FKT: Anthony Groft - Mt Le Conte (TN) - 2023-12-24

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Total time
23h 20m 33s
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I split the route up into 3 segments. Each segment was an out-and-back from Rainbow Falls Trailhead on Cherokee Orchard Road. Each ascent ended at the top of the stairs at the LeConte Lodge and each descent ended at the respective trailhead signs.

Segment #1: Ascend Rainbow, descend Trillium/Brushy/Porters, ascend Porters/Brushy/Trillium, descend Rainbow. Segment was ran solo and aid was picked up from a stash at Porters Creek trailhead.

Segment #2: Ascend Sugarlands/Bullhead, descend Boulevard/AT, ascend AT/Boulevard, descend Bullhead/Sugarlands. Segment was ran with Jason Bailey and aid was picked up from a stash at Newfound Gap.

Segment #3: Ascend Trillium, descend Alum, ascend Alum, descend Trillium. Segment began solo, then from Alum Cave to finish was ran with Sam and Sawyer Runyan. Aid was picked up at Alum Cave trailhead.

Weather was near perfect, dry and cool. The valleys were cold in the morning (30s) and warm in the middle of the day (mid-50s). Up top was cool most of the day (30s) with wind picking up at times.

The time on the feet and cumulative elevation gain/loss made for a challenging day but the reward of being on the mountain was well worth every step. Check out the Strava link and YouTube video for more run info. Good luck out there!


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A few additional notes: Between segments #1 and #2, I resupplied from my car at Rainbow Falls Trailhead. Between segments #2 and #3, I drove down to my hotel in Gatlinburg for a shower and to get some warm food. I almost took a nap at the hotel but figured it would be better to get back on the trail. I credit David Harlow for the hotel idea. My original plan did not include a hotel, but after reading David's report and with Gatlinburg only a 10 minute drive away I changed things up and added the hotel. Definitely made for a great reset before the third lap.