Supplies for LeConte Lodge ready to be sent by helicopter

Crews are preparing to airlift several months worth of supplies to the LeConte Lodge.

The lodge inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the highest guest lodge in the eastern U.S. The only way to reach the top is to walk or fly.

Since no one wants to hike up a mountain with all that gear, a helicopter is brought in to transport the supplies on enormous pallets. It will take more than 100 trips over several days, up and back down, to get all the gear transported.

"We have a crew of 11 up there. We're taking a lot of their supplies up, their personal belongings, we're taking all the food storage stuff that will feed the guests throughout the season, we're taking all the fuel with propane. There's almost 30 tanks of propane that will have to be filled and sent up," said Alan Householder, the airlift coordinator.

All those supplies are still on the ground for now. Even though it's been packed and ready to go for several days, it's been too windy for the helicopter to make the trip.

The supplies will last through November. Llamas will make smaller trips throughout the year to deliver basic supplies like fresh food.


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