Cannon Last Full Day of Winter 3-19-14
Incredible Sky Over Franconia Ridge and Distant Northern Presidentials
Lonesome Lake/Hi-Cannon/Kinsman Ridge Trail
5.6 Miles 2350' Elevation gain
Kevin & Judy
On the last full day of winter for this year we set out to get one more four thousand footer, not impressive by any means, but I'll take it, as fighting the arthritis in my hip has become a full time job. Enough of that. We set off to hike Cannon because even after all these years of hiking I still cannot rationalize that "short" equals "steep" when talking about hiking in the Whites. We arrived in the parking lot at Lafayette Place pretty much alone except for a couple of empty cars. Above us the sky was pale gray and indistinct. It wasn't all that cold and there was little to no wind, which was fine in our book. We set off along the snowmobile track and quickly crossed the southern bridge which led up through the campground and along the Lonesome Lake Trail. As we went along it was remarkable how well the track was snowshoe packed and it resembled a super-highway as opposed to the usual mere sidewalk.
Climbing "The Ladder"
As we reached the High-Cannon Trail it was obvious that conditions along this would not be as pleasurable. Bare boots had mucked up the narrow snowshoe track with lots of heel-digging for traction. Whatever, do what makes you happy. Going up and down the trail in our snowshoes smoothed most of the trail back over but it didn't matter as new snow came that night. The only really sketchy spot was on the way back down crossing the ladder. The ladder is currently filled in with snow, and there are large steps kicked in the frozen snow which makes going up a lot easier, but descending it is a bit of an adventure. We survived both which helped make it a good day.
High Above Lonesome Lake
Across the Street
It was warm enough to hike without jackets, but as we approached the summit it was obvious we would need them as the wind was blowing a good 20-25mph and the icy blast quickly had us scrambling for warmer attire. Up on the deck of the tower I shot as many photos as quickly as possible, then got down out of the wind and back into the trees as fast as I could. In the protection of the trees we both chowed down a sandwich doing a "standing lunch", and then began the descent as soon as we swallowed to get out of the much colder air. During this time we marveled at how the sky had turned from featureless gray to amazing swirls and fascinating shapes as weather approached from the west. Incredible clouds were stacking up over Franconia Ridge and further to our northeast over the Presidentials. Even on a gray bland day there is always something great to be seen in the mountains!
West Towards the Kinsmans
Full set of pictures HERE: