Minutes of the July 24, 2006 Meeting
Smoky Mountain AMS Chapter


Everyone met at Barley's Taproom for dinner around 6:15 pm, and then moved to our usual room on the UT Ag Campus for the talk. Our speaker was Rusty Kirby who was the assistant manager of the Leconte Lodge from November 2004 to November 2005. During that time, he served as the winter caretaker at the top of our east Tennessee world. He was all alone in charge during the winter months, with only the passage of a few hikers, critters, and lots of interesting weather experiences. The Knoxville News Sentinel printed a Sunday Feature on his job and perspective back in January 2005. Rusty provided a synopsis of his talk as follows: "As for the content and format, I'd like to informally discuss my experience over the course of the year I spent on Mount Leconte. I'll give a brief history of the Lodge, a description of the mountain, and discuss the seasonal variances, including some of the more dramatic elements in weather. I can only offer a layman's perspective, so I'd like give others the chance to explain some of the larger systems that created the conditions I observed, perhaps in a discussion type format. My hope is to convince those who haven't been to make the trip, particularly in the wintertime as the conditions are unlike anywhere else in the region."




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