggs, no one will find them ;o)
3/29/2013 03:54:39 pm
Hi Wildcat Flcons go into wildfowers.
3/28/2013 01:53:51 am
Thank you for the updates. Looks brisk, but enticing enough to consider a hike up Alum Cave Trail....referring to the breakfast. =))
3/28/2013 02:37:55 am
We're coming up Monday. Will the Llama trin be up there that day... or is it still too early in the season?
3/28/2013 02:48:04 am
I am so fascinated by this beautiful mountain and I want that shirt! I'll be in the Smokies the last week of April. I would like to try and make it to the top. I'm not a real hiker(I've been up to Laural Falls). I'm not young and I'll be alone. I won't go any further than I know I'm able. Which trail would you reccomend and how long should it take?
3/28/2013 02:58:59 am
Live webcam shot of Mt. LeConte from Gatlinburg. Very clear day today.
3/28/2013 04:34:25 am
Judy, the best trail by far is Alum Cave. If you are planning on an up and down in one day, I would recommend that you start practicing uphill hiking. Alum and Laurel Falls, are no comparison. That being said, I have hiked up and back with non hiking people, and they have done fine. Alum is also the most traveled trail to the Lodge, there should be many people on the trail in case you encounter a problem. Do take a camera, Alum has some spectacular spots! Good Luck and we will look forward to you posting once you have returned from the top!
3/28/2013 06:32:57 am
The weather is looking up, great!
3/28/2013 07:03:09 am
Hey Kent: I'm glad you mentioned that trek; it IS a nice one; perhaps some of the readers here desiring a short day hike could follow that route. Another one I've taken a few times begins at CD, follows the A.T. briefly, then drops off the mountain with an overnight at a backcountry site in the "valley"; you can end that one at Huskey Gap trailhead, Elkmont, or a couple of other destinations. I've done a tremendous amount of trekking around that area because I can tent camp at Elkmont and go on any of several routes in the immediate vicinity of the campground. G'day.
3/28/2013 07:46:54 am
Doug, great idea basing at Elkmont. I took a little River Trail from there last November and quite enjoyed it. It was mostly flat, but there's something about the sound of the river that's quite soothing. The Husky Gap Trail is pleasant, also.
3/28/2013 08:56:12 am
3/28/2013 07:48:05 am
Hi, we are hiking up on Saturday morning for a two night stay. Do the current trail conditions require Yaktrax or similar traction devices?
3/28/2013 08:24:33 am
Ed-Yes, I have no doubt the upper section of Alum and Rainbow Falls will still have enough ice/slick spots for traction devices. I hope to day hike Alum on Saturday, and I will have mine with me. Enjoy your trip, it will beautiful!
3/28/2013 01:01:30 pm
@ Steve D, looks like the rain will be in there late afternoon. If that holds up we are planning on attempting a summit. Got traction devices today. Hope there will still be snow on top.
3/28/2013 09:03:26 am
Thank you so much Mary. My camera is like my third arm so no chance of leaving that behind! I was last in the Smokies the week of Sandy and the big snow. They opened 441 on Halloween just long enough for me to drive up to Newfound Gap. What an amazing sight! The Smokies are such a life restoring place to be and Mt Leconte just seems like the cherry on top of the sundae.
3/28/2013 11:50:54 am
I picture the crew walking around with small solar panels on their heads and going faster or slower depending on the sun.
3/28/2013 01:22:55 pm
Tony Ga-yes the rain doesn't look like a big issue does it? I will let you know tomorrow if I can make it, my wife is doing a bit better today. I bet there will be snow left up there.
3/28/2013 01:27:12 pm
We are planning to hike up Rainbow on Thursday for our Spring Break- and very excited! How far up Rainbow before you see snow?
3/28/2013 03:53:07 pm
3/29/2013 06:22:05 am
we are heading up Saturday. The pics look great! We don't have spikes but are experienced hikers coming up Alum. I will check this site again tomorrow before we head up. I am assuming Alum trailhead is safe to park your car. See ya'll Saturday.
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