Gracie McNicol with Paul Dinwiddie in 1983, when she set a record with her 244th climb on her 92nd birthday. Paul eventually raised the record to 750 with his final hike at age 78 in 1993.
(Photo by Edwin C. Jones)
Tennessee's Mount Le Conte may be the most addictive peak in America—certainly in the Southeast. When the roll is called up yonder, there are dozens of hikers who can claim at least a hundred trips up Le Conte. A handful have over a thousand.
As an old sportswriter, I thought they deserved a Top 10.
Once I began researching them, it became more like a Top 40. So far, I've documented 28 men and eight women who have climbed Le Conte at least 100 times. (In fact, I know of two who have made over 100 trips after heart surgery.) I know there are more, and I hope this blog will encourage them to come forward and join the club.
Le Conte means "the tale," and I intend to post tales about these climbers. I'll also include random records and legends involving the first, the fastest, the oldest, and the coldest. Come back often. No reservations required.
Eventually, I'd like for this blog to become an online version of the wonderful logbooks at Le Conte Lodge—only much easier to access. Help me get started. While you're here, please leave a comment with the total number of trips you have made to the top of Mount Le Conte—even if it's only once.
LOOKING FOR THE HONOR ROLL? If you are reading this on your phone, you will need to switch from the mobile view to the web view (full screen) to see our honor roll of hikers who have climbed Le Conte at least 100 times.