BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Day Hike to Mount LeConte via the Alum Cave Trail

The troop went on a day hike on Saturday, December 19th. We had 11 scouts and 6 adults who participated. We hiked the Alum Cave Trail in the GSMNP up to the summit of Mount LeConte. It was a long hike (11 miles round trip) with about a 3000ft elevation gain. We left Kern UMC at around 7:20AM and got back to the church a little after 7:00PM. The trail was covered by snow and ice in many places and some were pretty treacherous. There were lots of slips and falls (including myself) but no one was seriously injured. The adults were being careful and taking it slow, but the scouts tended to prefer "ice skating" along the trail. It took us 4 1/2 hours to reach the summit where we ate lunch at the Cliff Top overlook. It was cold and windy in the exposed areas at the summit so we didn't linger there long after we finished eating. We decided not to hike on over to Myrtle Point because we were unsure how long it would take us to hike back down given the icy trail conditions. We did, however, take time to check out the lodge before heading back down the trail. It took about 3 1/2 hours to hike back down and the sun was just beginning to set when we were loading everyone back into the vehicles at the trailhead.

Click here to see David Laffoon's awesome video of the hike.

10 Essentials Packing List

At the trailhead wondering how much snow would be at the summit.
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On the Alum Cave Trail.
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Taking a break at Inspiration Point.
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At Alum Cave -- It is more like a huge overhang. There were enormous icicles hanging from the upper edge.
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Back on the trail headed for the summit of Mt. LeConte.
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Eating lunch at the summit (Cliff Top).
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Checking out the lodge.
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Hiking back down to the trailhead.
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