Mt. Cannon, New Hampshire (4,100')
January 2, 1999
Mt. Cannon has the distinction of being the 36th tallest mountain in the state of New Hampshire. It is 4,100 feet tall and has a ski lift on its north side, just around the corner from its most famous feature, the "Old Man of the Mountain". From a certain direction, the rocky cliffs of Mt. Cannon have the srtiking resemplance to the profile of a man.
After freezing my ass off the day before on Vermont's Mt. Mansfield, I met up with my friend Sue for another cold day hike.
She selected the 2.4 mile Hi-Cannon Trail, that starts at the Layfaette Campground in the Franconia Notch. The trail follows the "Lake Trail" for the first 200 feet of vertical gain, then departs to the right, winding through the woods up a small ridge to meet the Appalachain Trail on the Kinsman Ridge.
It was cold, and I was tired. Sue talked me into keeping up with her (she should have been tired, having just climbed Mt. Adams to celebrate New Year's Eve). The trail was hard and frozen and slippery in places, so we strapped on the crampons pretty early on in the hike. Somewhere up in the steep stuff, there was a ladder bolted to the rocks that had to be climbed.
Once up on Kinsman Ridge, the trail flattened out and the trees seemed to change, but the wind was worse and it felt colder. The summit tower came and went as we hurried into the ski chalet at the top of the aerial tramway for some warm food and hot chocolate.
Despite the freezing temperatures, I was soaked with sweat from the climb and we allowed a half an hour or so to attempt to let them dry a bit. They did and we started back down the trail. Franconia Ridge to the east was stunning, and Mt. Layafette, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack and Mt. Liberty were lit by the soft winter light. It was still unreasonably cold, so we only paused for a few photos.