Cannon: Completing the Trifecta

Cannon from Mount Jackson

Franconia Ridge

Saturday was an amazing day in the Notch. The place gives you back what you put into it. I dug deep and put in more than I had originally intended, and I was rewarded for my efforts. These past three days included some of the best Thanksgiving skiing I’ve ever enjoyed. And I enjoyed all three of those days at Cannon.

After earning pre-Thanksgiving Dinner turns on Thursday, I returned on Friday for Cannon’s first day of lift service. I enjoyed fantastic skiing on the same trails that I had earned turns on the day prior. But despite three straight hours of mostly untracked powder skiing, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.

The thrills came fast and furious. Run after run of untracked powder. My heart was pounding and my breath was short as I skied fast and hard, tracking up as much virgin snow as possible. There was no frenzy, there were no crowds. But it was still a rush. The lifts do that to you… they are like life: they instill a certain eager and unsatisfied mentality. As if just one more run of untracked will somehow refute our vapid existence.

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Cannon: The First Rule of the Banshee Slopes is…

This trip report includes no pictures. Long time readers of TSW will realize what that means…

I assumed Cannon wouldn’t have the gumption to open the Front Five trails. There was no base under the foot of snow that fell on top of grass. With terrain undulations and water bars abound, the natural snow skiing at Cannon would be adventurous and not completely safe despite the element of self selection. But Cannon proved me wrong.

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Cannon: And Sometimes Good Snow Makes for Good Adventure

Cannon Tram Base

We were having a small Thanksgiving at home and I was not the cook which meant I had a few hours to earn my first powder turns of the season. At least a foot of new snow fell at Cannon. I got a somewhat late start to ensure a skin track was already set when I arrived. Only about a dozen other skiers were on hand for Thanksgiving turns but many more would follow the next day.

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Jay: Sometimes Adventure Is More Important Than Good Snow

Derick Hot Shot or Hot Shot Derick?

With lift ticket prices on the rise at Wildcat and Sunday River ($49 and $39 respectively) but neither area offering more than a single unique top to bottom route, the value was not sufficient to justify the expense. As with past seasons, I have made a commitment to tour more and ride the lifts less this season. So with low lift serviced value and high turn earning motivation in mind, I decided to skin and ski at Jay again despite no guarantee of natural snow turns.

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Wildcat: Opening Day of the Season

Mount Washington from Upper Lynx

En route to Sunday River for top to bottom turns on Locke, I received a message (thanks, Tim!) alerting me that Wildcat was opening on Sunday free of charge. I had checked their web page the night before but the notice wasn’t posted until nearly midnight. Top to bottom on Wildcat was definitely a better (and considerably closer) option than Sunday River. So in Gorham, I turned down Route 16 and made a donation at the Kitty for a free lift ticket.

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