Cameron has been wanting to hike this winter, but between weather conditions not being good enough for him to be out and other things, I haven’t been able to take him. Since he’s on school vacation this week, and I had promised to do something with him, it seemed ideal. It was also better than another trip to Funspot for both of us. After looking at our lists and discussing various options, Cannon seemed to fit the bill.
We spent Monday evening pulling out gear and clothing and getting everything set up for the next day’s trip. Tuesday morning, we were on our way to Franconia Notch. Cameron hadn’t been to the mountains since November, so he was excited and happy to see that the clouds were a bit higher than expected. We pulled into the Cannon Tramway lot, finished putting on gear and headed toward the trail.
Into the woods we went, and I gave him some advice on snowshoeing. Cameron doesn’t have a lot of experience in snowshoes, but he listened to the advice and did really well going up the Kinsman Ridge Trail. We made it through the lower forest, then through eroded gully, and then through the ski trail section. Cameron was very interested in the ski trails and after some investigation decided that he probably wouldn’t want to snowboard through the glades on that trail.
We kept going up and finally the views opened up, so Cameron was able to see out to the view below. We made it the left hand turn off the ski trail and had earned ourselves a good break and snack. Fueled up, we headed to the outlook, which since we were now in the cloud and not under it, we skipped.
On the last steep section past the outlook and the sag, the trail was broken out differently than I remembered, but I followed the previous tracks anyway. Cameron at one point was leading, but got concerned because we were totally in the clouds and he couldn’t make out the trail. I took over and easily followed the tracks. He just didn’t have the experience to know what to look for. We popped out of the woods on a ski trail just below the tram station. Since I knew where I was, I knew how to get up to the tower. We got to the tower, which was covered in loads of rime ice and took the usual summit photos. For some reason, we ended up on the other side of the ropes, so we searched for the USGS marker, but didn’t find it.
Now it was time to descend. Because of being the cloud, Cam wasn’t comfortable following the hiking trail back, even though I found where it headed into the woods and could follow it. We decided to follow the ski trail down to the Kinsman Glade ski trail and then get back onto the Kinsman Ridge Trail. We did get stopped by ski patrol, but after explaining that we were headed back to the hiking trail, he seemed satisfied with that and waved us on. No less than 10 minutes on Kinsman Glade and we were back on the hiking trail, at the point where it takes the sharp turn away from the ski trail. From there it was a fun and quick descent back to the car. Cam had loads of fun plowing through the powder. It took us half the time to descend as it did to ascend.
Back at the car, we both agreed it was a fun day out, and a good all-around winter experience complete with a few views, hiking in a cloud and a safe, snowy descent.