This is from a blog from the staff at LeConte Lodge on Mt LeConte.
Snow On The Mountain Tops
I want to start off by saying the crew on Mt. LeConte sends their prayers to the north east United States. We know that while we get to enjoy the beauty of what hurricane Sandy delivered to us, there are so many people and communities who are suffering at the moment. We want you to know our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Peace to you.
17" and counting. The snow is coming down hard as I type. We have drifts up to 4 ft and higher. The temperature is currently 17, which was the low last night. The high yesterday was 20º. We have 15 guests who made it up the mountain yesterday. They said it was tough with just the 8" we had gotten during the day. Today is going to be even worse. I can not stress enough how important it is to have the proper gear if you are going to attempt to hike this mountain. The conditions are extremely dangerous if you are not prepared. Please do not get on the trail if you are wearing low cut shoes. You will need boots and some thing to keep the snow out of your shoes. You do not want to get wet. The wind chill makes it seem even colder on the top.
As of now, Hwy 441 is closed. Cherokee Orchard is open. Rainbow Falls, Bullhead, and Trillium Gap trails are open. I am not sure how far down the snow starts. We are going to send a crew member down Trillium a little ways to assess the conditions. I will keep you posted.
I had a few questions I thought I would answer.
1.) John won the snow pool.
2. ) We had 15 guests last night. Most of them are staying a second night. We will find room for the others who can not make it down today. We just want people to be safe.
3.) We have cell service and solar power on the mountain. I am sending out these posts on a broadband connection that seems to work for well.
4.) By the time the snow ends, this may be the most snow I have seen up here in my decade on the mountain.
Once again, I can not stress enough, how important it is for everyone to use common sense about attempting to hike up here. Please make sure you have the appropriate attire. This weather is not forgiving. Make sure someone knows you are on the trail. Practice safe hiking. I hope everyone stays warm today and I will keep you posted.