Above: View towards LeConte from Brushy Mountain. Below: Brushiness on the way up. I hope I never reach the point where walking through Rhododendrons approaching the peak of a summit doesn't get my heart racing, filled with nostalgia for March 2010 and anticipation for every adventure on the horizon.
It was a mild day atop LeConte. The high was 34 degrees. The low was 27 degrees. It was 30 degrees and clear at observation. It looks like it'll be another beautiful, clear day. Highs may creep into the 40's. Be prepared for some wet trails, as a lot of snow is melting right now. The spring was flowing as forcefully as I've seen it.
Last night, while listening to the radio I thought about a conversation I had with my friend a few weeks ago.
Caretaker: I don't know if I could ever get lonely up here with an oldies' station this good.
Friend: That is the loneliest thing I've ever heard.
2/15/2012 12:52:37 am
Can't believe the snow is melting that fast! Cool pic of the survey marker...btw. When we were up there in Dec we were trying to find the marker for Mount Kilpert but didn't have any luck. Have you found that one? Any hints on tracking it down? It's pretty noticable when hiking the AT when you've reached the top of Kilpert, but I wasn't sure if the AT actually passes over the summit or not.
2/16/2012 02:52:15 am
There is also a marker at clifftop.
2/16/2012 03:21:07 am
2/15/2012 03:13:16 am
What is the purpose of the marker?
2/15/2012 03:16:12 am
It's just a geological survey marker that marks the exact highest point of the mountain. I believe each peak has one. It's just fun to snap a photo and mentally (and physically I guess) check it off your list as you hike up there.
2/16/2012 02:54:35 am
Most of these are not on the actual highest point but are triangulation points that were used when mapping the area.
2/16/2012 03:43:00 am
@Gary - Thanks for the clarification!
2/15/2012 04:31:58 am
Simply beautiful pictures!! Hiking up the end of March and so curious as to what the weather will be like for our hike. Can not wait!!!
Jaque J, We usually hike the end of March also. Have done it the past 3 years in a row. Spring break time. I find its cold getting started in the morning. Then as you hike you warm up and start peeling off layers. But the higher you get up.(we do Alum trail) we put on our yax-trax. Because the trail tends to turn icy. Wev'e been up there when theres snow hiking in tshirts. This year we decided to go to Florida for spring break, but think about cutting it short and on our way back to Michigan take a little detour to Mt. Leconte. I'll also be down in Aug. again. And I tell you its so much different hiking in Aug, rather than March. Things are just blooming and even though I brought bug spray I didn't need it in Aug. I wouldv'e been ate alive walking in the woods at home. I think anytime is a good time to go. But wear layers and and just peel off as needed.Also wear a stocking hat to start and bring some water proof gloves, because the cables tend to be wet or icy. Its such a trill to stand on a 2 foot trail full of ice looking at a awsome view, while my husband and son are freaking out! Just chuck me off this spot when I die I tell them.
2/15/2012 06:01:40 am
So very beautiful! Thank you, J.P.
2/15/2012 06:30:57 am
Wow I went to your site and read the article you wrote. How very true!! Great job! Looking forward to our summer hike in the Smokies and the beautiful scenery!! Thanks for sharing!
2/15/2012 06:42:16 am
Good job Helen. Enjoyed your story and photos. I've found that when hiking you can tell the people that love the mountain and hiking from those who are taking a walk in the "woods" for the day.
2/15/2012 06:46:19 am
eh...lol. Although we will stop and talk if it seems like the other person is looking for a conversation. We tend to try to keep to ourselves on the mountain while hiking...unless of course we're taking a break somewhere...then we're full of conversation for whoever is taking a break near us.
2/16/2012 04:02:07 am
Galen, what a massive generalization.
2/16/2012 12:15:10 am
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