Monday, December 21, 2020

We're moving! Come see us at

 Thank you for following this page. 

I am in the process of moving the honor roll, the Tour de Le Conte listings, the stories, and the online logbook to a new page called

I believe this will be a more dependable platform for this content. 

Since I launched this blog, it has been my intent to eventually move to a dedicated webpage. This page is built in Google blogger, but recent updates by Google have been frustrating and challenging in terms of page formatting. So I decided to take the leap to WordPress. Please bear with me as I learn the way. 

 As of January 1, 2021, I will not be updating this page. Keep climbing, keep count, and come see us at You can continue to email

Sunday, December 20, 2020

2020 logbook: Milestones from the mountaintop

My apologies for font and formatting inconsistencies on this page,
which seem to come from bugs in the new Google Blogger interface. 

 Now that LeConte Lodge has closed for the winter, I'm starting to wrap up our 2020 honor roll. If I am missing your updated totals on the lists below, now is a good time to get caught up. Please email updates to
 I will continue to update this honor roll with any information that comes in on winter hikes. By the time the Lodge opens next spring, I hope to transition this page to
 With the help of folks like you, we have documented 61 men and 20 women with at least 100 summit hikes. Excluding the Lodge crew and guides, that's 44 men and 12 women who have made at least 100 recreational climbs. We know of 37 individuals with 200 or more clmbs, fifteen with at least 500, and seven men with more than 1,000. 

👍 Next time you climb Mount Le Conte, please let us know. If you have the opportunity to take photos of the Lodge logbook, we would be grateful if you could send these to We don't get reports every day, so if you can send a few recent days, that will help us keep up-to-date with those who came before you.

2020 Leaders

60 Casey Bright (117 lifetime)
55 Alan Householder (1,250 est.)
50 John Northrup (288)
35 Bonnie Northrup (195)
28 Larry Russell (266)
22 Dr. Ed Jones (438)
22 ‏Phillip Clarkson (70)
21 Timothy Massey (73)
15 Ash Walsh (39)
14 Linten Atkins (114)
14 John D. Williams (50)
12 Chris Maulden (67)
12 Keith & Darla Large (128)
12 Adam Gravett (69)
12 Bob Turney (62)

Let us know your 2020 and lifetime totals. Email, or leave a comment below.

2020 Logbook with lifetime totals

Listed in alphabetical order. For numerical order, see the honor roll on our web page. (On mobile devices, use full-screen mode.) Generally, the cut-off for this list is 10 lifetime climbs or some milestone. However, I make exceptions for those who send pages from the Lodge logbook—who are marked by 👍. Now you know how you can get your name on this list! All you have to do is climb Le Conte and send me snapshots of the logbook.

 TRAVIS ADAMS celebrated his 36th birthday by climbing Le Conte on June 26 with his wife CALISTA ADAMS.
 EDDIE AKERS: #11 on Nov. 4. 
 DREW AKIN, Pleasant Valley TN: #19 on Aug. 27.
ZACK ANDREWS (Montevallo AL): #37 on Dec. 18, #36-35-34-33-32 on Oct. 14 as he completed the longest Tour de Le Conte on record.
LINTEN ATKINS👍 (Newport TN): #115 on Dec. 30, #114 on Nov. 21, #113 on Nov. 14, #112 on Oct. 4, #111 on Oct. 3, #110 on  Sept. 20, #109 on Sept. 18, #108 on Sept. 12, #107 on July 31, #106 on July 26, #105 on June 19, #104 on May 30, #103 on May 18 (via Rainbow), #102 on March 8; #101 on Feb. 22 (via Alum).    
SUZANNE ALFORD & JERRY TRIVETTE: #10 on Oct. 1 (engagement)
 KEN & DEENA ALLISON, West Pelzer SC: #24 on June 12.
 MOHONA AUSDERAN (Lebanon TN): #32 on Sept. 12, #31 on Jan. 16.
 D.J. ATCHLEY: #30 on Sept. 20.
 WENDY ATCHLEY (Sevierville TN): #25+ on Sept. 20.
 CONNOR ATKINS, Newport TN: #26 on Oct. 4, #25 on May 18.
 SHANA ATKINS, #12 on May 30.
 TOM ATWELL: #97 on July 10 (with SUSIE ATWELL #28).
 DAVID BALDWIN: #39 on July 8, with CLAIRE BALDWIN #20.
 DENNIS BALE: #16 on June 13.
 KARA BAKER: #26 on July 10.
 JACK BARRETT, #15 on June 15 (his 60th birthday).
 JOYCE BAYER: #40 on July 9.
 AL BEDINGER (Knoxville TN): #536 on Dec. 5 (with RICHARD KETELLE), #535 on Nov. 20. 
 KERRY & LEXI BEJAY: #25 on Oct. 3.  
 WALLACE "WISHBONE" BELL (Knoxville TN): #50-plus on Oct. 21.
 MEGHANN BENN: #16 on Aug. 16 (with MICHAEL BENN #6) 
 BOB BENZINGER (Florence KY): #11 on Nov. 3. 
 KEN BERRY and D.J. STEWART, Leicester NC: #6 on Feb. 9, up Trillium Gap to complete the lifetime Tour de le Conte. "Absolutely amazing day in the snow to Le Conte," Ken posted on Hiking the Smokies. "Temperature was perfect. Snowed on the way up. Skies cleared up on the way down. Caught the sunset on the way down. Started at dark this morning with the full moon and ended the hike with the full moon. Took some effort today. Plowing snow the higher we were in elevation and the closer we got to Le Conte. One of my favorite winter hikes to date. This was our #6 of the 6 routes to Le Conte."
 RACHEL GOETZE BLACK👍 (Knoxville TN): #20 on Sept.. 20, #19 on June 6, #18 on Feb. 23 (via Alum)
 PATRICK BLACKSTON: #37 on July 8.
 SARAH BLAIR: #30 on July 9.
MISH & LOUIS BOGECKLE, #10 on Oct. 1.
 LUKE BOLLSCHWEILER, Maryville TN: #21 on July 11 while running the fastest known time on the Great Smoky Peak Loop, 4:45:13 for the 27.1 mile loop, nearly 14 minutes faster than Bobby Herrington ran it the day before. Starting at Newfound Gap, the loop goes up the AT northbound, down Sweat Heifer, up Dry Sluice to Charlies Bunion, to Le Conte via the AT and the Boulevard, down Alum Cave, and up the Road Prong. Previously #20 on May 23, with the fastest known time for the mile-high climb from Gatlinburg, 3:52.1 for 23.1 miles.
 CHRIS BOWLING: #49 on June 6 (with CAIT BOWLING #14).
 CYNDI BOWLING: #47 on June 6.
 PARKER BOWLING (Knoxville TN): #27-26-25 on July 31 (completing the Tour de Le Conte), #24 on July 19, #23 in July, #22 on June 28, #20 on June 14, #19 on June 6.
 DEVIN BRICE: #14 on Oct. 30. 
 CASEY BRIGHT👍 (Le Conte Lodge crew): #100 on Sept. 11, #98 on Aug. 30. 
 SCOTT BRISTOW, #25 on May 30. 
 CATHY BROWN (Knoxville TN): #39 on Sept. 20.
 TAMMY BROWN (Huntington WV): #15 on Oct. 26, #14 on Oct. 14. 
 LLOYD BRYANT: #32 on Aug. 21.
 JOHN BUCHHOLZ: #15 on Nov. 9. 
CHARLOTTE BURDETTE: #60-plus on Oct. 3.  
 RAY BURKETT: #37 on Oct. 3. 
 JILL CABLE: #10-plus on Oct. 3. 
 FRED CAPE, Middletown OH: #26 on July 20.
 RICK & JOANNE CARL (Knoxville TN): #30-plus on Oct. 30. 
 NOELLE CARPENTER, #15 on June 25.
 CAROLYN CASH (KY): #11 on Aug. 19. 
 PHILLIP "P-NUT" CLARKSON👍 (Maryville TN): #70 on Dec. 26, #69 on Nov. 26, #68 on Nov. 24, #67 on Nov. 19, #66 on Nov. 10, #65 on Nov. 4, #64 on Nov. 3, #63 on Sept. 28 (with the llamas), #62 on Sept. 26, #61 on July 18 (13th of 2020), #60 on May 24 (up Trillium, down Rainbow in 2:47:12), #59 on May 10, #58 on March 22, #57 on March 15, March 6, Feb. 23, Feb. 16, Jan. 18.
 MELISSA COATNEY (Alcoa TN): #30 on Dec. 23 (via Alum), #29 on Nov. 29 (via Boulevard), #28 on Oct. 12#27 on June 17 (up Alum in 2:02), #26 on May 10 (via Bullhead), #25 on March 18 (via Alum in 1:46). She has a goal of #100 by the Lodge's 100th anniversary.
 BRADY COLEMAN, Blacksburg VA, Aug. 29, completing his Smokies 900-mile map. 
JAMIE CHAMBERS: #13 on Dec. 30.  
 RIC CHANDLER: #68 on Aug. 21. 
 JANICE CHARLEVILLE, New Orleans LA: #102 on Feb. 26. 
 JOHN CLAYTON: #20 on Oct. 23, #18 on June 5.
 KELLY CONWAY & BILL PYLE: #50-plus. on Oct. 30.
 SHERRY COFFEY: #15 on July 12.
 MARY COKER, #20 on June 12.
 DEREK & LINDA COLEMAN: #12 on Nov. 3. 
 JEFF COOK (Knoxville TN): #15 on Oct. 18, #10 on Sept. 19.  
 TOMMY & BETH COPPENGER, #17 on Oct. 4. 
 HOLLIS 'JUDD' COTTON, Knoxville TN: #15 on May 25.
 PATRICK PHELPS CRAFT, Timberland NC: #4 on June 19 (first time up Alum in 22 years).
 WENDY CROWE (Ringgold GA): #14 on Oct. 1.  
 RADD DAIGLE (Oak Ridge TN): #32 on Sept. 3.
THADD A. DAVIS, #35 on Nov. 15. 
MARY D'AGOSTINE: #15 on Sept. 26. 
 AMANDA DEAL, Clinton TN: #10 on June 17.
TONY DEVOTO: #14-15 on Oct. 3 (twice in one day).
ROB DEVOTO: #14-15 on Oct. 3 (twice in one day).  
 TRACI DICKERSON: #15 on June 1.
 STEVE DICKINSON, Oak Ridge TN: May 9 (up Bullhead, down Trillium).
 GREG DONAHUE (Pigeon Forge TN): #170 on Nov. 2, #169 on Sept. 9, #167 on July 19, #166 on June 17 (in memory of Guy Charleville, who would have turned 66 on June 18), #163 on Feb. 26.
 KATHLEEN DONAIS (Nashville TN): #18 on Sept. 12, #17 on Jan. 16.
 JESSICA DOYLE: #10-plus on Sept. 13. 
 KAREN DUGUAY, Knoxville TN: #7 on July 10, #6 on June 16.
 ELDON DUNCAN, Bean Station TN: #15 on July 12.
 Dr. NANCY EAST (Lake Junaluska NC), #22 on Sept. 11 (with CHRIS FORD #20 on their way to the fastest known time for completing the 900 miles of trails in the national park), #21 on Sept. 10 (via Rainbow Falls, #20 on Sept. 6 (via Alum pre-dawn). In 2019, Nancy and Chris completed the Tour de Le Conte (raising $7,000 for the Trails Forever program). This time, they have raised nearly $30,000 to support a safe-hiking initiative in the national park. Click here to donate.
 NELSON EDDY, Murfreesboro TN: #51 on June 20, & MARIANA EDDY #31 (via Bullhead).
 STEVE ELLIS, Sevierville TN: July 16, July 10, June 6.
 ROBERT EMORY (Knoxville TN): #27 on Aug. 17. 
 NANCY ESKEW, #28 on June 7. 
 ADAM EVANS (Cincinnati OH): #35 on Aug. 22. 
 BILL EVANS (Knoxville TN): #25-plus on Sept. 7.
 TIM & ROBIN FAIRFIELD: #20 on Sept. 21. 
 NOAH FARRIS: #17 on Oct. 9.  
DIEGO FERRÓN, Gatlinburg TN: #21 on Feb. 21 (his third summit hike of 2020), Feb. 9 with Adam Ozment.
 JOHN FISHER: #30 on Oct. 9.   
 GORDON FLEMING: #45 on Oct. 24.
 WES FORTNER (Knoxville TN): #22-21-20 on July 31 (completing the Tour de Le Conte), #19 on July 19, #18 on June 28, #17 on June 14. 
 GARY FREE: #25 on Oct. 19.  
 AMY FREEZE (Normal IL): #1 on July 13 (50th birthday).
 CAROL FRITZ: #40 on July 9.
 JANET GALLARDO (Knoxville TN): #14 on June 13. 
 STEVE GAMBLE (Loudon TN): #52 on Sept. 11 (24th consecutive year), #51 on Jan. 16.
 ANN & JIM GAREY: #25 on Nov. 1. 
LIZ GENTRY (Salisbury NC): #17 on Sept. 18.  
 RYAN GEOFFROY: #46 on Oct. 9. 
 BRAD GIBSON (Morristown TN): #44 on Aug. 6#42 on July 3#41 on May 16#40 on April 10
 JERRY GILLEY and BETH GILLEY, Maryville TN: #30+ on July 8.
 BRAD GOWER: #10 on Oct. 3.  
 LEAH GRAVES (Knoxville TN): #12 on Nov. 4, #11 on June 17. 
 ADAM GRAVETT (Sevierville TN): #69 on Nov. 28 (sunrise), #68 on Nov. 21 (sunrise), #67 on Oct. 15 (sunrise), #66 on Sept. 21 (sunrise for 53rd birthday). After a week exploring the Grand Tetons, Adam still calls Le Conte "my favorite hill. Always never the same."  Previously: #65 on Aug. 17 (sunrise), #64 on July 2 (sunrise via Alum), #63 on May 9 (sunrise via Rainbow), #62 on Feb. 29 (via Bullhead), #61 on Feb. 28#60 on Feb. 22#59 on Jan. 25 (overnight via Bullhead with Williamson and Ozment), #58 on Jan. 5
 BRIAN GREER  (Morganton NC): #15 on Sept. 7. 
 NICOLE GRIFFIN: #10 on June 16.
 KEVIN GRIMAC: #30 on Aug. 6. 
 DAVID GUMP: #30 on Sept. 3 (with TAMMY GUMP #10), #29 on July 9
 CONNIE HALL: #18 on June 2.
 DAVID & MICHELLE HARLESS of Mount Carmel TN: #15 each on June 30.
BETH HARPER (Nashville TN): #16 on Sept. 26. 
 NORM HARPER (Goodlettsville TN): #32 on Oct. 22. 
 DAVID HARTZLER: #18 on July 3.
 LEE HARWELL (Knoxville TN): #41 on Dec. 1 (first snow of season): #40 on Nov. 19#39 on Jan. 28 (up Rainbow and down Bullhead, with snow up to 8 inches).
 ART HATCHER, #10 on Oct. 2.  
 JULIA HATCHER (Loudon TN): #10-plus on Oct. 4.
 STEPHANIE HATCHER (Loudon TN): #10 on Oct. 4.  
 SUSAN HAUBOLD: #14 on Oct. 7.
 SPENCER HAYES (Gatlinburg TN): #15 on Oct. 31. 
 KERRY HAYNES, Friendsville TN: #27 on June 14.
 ROY HELTON, Pigeon Forge TN: #36 on June 2 (via Alum).
 CARRIE HENDERSON: #17 on July 10.
 BARRY & LINDA HEWYARD: #11 on June 3.
 BARRY HILL, Oak Ridge TN: #35 est. on July 5.
 SHAWN HILLEY, Newport TN, #25 on July 9.
STEVE HINAN: #15 on Oct. 7.  
 ADRIAN HINMANN (Townsend TN): #29 on Oct. 21. 
DORIS HIPPS: #32 on Oct. 1.  
 ROBERT HIRCHE: #40+ on Sept. 4.
RONNIE HOLBERT👍 (Morristown TN): #65 on Sept. 9, #64 on June 18 (with grandson ANDERSON NOE #1 and RICH NOE #1).
 KEENAN HOLBERT: #18 on Nov. 6. 
 BILL HOLDEN: #50-plus Aug. 25 (with GREG HOLDEN #40-plus and STEVE HOLDEN #30-plus).
 ALLAN HOLLADAY #29 and OLIVIA HOLLADAY #23 on July 12, also June 1.
 JIM HOLLIS, Rock Hill SC: #46 on July 14.
 JEANNIE HOOVER: #27 on Sept. 3. 
 JASON HORTON (Gray TN): #10 on Sept. 21.
 ROBIN HOWERTON: #14 on Oct. 3.  
 GREG HUFF, #30 on July 15.
 ROBIN HUFF, #23 on July 15.
 CADE HUFF (Knoxville TN): #23-22-21 on July 31 (completing the Tour de Le Conte), #18 on July 19, #17 on June 28. 
 DRU & ENNIS JAMES: #31 on Aug. 23.
 KEVIN JARDINA: #40 on July 4, #39 on July 3.
 BETH JOHNSON: #12 on June 17.
 MATT JOHNSON: #12 on Sept. 5 (up Alum in 58:45).
DR. ED JONES (Knoxville TN): #438 on Dec. 30, #437 on Dec. 13, #436 on Dec. 6, #435 on Nov. 28, #434 on Nov. 21, #432 on Nov. 7 (via Trillium), #431 on Sept. 12, #430 on Aug. 30, #429 on Aug. 22, #428 on Aug. 8, #427 on July 25, #426 on July 11, #425 July 4 (via Bullhead), #424 on June 6, #423 on May 16 (via Boulevard), #422 on May 9, #421 on March 13, #420 on March 1, #419 on Feb. 22, #418 on Feb. 21, #417 on Jan. 26.
 JIM JONES: #30-plus on Oct. 11.
 RON JONES (Nashville TN): #26 on Oct. 11.  
 TED & LINDA KANY: #23 on July 3.
 LINDA KARON (Knoxville TN): #10 on Aug. 10. 
 J. KAYE, Atlanta GA: #36 on July 19.
 SARAH KENNEDY, Athens TN: #14 on July 2, #13 on June 1.
 CHRISTY KERLEY (Crossville TN): #10 on Sept. 26. 
LINTON KERR, Kingsport TN: #33-34-35 on June 13, tagged High Top three times while completing the Tour de Le Conte in 16:46:27 (48.5 miles).
 VERDERY KERR (Charlotte NC): #15 on Nov. 5. 
 MIKE LANCASTER, Ellijay GA: #23 on July 16.
 ANDY LAKE, Chandler TX: #17 on July 8.
 DARLA & KEITH LARGE: #128 on Oct. 25. 
 CHAD LASTER: #11 on June 3. 
 MICHAEL LAWRENCE, Baton Rouge LA: #15 on May 30.
 TOM LAYTON (Boone NC): #8 on Aug. 22 (with ROGER KNIPP #1).
 SCOTT LESLIE (Boone NC): #8 on Dec. 31, #7 on Dec. 1 (1st to summit since snowfall), #6 on Oct. 25, #5 on Sept. 6, #4 on Aug. 5, #3 on July 5, #2 on June 22, #1 on June 12.  
 BILL LEWIS (Chattanooga TN): #23 on Sept. 23. 
 DAVE LINDSAY, Clemson SC: #24 on March 21.
 BRIAN LINTON: #14 on Oct. 26. 
 ALLAN & VANESSA LITTLE: #26 on July 20. 
 CASEY MAJNI, Knoxville TN: #31 on Oct. 30, #30 on Aug. 29. 
 MIKE & MARTHA MANIEL, Montgomery AL: #18 and #19 on June 8.
 STEVE MARKER, Dandridge TN, #10 on July 16.
 KENNY & JANE MARKS: #15 on June 11. 
 EMILY McADIREY, #23 on July 14.
 TIMOTHY MASSEY👍 (Tallassee TN): #73 on Dec. 31, #72 on Dec. 20 (completing his goal of #20for2020), #70 on Nov. 28 (via Alum)#69 on Nov 19 (via Alum in 1:30), #68 on Oct. 30, #67 on Oct. 2 (up AT/Boulevard in 2:10:07, two minutes better than his previous best), #66 on Sept. 3 (up Alum), #65 on Aug. 31 (up Alum in 1:25, averaging 3.4 mph), #64 on Aug. 18 (up AT/Boulevard in 2:12:09), #63 on July 16#62 on June 10 (up Boulevard in 2:15:40), #61 on May 24 (up Trillium, down Bullhead), #60 on May 11 (2:43:05 up AT and Boulevard), #59 on March 9 (via Alum in 1:31:05, or 3.4 mph), #58 on March 8 (via Alum, 4:04 round trip), #57 on Feb. 27#56 on Feb. 22 (up Boulevard and down Alum), #55 on Feb. 9 (up Rainbow and down Bullhead), #54 on Feb. 1 (1:50:56 up Alum), #53 on Jan. 23 (2:06 up Alum). "I keep thinking I'll grow tired of Le Conte," Timothy wrote on Facebook, "but part of it is becoming a way of life—always finding something new and exciting no matter how many times I go up the same mountain." 
 BRENDA MARSHALL: #26 on Sept. 16.
 SANDY MARTIN (Knoxville TN): #66 on Nov. 18, #65 on Sept. 9. 
CHRIS MAULDEN (Knoxville TN): #67 on Nov. 21 (sunrise via Alum), #66 on Nov. 8, #65 on Oct. 3, #64 on Aug, 21 (51st birthday), #63 on Aug. 13, #59 on May 9 (via Bullhead for sunrise), #58 on March 15#57 on Feb. 29 (via Rainbow in 13 inches of snow), #56 on Feb. 23 (via Alum), #55 on Jan. 1. "Started off 2020 with a sunrise hike to Myrtle Point," he wrote on Facebook. "It was right at 10 degrees with an hour to go before sunrise. The wind was wicked and whipping in the wait for the sun. I did not get frostbite but I was close. Did the hand shuffle and took pics with alternating hands. Pretty morning with four others before sunrise." 
 JUDD McADAMS: #11 on Nov. 5. 
 JANE McDOW, New Orleans LA: #11 on June 25.
 ADAM PAUL McGLOTHLIN👍 (Dandridge TN): #11 on Sept. 9, #10 on July 14, #9 on May 26, #8 on May 17 (via Rainbow), #7 on March 9, #6 on Feb. 23 (up Rainbow and down Bullhead).
 EDWIN McKINNEY: #25 on June 11.
 MELANIE & PATRICK McLEMORE of Knoxville TN: #10 on June 26.
 CHRIS & BONNIE MICHAEL: #37 on Oct. 13.  
 BRIAN MILLER (Lexington SC): #22 on Oct. 8. 
JENNIFER MILLER: #22 on Oct. 3, #18 on June 3.
 STEVEN MILLER: #10 on Oct. 21 (with KATIE MILLER #4).
 MIKE  MINCY (Liberty MO): #14 on Sept. 22.
 JULIE MINGLE (Seymour TN): #13 on Nov. 4. 
ED MONGER (Sevierville TN): #170 on Nov. 9, #169 on Oct. 25, #168 on Oct. 21, #167 on Oct. 14.  
 HELEN MOORE: #30 on June 16.
 GRIF MORPHETH, Columbus GA: #38 on June 5 (with SHANNON & JAKE MORPHETH)
CINDY MORTON: #194 on Oct. 2.
 KRISTEN MOSLEY (London KY): #15 on Sept. 14, #14 on July 26, #13 on June 6, #12 on Feb. 23.
 JUDY MULKEY (Bluefield VA): #40 on Oct. 23.
 KATIE NEWTON: #25 on July 11.
 ERIC C. NOLAN, Kingston TN: #26 on May 18 as a middle-school graduation present.
JOHN NORTHRUP👍, LeConte Lodge: #268 on Aug. 31 (30th of 2020), #260 on Aug. 4, #259 on July 21, #240 on March 13, #239 on Feb. 23.
 BONNIE NORTHRUP, LeConte Lodge: #179 (19th of 2020), #160 on Feb. 23.
 KEITH OWEN: #15 on June 6.
 BART NORTHRUP (MI): #38 on Aug. 4.
 DICK NORTHRUP (Tecumseh MI): #45 on Nov. 4, #44 on Aug. 4, #43 on March 13. 
 PAT NORTHRUP (Tecumseh MI): #41 on Nov. 4, #40 on Aug. 4, #39 on March 13.
 STEVE ODOM👍 (Kingsport TN): #103 on Sept. 15.
 STEVE OLIPHANT (Spartanburg SC): #55 on Dec. 15#54 on Aug. 9.
 KEN OSTRUM (Wilmington NC): #22 on Oct. 8.  
ANNETTE OVERBAY: #20 on Oct. 8. 
DAVID OVERBAY: #30 on Oct. 8.
ADAM OZMENT (Mascot TN): #40 on Aug. 16 (6th sunrise hike of 2020, but socked in by clouds): #39 on May 9 (via Rainbow), #38 on Feb. 29 (via Bullhead), #37 on Feb. 9#36 on Feb. 2 (via Rainbow for sunrise), #35 on Jan. 25 (sunrise), #34 on Jan. 5 (sunrise). As he posted a wildflower photo on Hike #40, he commented, "I never get tired of this mountain—different every time you're up there."
 KRISTI PARSONS, Knoxville TN: #8 on June 14.
MARCIA PEDIGO, Walland TN: #11 on June 26. 
 MEG PELLEY (Rockwood TN): #17 on Oct. 6.
 JAN PENDLETON, Rockford TN: #87 on June 9.
ŞEBNEM PERVAR (Blue Ridge GA): #20 on Dec. 5, #19 on Nov. 28, #18 on Nov. 14 (via Boulevard) with DEWEY SLUSHER #350-plus. 
 KRISTEN PICKERAL👍, Boone NC: #1 on July 22.
 BRENDA PITTS & BOB PITTS (Raleigh NC): #12 each on Aug. 20. 
HOWIE PEEBLES, #23 on Sept. 27.
 ANTON POLIVCHAK, Gatlinburg TN: #51 on June 17.
 TONI & HERB POOLE: #10-plus on Oct. 26. 
 LINDA PROFFITT, #13 on July 16.
 MIKE PURYEAR (Waco TX): #57 on Oct. 21 (#5 in 2020) #56 on July 13 (with grandson Ben Coker #6), #55 on July 8, #54 on June 25, #53 on June 12.
 CLAIRE PURYEAR (Waco TX): #19 on Oct. 21, #18 on July 13, #17 on June 12.
 KAREN QUILLAM, #20 on July 14.
 DAVID & DEBBIE RAHINSUL: #25+ on Aug. 21. 
RICK RAMSEY (FL): #17 on Nov. 24, #15 on Nov. 16. 
 RANDY RATLIFF, Sevierville TN: Feb. 29 via Bullhead in 13 inches of snow, for his 3rd summit of 2020. "I have been hiking up there for years, but have never kept track of the amount of times," he said. "I wish I knew!"
 THERESA REDDICK: #15 on Sept. 18.
 TERRY REECE, Gatlinburg TN, #38, with SANDRA COLE HUSKEY, Gatlinburg, #8 on July 16.
 KEVIN RENFRO: #69 on June 1.
 JONATHAN REVIS, Chester SC: #14 on July 12.

 MONICA REYES: #44 on Oct. 25. 
 JERRY RHYNE (Statesville NC): #110+ on Sept. 18, also Aug. 21 and July 17.
 HUNTER RICHARD: #15-plus on Nov. 8. 
 BILL RIGSBY: #11 on July 3, with BUTCH RIGSBY, #10.
 BECKY RITSCH: #16 on July 9, with BRYAN RITSCH #5 and GINNY RITSCH #3.
 PATTY ROBERTS #30 with BILLY KENNEDY #5 on July 5.
 GUY ROGERS, Murfreesboro TN: #101 on July 21.
 ELIZABETH ROSE (Kingston TN): #15 on Aug. 4. 
 MARSHALL ROTHRELL, #20+ on July 5.
 ELIZABETH ROWLAND: #58 on June 24 (with JIM ROWLAND #15 and BO ROWLAND #18).
 JIM RUGH (Sevierville TN): #30 on Oct. 3.  
 LARRY RUSSELL (Sevierville TN): #266 on Dec. 23 (via Rainbow), #265 on Dec. 18 (via Alum), #264 on Dec. 15 (via Alum), #263 on Nov. 12 (via Alum), #262 on Nov. 9 (via Boulevard), #261 on Oct. 22 (via Trillium), #260 on Oct. 15 (via Rainbow), #259 on Oct. 8 (via Alum), #258 on Oct. 7 (via Trillium with the llamas), #257 on Oct. 5 (via Bullhead), #256 on Oct. 2, #255 on Sept. 30, #254 on Sept. 22, #253 on Sept. 20, #252 on Sept. 9, #251 on Aug. 9, #250 on July 12 (his 12th trip in 2020), #249 July 8, #248 on July 2, #247 on June 16, #246 on June 14, #245 on June 7, #244 on June 3; #243 on March 19, #242 on March 11, #241 on Feb. 25.  
 CAROLYN RUSSELL (AL): #20-plus on Sept. 12. 
RAUL SAILOR (Summerville SC): #29 on Oct. 8. 
 PAT SATTERFIELD, #28 on July 5.
 J.D. SCHLANDT  (Clinton TN): 
#48 on Sept. 12 (goal of #50 this year). 
KATHY SEXTON (Kodak TN): #16 on Oct. 7. 
 JULIE SEXTON, Knoxville TN: #15-plus on Sept. 9. 
 JOHN SHERRILL: #22 on Oct. 21.
 ROGER SHIPLEY: #39 on June 6.
 STEPHEN SIDBURY of Knoxville TN: has over 220 summit hikes. He was among four people who camped at the LeConte shelter on Jan. 31
 AMY SLIFKO (Cleveland TN) #27 on Aug. 21--27th consecutive year climbing Le Conte. 
 DEWEY SLUSHER (Blue Ridge GA): #350-plus on Dec 11, also Oct. 20, Sept. 27, Aug. 18 (with SEBNEM PERVAR #15), Aug. 11Aug. 5 and June 12.
 CHIVONNE SMITH (Cartersville GA): #16 on May 23 (up Alum in 2:47). It was her first trip since Feb. 29, when she turned back because of knee-deep snow.
 JASON SMITH (Knoxville TN): #10 on July 2 with SARA SMITH #4.
 TOMAS STAFFEN (Lakewood CO): #74 on June 17, #73 on Feb. 25.
 NICK STEINKAMP: #14 on Aug. 14.
 GLENN STEVENS (Sevierville TN): #13 on Feb. 26, his second summit hike of 2020. 
 LARRY STOFFIE: #14 on Nov. 4.
 LISA STONE: #13 on Nov. 8 (10th year). 
 RENEE STOU: #50 on Nov. 7. 
 LORETTA STROUD (Seven Springs NC): #10 on Oct. 21. 
SCOTT & DIANE SYMINGTON, #22 on Sept. 26.  
 KERI SYMINGTON (Nashville TN): #15 on May 25.
 CINDY TANNER #14 and SHIRLEY ARGOBRIGHT #14 on Aug. 16 (4-generation hike).
 KATHY TAYLOR (Owensboro KY): #20 on June 6.
 TOM THORNTON (Hattiesburg MS): #28 on June 3.
 DOUG TORRANCE (Signal Mountain TN): #51 on Nov. 20, also July 10.
 BRAD TRAVIS: #55 on Sept. 24, #53 on June 11.
 BOB TURNEY (Lenoir City TN): #62 on Nov. 16, #60 on Oct. 14, #59 on Sept. 27, #57 on Sept. 7, #56 on Aug. 11 (73rd birthday), #55 on July 27. Total of 12 ascents in 2020.
 RON UNDERWOOD (Knoxville TN): #435 on June 18, #431 on Feb. 2.
 DEBRA VAN METER (Knoxville TN): #25 on June 14.
 JENNIFER VACEK (Knoxville TN): #26 on Nov. 20, #25 on July 10.
 AMY VASSEY: #71 on Oct. 26, #70 on June 24, #69 on June 12.
 GEORGE VAUGHN (Granite Falls NC): #36 on June 21. His first trip to Le Conte was in 1963.
 JEFF WADLEY (Kingsport TN): #111 on Sept. 26, #110 and #109 on Sept. 26 (second double-trip day this year, training for the Tour de Le Conte), #108 on Sept. 12, #107 and #106 on Aug. 1, #105 on June 6 (via Bullhead). 
 MICHAEL WALDROP: #41 on Aug. 16, #39 on June 12.
 IKE WALKER: #37 on June 25 (with RACHEL WALKER #15).
 JAN WALLACE: #30-plus on Oct. 27. 
 ASH WALSH (GA): #39 and #38 undated, #37 off-trail Oct. 18, #36 and #35 on Oct. 1 (up Boulevard, down Bullhead, up Rainbow, down Boulevard, 31 miles in 7:45), #34 on Sept. 5, #33 in Aug., #32 on Aug. 18, #31 on Aug. 3 (bear sighted on Cliff Tops), #30-29-28 on June 26 while completing the Tour de Le Conte (51.2 miles in 14:30), #27 in June, #26-25 in May (ran Rainbow Falls Trail to High Top in 1:56).
 AUDRA WARNER, #16 on July 2.
 LEAH WATSON, Loudon TN: #12 on July 13.

TIM WEBB (Double Springs AL): #179 on Dec. 28, #177 on Sept. 11  (24th consecutive year), #175 on Jan. 16.
WHITNEY WEBB (Double Springs AL): #18 on Dec. 28. 
 ROB & ROXANNE WESTERDORF (Cincinnati OH): #20 on Nov. 11.
 MINDY WHALEY (Knoxville TN): #15 on Aug. 16.
 BO WHEATLEY, #26 on June 14.
 GARY WHITE, Double Springs AL: #104 on July 12.
 BRITTANY WHITFIELD: #20 on Sept. 20. 
 GARY WHITE (Double Springs AL): #105 on Nov. 19. 
 DANIEL WIELAND, Crossville TN: #10 on June 13 (with M. WIELAND #12 and SCOTT TALLENT #12). 
 BRIAN WILLIAMS: #10 on Sept. 13. 
 JOHN D. WILLIAMS (Kingston TN): #50 on Nov. 18, #49 on Nov. 12, #48 on Nov. 7, #47 on Nov. 4, #46 on Oct. 22, #45 on Oct. 13,  #44 on Oct. 6, #43 on Sept. 22, #42 on Sept. 10, #41 on July 8, #40 on June 24 (two days before his 71st birthday), #39 on June 18, #38 on June 8, #37 on June 2. His goal is #100 by 2025. 
 RICHARD WILLIAMS (Gatlinburg TN): #46 on Aug. 2. 
 D. SCOT WILLIAMS: #32 on Nov. 4.  
  ADAM WILLIAMSON👍 (Seymour TN): #50 on Nov. 28 (sunrise), #49 on Sept. 27, #48 on Aug. 16, #47 on July 2 (sunrise via Alum), #46 on June 6, #45 on May 31 (with son Parker #1), #44 on May 9 (via Rainbow for sunrise), #43 on Jan. 25 (the third of the Adams to hike his age), #42 on Jan. 5 (via Rainbow before dawn with Ozment).
 RANDALL WILS: #11 on Oct. 3.  
 KEVIN & ANGIE WILSON: #14 on June 4. 
 BARRY & DONNA WILSON: #10 on Aug. 17. 
 CHERYL WILSON: #28 on Oct. 24. 
 ANDY WOLFEN (Kingsport TN): #25 on Aug. 16. 
 ORLIE WOOD JR.: #30 on July 16.
HOWARD YATES (Sevierville TN): #30 on Oct. 2, #29 on Sept. 14. 
TINA YATES (Sevierville TN): #28 on Oct. 2.  
BILL YEADON👍 (Indianapolis IN): #80 on Oct. 23, his 76th birthday), #79 on Sept. 5, #78 on July 4 (up Alum in a personal record 1:40), #77 on July 3 (via Alum), #76 on July 2. His goal is #100 by age 75. Bill hiked his age at 69. He was the first this year to report climbs on three consecutive days.
 WILLIAM ZERKEL: #23 on July 3. 
 FRANK ZUPAN, Clinton TN: #2 on June 11, #1 on June 8.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Brothers break record for the Tour de Le Conte

Elias Groft adds a stone to the cairn at High Top

 Congratulations to brothers Elias and Anthony Groft of Portland, Tenn., for posting the fastest known time for the Tour de Le Conte—completing all six trails on Mount Le Conte in just a shade over eight hours. 

Here is a video tracking their day. 
Running on Black Friday, Nov. 27, the brothers finished 45.3 miles in 8:03:38. That's 32 minutes faster than Luke Bollschweiler's time of 8:35 last Dec. 27. They followed the same route as Bollschweiller, up Rainbow, down Trillium, up Bullhead, down Alum, car shuttle to Newfound Gap, up the AT and Boulevard, and finishing via Brushy Mountain. They averaged 6.37 mph.
Elias also ran the tour earlier this year. He is the fifth man to complete it more than once, and the first to do it twice in the same year.
This has been the busiest year for the Tour, with 12 completions reported. Last year, there were 10. Since 1993, the Tour has been completed 43 times by 36 individuals. The list of completers is on the sidebar of this page. If you are reading on a mobile device, you'll need to switch to full-screen mode to see the sidebar.
Anthony and Elias charging up the Bullhead trail—their second ascent of the day

Monday, November 9, 2020

Circumnavigating Le Conte for the 2nd time

Nathaniel Klumb at the start line in Cherokee Orchard

 Congratulations to Nathaniel Klumb of Louisiana for repeating the Tour de Le Conte. on Columbus Day.  Click here to visualize his route. He sent this report: 

There are two kinds of fools—those who never climb Mount Fuji, and those who climb it twice. 

In October 2019, I hiked the Tour Le Conte, including all the side trails, and finished in 19:18. Not only did I throw in all the lagniappe, but I was hiking with a bad shoe. By the second time over, I was in considerable pain. I pushed through to the end and then hobbled to the car. Naturally, after healing up for a few weeks (or longer for my poor toes), I couldn't help but wonder how long it would have taken without the accumulated injuries or extra trails. Then 2020 arrived. After many months of Rachel and I working crazy hours in our essential jobs, we both desperately needed a break. I decided that yes, I'm the second kind of fool. Time for another tour.

I hit the trail at 10:07 a.m. EDT on Monday, October 12. I headed up the Trillium Gap Trail and continued out the Boulevard Trail. My first Tour, I had to bike down in the dark after two overs. Biking down from Newfound Gap in daylight after just one over worked much better, allowing me to ride as fast as I dared. I don't recall seeing anything above 35 mph on my speedometer. Then it was up Alum and down Bullhead. Rachel resupplied me with more Gatorade, and off I went on the last over. Hiking up the Rainbow Falls Trail in the dark gave beautiful views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding lights. Then it was down to Trillium Gap and the turn down the Brushy Mountain Trail for the last leg.

At 1:47 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 13, I officially wrapped up my second tour. This time it tallied right at 48 miles in 15:40. It was much more pleasant without so many injuries from a bad shoe. A slight slip during the very first leg had my ankle really hurting by the last 10 miles, but since it only hurt when I stopped, who knows—it might have made me faster.

John Northrup, manager of Le Conte Lodge, has completed the Tour four times, and Brian Thomas and Shawn Carson also did it twice. "I suppose the question now is whether two Tours are enough," Nathaniel said. "I don't currently have plans for heading back in October 2021 for a third annual, but we'll just have to see."

Monday, October 26, 2020

Jack-o-Lantern Huff

Nathan Kirkham carved a pumpkin to portray Jack Huff carrying his mom up Mount Le Conte

 Among the ways the Lodge crew amuse themselves is by having a Jack-o-Lantern contest the week of Halloween. The 2014 winner, by Nathan Kirkham, celebrated the 85th anniversary of Jack Huff's famous 1929 hike carrying his mother up the mountain.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The tour of all Tours: 5 ascents, 78 miles!

Zach Andrews

 Give me a minute, and then go read this blog by Zach Andrews.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, Zach conquered Mount Le Conte in a way that defies imagination. In less than 24 hours, he climbed the mountain five times, covering 78.2 miles and climbing 20,740 feet.

In my research, I've identified 34 individuals who have completed the Tour de Le Conte, which requires hiking all six trails (up or down) in the span of a day. None of them attempted anything nearly as ambitious as Zach did. 

An ultramarathoner from Montevallo, Alabama, Zach respects Le Conte so much that he has the summit elevation—6,593—tattooed on his chest. After seeing how his friend Ash Walsh completed the tour in 51 miles without using a car shuttle between trail heads, he came up with a planhe called it The Great Ascensionto attempt every trail both ways in 24 hours.

After stashing supplies at several trailheads and a quick nap at the Alum Cave Bluff trailhead, Zach hit the trail at 1:10 a.m. Oct. 14. Then he went down and up the Boulevard/AT to Newfound Gap, returning to Myrtle Point before sunrise. At daybreak, he descended Brushy Mountain to the Porter's Creek trailhead and retraced his steps up to Trillium Gap and down to the Trillium trailhead. He climbed Trillium to the Lodge, with apologies to a trail crew he interrupted. (Trillium is closed Monday through Thursday for construction.) He went down and up Rainbow Falls, navigating through sightseers, down and up Bullhead, and then hiked down Alum to finish after midnight, with an elapsed time of 23 hours and 38 minutes. Along the way, he encountered a bear, a fox, and a coyote.

Zack counts 36 lifetime ascents of Le Conte. 

There is one record Zach didn't break—most summit hikes in one day. John Northrup, the manager of Le Conte Lodge, climbed the Alum Cave Bluff Trail seven times on Sept. 28, 2012. The first lap he carried a 40-pound pack through a rainstorm. After that, he said he felt like he was walking on air. "I was pretty much averaging 3 hours per roundtrip the rest of the day," he said.

John has completed the Tour de Le Conte four times, more than anyone on record.

 Now go read all about it in Zach's own words.

Zach's route: Up Alum, down and up Boulevard, down and up Brushy, down and up Trillium, down and up Rainbow, down and up Bullhead, and down Alum.

Monday, October 12, 2020

One for the books: Fast time for the Tour de Le Conte

Jevin Hoeper and Jeff Conyers at the finish line in Greenbrier

 Congratulations to Jevin Hoeper and Jeff Conyers for completing the Tour de Le Conte on Columbus Day. They ran 50.1 miles in 13:07:23—the fastest time this year to complete all six trails on the mountain.

 Starting before dawn at Newfound Gap, they went up AT and the Boulevard, down and back up Alum Cave, down Rainbow, up Bullhead, down Trillium, back up to Trillium Gap, and then finished after dark via Brushy Mountain. "The trails were wet (like running through a creek sometimes), muddy, and slick, but we got through it," Jevin said.

 Jeff is the president of the Dollywood Foundation which supports the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, so he and Jevin ran as #TeamDPIL to raise awareness for the library, which has provided over 145 million books for children. Jevin works on the trail maintenance crew for the national park.

 We have documented 33 hikers who have completed the Tour de Le Conte since 1983. Jeff and Jevin's course was longer than most, because they wanted to avoid car shuttles between trailheads. That required extra miles on Alum and Trillium.

11:33 was their moving time, but the entire tour took 13:07:23 elapsed time.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

'They tell me it is beautiful up here'

Stephen and Beth Winkler (showing her LSU pride)

 Beth Winkler arrived at LeConte Lodge on Sunday afternoon, September 6, to applause from hikers she had met on the trail.
 "They tell me it is beautiful up here," she had joked to one of the them along the way.

Beth's T-shirt says it all
 Most of us enjoy the panoramic views while climbing Le Conte, but Beth is not so fortunate. She describes herself as visually impaired. "I can see—just not well at all," she said. She has a rare condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa Inversa, which has blinded her right eye, diminished what she can see in her left eye, and eliminated the depth perception that is so crucial for hiking on a mountainside. Her vision can fluctuate day-by-day, and the bright sunshine on the mountain caused what she called "a bad eye day." For all practical purposes, she was hiking blind.
 Her husband Stephen said that she had set a goal of climbing Mount Le Conte before she loses her sight.
 She researched the trails and thought that the Trillium Gap Trail might be easier. "But the more I read about Alum Cave, the more I wanted to go up. And to be honest, I did not want it to be easy. I wanted it to be something I earned."
 Coming from her home in Louisiana, there was no way she could prepare for the rigors of a 10-mile round trip that climbs nearly 3,000 feet. The longest hike she had done was about 4 miles. So her family started at dawn and took their time. "It was a difficult strenuous hike," she said. "I could not have done it without the support of my husband and two sons. They would describe the terrain and tell me where to step." It took over 14 hours. That meant the last mile down was after sunset.

'The ledge at the top was terrifying'

The Alum Cave Trail involves single-log footbridges as well as exposed ledges near the top. "The bridges didn't bother me," Beth said. "The ledge at the top was terrifying. I was not sure if I could do it. But my family told me that I could and gave me the support I needed to make it across. It is also scarier on the way down for some reason."
 I am aware of three other nearly blind hikers who have climbed Le Conte. Rev. Rufus Morgan hiked the Rainbow Falls Trail on his 93rd birthday in 1983, and in 1969 a South Carolina hiker known as "Cousin Joe" did it. Both of them hiked with a hand on the shoulder of their guides. More recently, a woman named Lisa Berry climbed the mountain guided by her husband Ken.