Emma on Hi-Cannon Trail
Cannon Mountain 4100'
2.8 Miles 2350' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Finally able to get away for a couple of days we headed up to Franconia Notch just to get the hell out of Dodge. We hadn't been over 4000' in nearly a month and it was wearing us thin. I can't speak for Jude or Emma, but I know my attitude and outlook hits the skids when I don't climb something at least moderately high as often as I can. High Cannon Trail up to the summit of Cannon is short but has enough steepness and rock picking to make it a decent hike. Throw in wet leaves and a few inches of snow and it was difficult enough to satisfy my appetite for the mountains for at least a day or two. Arriving in Franconia Notch it was disappointing to see the cloud cover obscuring the summits, but thrilling to see snow on the mountainsides a little over 1000' up. There was a sort of drizzle in the parking lot as we got ready for the hike. Shortly into the ascent it became a freezing rain, then it began to come down heavy for a while. The sound of the sleet around us and on our hooded heads was loud and comforting. I was home! As we continued upward the sleet became snow as the rise in elevation coincided with a drop in temperature. Further below the warmer temps were beginning to melt the snowflakes resulting in the wet sleet, but up here the precipitation was allowed to dance in its most beautiful crystalized form which swirled around our faces and made its way to the ground and onto the branches lining the trail. As we went along it was apparent that it was beginning to gain a hold on the drab landscape, transforming it into that most beautiful state of appearance, a snowscape. The spruce were now blanketed in white splendor. The birch now stood out dark against the white background. The snow covered the wet leaves making footing treacherous. Snow stuck to the bottom of our boots making scrambling over rocks an adventure. The ladder on High Cannon Trail looked like something that led to a tree-fort I built when I was ten. Covered in snow it was a challenge to climb with two feet trying to kick enough snow off to make Jude's climb easier, one hand gripping the frozen rungs and the other hand trying to hold a squirming dog close to my body so I could get her high enough up to where she could make it up the ledge beside the ladder by herself. Lucky I have lots of practice at this kind of stuff and I survived this challenge to try other foolish "tempting of fate" type undertakings on another day. Eventually we made it to the junction with the Kinsman Ridge Trail, soaked from brushing against the surrounding trees despite my best efforts to knock the snow down before we passed. Although we had our rain-gear on, hiking on a day like this, the moisture finds a way to penetrate all layers. "Waterproof and breathable" is the biggest advertising scam in the world. I was soaked underneath from sweat and what wasn't soaked in sweat the snow had found its way to. We climbed up the tower and looked around at the 100 yard views then quickly made our way down out of the breeze and back into the forest to grab a quick bite and to change into dry shirts. We hiked down the KRT to the col between Cannon and Northeast Cannonball. At the junction with the Lonesome Lake Trail I looked up along the KRT and didn't really give going up a thought as we had been before and the weather wasn't cooperative enough to give the short hike another go. We were soon down at the shore of the as yet unfrozen Lonesome Lake. It was nice to now be hiking on a softer less rock strewn trail. As we descended from Lonesome Lake we passed once again back into autumn, leaving winter behind for the time being. It won't be long now!
Lonesome Lake from Hi-Cannon Trail