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4th of July LeConte Lodge Challenge

  • Jul 4, 2014 · 7:30 AM
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Back by popular demand, CVT is making a second trip to the Smoky Mountains.  This year the trip will be shorter and we will focus on one goal...climbing Mt. LeConte! This trip will take place over the 3 day weekend, July 4, 5 and 6th. 

Day 1: We will carpool from Wal-Mart in Short Pump at 7:30 am.  We will load up and head out.  We will stop for lunch on our way to the park, possibly in Wytheville.  It is a 7-8 hour drive to the park.  When we arrive in Gatlinburg, we will check in at our hotel (Super 8 Gazebo Inn in Gatlinburg), then we will spend the rest of the day in Gatlinburg relaxing-there's plenty to do.  Also the hotel does have an outdoor pool. It should be festive there as it will be the 4th of July.  I reserved 4 rooms so that would be 3 to a room. Each room has 2 queen sized beds.  That evening we will go somewhere for dinner and then see some fireworks before hitting the sack.

Day 2: We will be up and out early. Quick breakfast at the hotel (included).  We will need to be geared up and at the trailhead ready to hike at 9am.  The climb up LeConte will be over 5000'. It's a tough strenuous hike.  But the reward at the top is worth it!  We will rest and relax at the top until it's dinnertime. Dinner is served family style in the dining room. After dinner we will head to the cliffs to catch a gorgeous Smoky Mountain sunset.  There is also a community room with games and instruments for our entertainment. The beds in the lodge are double bunk beds, meaning 2 up top and 2 on the bottom per bed.  There is one single bed in the lodge.  We can draw straws for that! There 3 bedrooms in the lodge.

Day 3: Breakfast will be served family style in the dining room.  After breakfast it will be time to pack up and head out down the mountain.  We should be back down at our cars between 12-1.  After our descent, we will head back to Richmond--we will stop for lunch on the road.

**If anyone wants to add extra days and stay at the park longer, go for it!  I just can't spare the vacation days this year.

Cost includes: 1 night stay at Super 8 Gatlinburg(breakfast included), 1 night stay at LeConte Lodge, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast at LeConte Lodge.

What to bring: $ cash for food and other incidentals and to pay your driver if you are carpooling.  Clothes(for cool and hot weather), hiking gear, plenty of water or hydration pack,snacks, food, camera gear, rain gear.

Pets allowed: no

Group Information:

General hiking information


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Please be aware that our organizers are not tour guides or park rangers. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being. By signing up for and/or attending this event, you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and possibly death. The organizers of this group and current and former members can not be held responsible or liable in any way for the actions of any participant - including you - at any event. All attendees participate at an event at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage to their property, and/or any injury to themselves or their guests. By signing up for this event, you affirm that you understand this disclaimer, and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree not to bring any type of claim arising out of or related to this event against the organizers of this group.


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  • Karl

    The Smokies... well, what can you say? Unsurpassed comes to mind. Tough 9-miler the first day due to some poorly marked trails, but a good challenge. Top-notch job, Kim! Great and complex event that went as smooth as silk.

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • Brian

    Have fun in the Smokies! Somebody bring me some moonshine from Gatlinburg!

    1 · July 3, 2014

    • Peggie S.

      Moonshine? I thought for sure you'd want a key ring! ;)

      3 · July 7, 2014

    • Karl

      Peggie with th' ziiiinger!

      July 10, 2014

  • Penny

    I loved every minute of it and you guys rock! Thank you for a great weekend. I can't think of another group of people I'd rather spend hanging out with for a weekend! And you rock,Kim, as always!

    1 · July 8, 2014

  • Kim

    Points have been updated!

    July 7, 2014

    • Bjorn G.

      Thanks for that Kim - and do get in touch with Zi :)

      July 7, 2014

  • Peggie S.

    What an awesome time with truly lovely people! Thank you Kim for organizing a fabulous trip!

    1 · July 7, 2014

  • Zi

    Mountain top retreat with karaoke, how can you beat that? :-)

    3 · July 7, 2014

  • Kim

    Could not have had better weather for this amazing rain, which is rare in the Smokies! Thank you everyone, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet:)

    3 · July 7, 2014

  • Lindsey

    Fantastic trip :) Le Conte never disappoints! (even though the llamas were only there in spirit this year!)

    3 · July 6, 2014

  • Qiong

    You people enjoy! It seems I am not ready for smoky this time, I will try to catch it next time.

    July 3, 2014

  • Penny

    I can be a driver. Just an FYI

    1 · July 2, 2014

  • Qiong

    I see there is one spot open. Am I a good fit? How should arrange the air ticket and fit in?

    June 30, 2014

    • Qiong

      I can fly to and back from Chattanooga, TN, rent a car to Super 8 Gazebo Inn in Gatlinburg, I estimated the time would be around 6pm, 7/4. From Gatlinburg to trailhead, is it mountain road? I am not confident to drive in mountain road. Am I OK to park my car in Super 8 Gazebo Inn in Gatlinburg until 7/6 we leave there?

      June 30, 2014

    • Qiong

      Anyway, am I a good fit? Do not want to be in the event but become you people's burden.

      June 30, 2014

  • Kim

    I created a thread if anyone wants to discuss anything about the trip--here's the link[masked]

    June 30, 2014

  • Nancy

    Anyone on the waiting list interested in my spot for this trip?

    June 28, 2014

    • Nancy

      I do have a spot that I am interested in releasing. Kim, how should we proceed with this? I'm not sure what would work best for Qiong joining in.

      1 · June 29, 2014

    • Qiong

      thanks for your reply. looking forward we move forward to see whether or not i can fit in.

      June 29, 2014

  • Qiong

    I can do hiking up to 10 miles or 11 miles in flat trail, I have done 7-8 miles mountain hiking with 3100 elevation, back and forth, round way, in day time one day, like about 5 hours, kind slow. For this 9 miles with 5000 elevation, one way up, I think I am able to do it in 6-7 hours. Am I a good fit?

    June 29, 2014

  • Qiong

    I am interested in going, may I be in the waiting list? I am around DC area, think the best way is to fly to a nearby airport and rent a car to join you people. :)

    June 29, 2014

  • Kim

    This year's lEcONTE t-shirt has been released, and the llamas are on it!:)

    1 · March 28, 2014

12 went

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Additional notes: no refunds after March 8th unless a replacement is found for your spot.

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