Green Mountain Club
Montpelier Section

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Trip Reports
February 4, 2006
Cannon Mountain - White Mountain 48-4k Series

One more spectacular sunny and unusually warm winter hike for the 48-4K series.

The day was supposed to be cloudy with the possibility of rain. Not even the clouds showed up to inhibit the great viewing spots on this trip. Myself, Ed L, Dave B, and Chris H decided to go for it. The Kinsman trail starts at the Cannon Mountain Tramway parking lot; immediately climbing up very steeply. There was lots of erosion of the trail. This trail is showing its excessive use and is in need of serious maintenance.

The White Mountain Guide tells us that the Kinsman Ridge Trail travels for 2.0 miles to reach the Rim Trail, but gains 2100 feet in elevation. It wasn't lying. This trail gets right to it and is relentlessly aerobic. No rest for a big old mountain goat like myself.

Footing was a little difficult in spots, but did not require crampons nor snowshoes, it was pure slush in spots due to the sunny and abnormally warm weather. Before too long, decent views to the north are available, and Echo Lake quickly becomes your first vista focal point.

At 1.5 miles, our patience and effort were rewarded with a spectacular "outlook" of the Franconia Range, including Lafayette, Lincoln, and Little Haystack. From here the observation tower was clearly visible. We ate lunch and sun bathed in the warm February sun We enjoyed the R & R and moved on toward the summit.

The Kinsman Ridge Trail is flat here briefly as it winds around a very small peak, descends, and begins the modest climb to the top of Cannon. We made our way up the rocky slope for about .2 mile when we merged with the Rim Trail. At this junction there is a bench and a pay binocular. A short walk and we reached the summit and the observation tower. We climbed the observation tower, and did some more sun bathing and enjoyed the views. The trip down was eventful for me because of the slush. Keeping my descent speed under control to avoid "sliding into home" and remaining vertical was impossible at spots. The total distance from beginning to end was about 4.4 miles and 2100 feet in elevation.

Paul DeLuca

Paul is coming. The trail was steep from the beginning and all the way up. (Photos by Ed L)

We stopped for lunch and enjoyed a view of Franconia Ridge on a broad ledge near the summit.

Dave and Chris, unaware they are spoiling a perfect aerial view of Boston.

For only 50 cents we were able to enjoy the view the way it was meant to be viewed.

Chris and Dave start up the final run to the summit, while Paul waits and Chris enjoys the view.

The top of the Cannon Mountain liftline, on the west side of the ridge (view from the tower). Skiers could walk a short distance to the lookout tower.

Chris, Paul, and Dave enjoying the sun on top of the lookout tower.

The entire Franconia ridgeline seen from the summit tower: Lafayette, Lincoln, Haystack (l to r). "Shining Rock" is below ridgeline at far right. See the report of the August 27 Lincoln/Lafayette/Franconia Ridge Hike, which also shows "Shining Rock"

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