It is a cold, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached a mere six degrees. The low got down to negative 16 degrees. It was negative 10 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new snow and the total up top is down to about 6 inches. The snow has gotten just packed down enough for it to be slick. It is exhausting work to get up the trails, so please take that into account when planning your hike. It took me about 25% longer to get up Alum than it usually does due to the tricky snow and ice conditions. Be prepared for an intense day if you plan to hike up.
I had a wonderful, perspective shifting hike yesterday. My buddy Aaron and I decided to go big and started down Bullhead at around 9:30 am. The bitter cold held off once we got further into the trees, it seemed as though they were respecting our ambition and shielding us from the harshest of the elements. The snow was soft, we were skating down the mountain on the more gentle sections. After a quick lunch in town, we headed up to get a view of my mountain home from Chimney Tops. There had hardly been anyone on the trail (besides a few intrepid sledders!) and we hiked through fresh snow for the final mile of our ascent. The last few handholds were covered in snow, we blew it aside and enjoyed the fantastic view from our well earned perch. After some graceful buttsliding and a tricky descent in the snow, we glided down the trail. We paused to listen to the trees creaking in the deep freeze and building winds. Finally, we headed up to Alum. The golden light slanting through the trees was beyond words. It buoyed us as our legs were starting to drag. The Almond Snickers helped, too. We caught sunset from above the double stairs and made our way to the lodge through the beginnings of the night, fu-Inlé. All day I was dazed by how fortunate it was to have these marvelous woods set aside, a place to feel yourself in the splendor of the great other. So beautiful, so necessary. Everything pales in comparison to this level of awe.
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!