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Thread: Cannon Via Hi-Cannon Or Lonesome Lake Trails

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Cannon Via Hi-Cannon Or Lonesome Lake Trails

    Was thinking of doing Cannon Mt this weekend and I haven't been up to NH for several weeks so I figured I'd eyeball NETC for recent conditions. I've only done Cannon twice and both times it was via Kinsman Ridge Trail from tram lot so I figured I'd go up the South side for a change. Don't see any reports from that side other than 1 report of an attempt from an inexperienced Winter climber who turned back. Is there still some sort of issue going on with the trail work that was done earlier in the year (which I thought I had read was completed)? Is there an issue with parking area? I know there's been quite a bit of snow so maybe people were just avoiding for that reason because it is steeper, has "the ladder", etc?

    If anyone has been out that way recently and has any info on conditions it would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    You may have already considered this, but going in via the Lonesome Lake trail, you can see if the Hi-Canon trail is broken out, and if it's not, then you can head up via Lonesome Lake (and break it out on the way down, if you feel like it). If neither are broken then you can do the Kinsmans I suppose.

    I've gone up Cannon from Lafayette Place both ways in winter and summer and I like them both. Given the choice I think I'd rather descend the ladder than the steeps into Coppermine Col/ Since I prefer to sled down in winter, I go go down via Lonesome Lake, as the ride from the Col to the Lake is really fun!
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    Senior Member HAMTERO's Avatar
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    I was up there last weekend with my 10 year old son. Hi-Cannon was not broken out and I was not sure how my dog would fair on the ladder so we went up the Lonesome Lake Trail. It was not broken either but we headed up on snowshoes. Several bare boot parties and a couple of parties on snowshoes had traveled that trail by the end of the day. Noticed Hi-Cannon had had some traffic when we went by it on the way out.
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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    I've only done Cannon in actual winter via High Cannon. It was unbroken, 12-16" of new snow. The plan was to do the Kinsmans as well. There were 3 of us but it was so tough to break that steep A$$ trail that it took 4+ hours. The ladder was interesting to say the least.

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    I sometimes swear that the ski area has some snow guns hidden in the woods on the south ridge where the Kinsman Ridge and Hi Cannon trail ascend it. More likely is that the area is a either a natural snow generator or is somehow influenced by it being adjacent to the ski area with its snowmaking. Even when there is no snow forecast, this area will build up snow. An example is today into Saturday, there is a so called dry front coming through the area, it may not deposit much at ground level but it will most likely dump a bunch in this area. In theory its a short hike with easy access so a large number of underequipped folks try it leading to a lot of barebooters. Either trail is steep enough with a base established that adding significant powder on top of it means that the trying to kick in steps rarely works. About the only option is displace the powder and dig down to the underlying base and use trees to assist. At some point there are enough folks who try that the trench gets established and if there isn't snow that night the track may firm up for the next day. On a good snow year, the ladders on Hi Cannon aren't really an issue as they are a lump of ice covered with snow.

    I have been with groups breaking both out over the years and as Joe has experienced, it has taken hours of back breaking work to get to the top of the ridge from either trail. The KRT is perfect for butt sliding so it inevitably gets groomed out into a bobsled chute by the end of the day so there is lot to be said to do it as a Sunday hike after the crowds have done the hard work on a Saturday. One hint is bring the crampons as its steep enough that microspikes frequently are not enough due to the steepness. The other caveat is its easy to reach "terminal velocity" in this section heading downhill (somewhat similar to South Hancock) once you get out of control its hard to stop and there are plenty of trees in your path.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I was mostly curious if there was a trail closure or something for the lack of trip reports. It seemed like almost every Cannon report I read last year was for Hi-Cannon and/or Lonesome Lake so it struck me as off there was no info. Maybe I confused it with a different time of year that I looked. I guess I'll make the final call tomorrow AM as I head into the notch. Really can't make up my mind on a destination tomorrow, which is nothing new of late.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    It would be a shame to miss this scene.



    But the climb from the junction of the LLT and the KRT to Cannon could be a nightmare if not broken as well.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    It would be a shame to miss this scene.



    But the climb from the junction of the LLT and the KRT to Cannon could be a nightmare if not broken as well.
    I enjoy seeing the paths across the lake, but always wonder why they are so crooked.
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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I enjoy seeing the paths across the lake, but always wonder why they are so crooked.
    Can't speak for others, I was drunk.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Can't speak for others, I was drunk.
    Haha - that sounds about right. Easy to do on a day like that!
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    It would be a shame to miss this scene.



    But the climb from the junction of the LLT and the KRT to Cannon could be a nightmare if not broken as well.
    I did go via the Kinsman Ridge. Found a good runner up view. Looking at today's photos it seems as though anywhere was an awesome place to hike today.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I did go via the Kinsman Ridge. Found a good runner up view. Looking at today's photos it seems as though anywhere was an awesome place to hike today.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a similar photo that I turned into a really hard puzzle! Is that from the Rim trail?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I have a similar photo that I turned into a really hard puzzle! Is that from the Rim trail?
    Funny you mention "puzzled" and "Rim Trail" because I was puzzled and never made it to the Rim Trail and the summit. When I emerged from the scrub at the base of the summit cone and started out above treeline the track abruptly turned hard right and followed an easy line North. There were several other less obvious tracks and one set of tracks from someone who went straight up through the rocks and scrub at this turn toward the tower. It'd been 5 years since I'd come up in Winter (and there was less snow on the cone that year) and it didn't seem like what I remembered but I took the path of least resistance. It reached a flattish area with a trail that went into scrub and a track just past it that dead ended and looped back around. Took the trail through the scrub and it came out on the ski trails at Cannon. I knew if I just went up the ski trail I'd eventually catch a left and could shoot over. But that was no fun. So I went back to the junction and started following the fainter tracks in the snow. Started post holing in the scrub immediately. Clearly not the track but I am a slow learner so I followed all of them to their ends, set off in some new directions myself and came up empty. Eventually I took out my GPS to see what the hell was going on. At the place I took the original hard right was clearly where I had left the trail so I went back to that spot and saw absolutely no evidence of a track. I started out in the direction I believed to be the trail and nada. So after floundering around for about 20 minutes I threw in the towel and headed back to the outlook. Was still fun. I wish I could have been there when some of the groups I met on the way down (I was first up and saw no one until I was down in the glade areas) got to that spot, saw all the tracks and were like "What the #### is going on here?". I did forewarn the first few people of my shenanigans so they were "ready". I have to assume that after the latest snow people were just going to the ski trail and going up that way. It almost looks like a paved walkway going straight up that incline to the gap in the trees for ski trail. One of the groups I passed had about 10-12 people who looked experienced so hopefully they solved the riddle and tracked out the correct path.

    Long story short , that photo was taken at the outlook into Franconia Notch off Kinsman Ridge Trail.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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