Cannon, Cameron’s First Winter 4K, 2.26.13

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.

Kinsman Ridge Trail, here we come!

Kinsman Ridge Trail, here we come!

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.

Up mom goes, parallel to the Kinsman Glade ski trail.

Up mom goes, parallel to the Kinsman Glade ski trail.

Feathery ice on a birch tree, which fascinated Cameron.

Feathery ice on a birch tree, which fascinated Cameron.

Further up the trail, he found an entire tree covered in feathery ice.

Further up the trail, he found an entire tree covered in feathery ice.

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.

View out toward Echo Lake, with a small patch of open water on its surface.

View out toward Echo Lake, with a small patch of open water on its surface.

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.

At the summit of Cannon, #1 for Cameron in winter.

At the summit of Cannon, #1 for Cameron in winter.

The tower was covered with rime ice.

The tower was covered with rime ice.

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.

Cameron had lots of fun plowing through and sliding down the snow on the descent.

Cameron had lots of fun plowing through and sliding down the snow on the descent.

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.

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4 thoughts on “Cannon, Cameron’s First Winter 4K, 2.26.13

  1. Nice! A hearty congratulations to Cameron on his first winter 4K peak!

    And yes, at least in my book, a winter hike to Cannon is much more preferable than a “hike” to Funland!

    Regarding the feathery ice that you photographed, do you think it might be the result of snow-gun spray/mist, or purely a naturally occurring formation? I’ve seen lots of feathery rime ice configurations, but don’t seem to recall seeing formations quite like those in your photos. But then again, maybe I have, but simply forgotten! 🙂

    John

    • John: Cam says, “Thank you!”.

      A morning hiking beats an afternoon of video games any day as far as I’m concerned.

      The feathery ice was on the Kinsman Ridge Trail in the ski glade area, which doesn’t get a helping hand via the snow-guns at all, at least not that I know of. I’ve never seen any evidence of snow-making (pipes for water, etc.) on that trail as it crosses with the Kinsman Ridge Trail several times. That leads me to believe it is naturally occurring. Considering our weather conditions recently, with more moisture in the air plus warmer daytime temps and subsequent cooling at night, I’m not surprised to see ice crystals.

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