The Calm Before Winter Really Arrives, Cannon, 1.11.12

With a beautiful forecast and a free day, yesterday was a good day for a Carpool Challenge to Cannon.  I had never been to Cannon in official winter and it was a good chance for me to experience the Kinsman Ridge Trail from the tramway parking area in a different season.

As usual, I got an fairly early start, seeing no one in the parking lot and not seeing a lot of tracks on the trail, either.  This was not surprising, as I don’t often see people on the trails midweek or early in the morning, much less in winter midweek.    The trail itself starts with the elevation gain right away, and this morning had a dusting of snow over ice, which was fine for ascending, but was a bit slippery for descending.  Thankfully, as I ascended, the snow cover became a little deeper and the ice was better hidden.  In fact, the trail improved greatly as I ascended.  All the rocks and crevices were filled in, and since my last visit, the streams of ice that in some places actually was the trail were all gone, covered in a lovely blanket of snow.  The one section before the left hand turn that is particularly rocky and very icy was a nice, innocent ramp of snow, with no  indication whatsoever of the treacherous conditions beneath it.

Echo Lake, almost frozen and surrounded by an uncharacteristic January brown.

How to improve this portion of trail: just add snow!

This made the travel much easier and soon I was at the viewpoint at the top of Cannon Cliffs.  After snapping some pictures, it was time to finish the last portion of the ascent to the summit and tower.

On the way to the viewpoint, a perfect winter woods.

View to the south, just past the viewpoint.

The ascent was easy and although I was a little concerned about following the trail if it had been windblown, there was enough of  path to follow and soon I was on the Rim Trail, headed toward the observation platform and then enjoying the views.

The bench on the Rim Trail.

At the junction of the Rim Trail and continuation of the Kinsman Ridge Trail.

Mt. Lafayette

The northern part of the Franconia Ridge.

View toward the northwest. Many of the mountains in Vermont and their ski slopes were easily seen this day.

Last look back up to the observation tower before descending.

What a beautiful day – the sunshine was so nice and the tree were so rime-iced and snow laden it was like a totally different world up at the higher elevations.  The was very little wind, and in fact, very still in some places, but the sky was interesting and looked like something was brewing weather-wise. which in fact, was!


4 thoughts on “The Calm Before Winter Really Arrives, Cannon, 1.11.12

  1. Well Summerset, you’ve done it once again! Another terrific adventure, followed by another terrific report with terrific narrative and accompanying photos! Perhaps just posting the one word of “terrific” would’ve been an appropriate comment unto itself! 🙂

    Winter hiking has its definite advantages! On my Christmas Eve trek to Cannon, I was blessed with favorable conditions similar to those that you experienced.


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