The decision between Jay Peak and Cannon kept me up a little bit last night. Jay was going to get a few extra inches but Cannon is closer and has better terrain options when the snow is good. I settled on Cannon expecting to have to hunt for a small sampling of left overs from the storm. Instead, I got consistent untracked every run including a few boot deep shots. Not bad for three days after the storm!
Icelanticskier, L, and I met up in the lodge quite by accident, chance encounter style, and made our way to the summit after sampling some butter sweet wind blown powder skier’s left of Big Link. This was to be the theme of the day!
Where was everyone? Was the looming threat of late afternoon NCP preceded by more snow in the morning scaring every one away? Felt rather lonely being on the only populated chair on the Cannonball Quad early in the morning. But it made for refills along the edges all morning and a lack of competition for the untracked. Sweet!
We found varying amounts of wind blown untracked along the edges. Sometimes 2-4″ (Tramway), sometimes 4-6″ (Taft and Upper Cannon), and sometimes 6-8″ (Skylight). I thought I was going to have to search hard for some sloppy second left overs, but we just kept lapping the Cannonball Quad and finding delicious wind blown untracked on every trail. Skylight owned for the morning via skier’s left.
Split up from Icelanticskier and L around noon time and headed towards the Saddle where there was no boot pack. Not sure if I was the first person up there this morning or prior tracks were already wind blown into an untouched canvas. The snow off the packed line was DEEP. Taft was perfect untracked wind blown with negligible bumps and great cover. SL was tracked with no wind buff reset and CL had some sensational lines including the occasional knee deep mixed in with 6-8″ of chewed up powder!!! Lower part of the mountain was ill advised. Dense knee deep requires a little more pitch, to say the least.
Temps started to turn around 1:00 so I decided to call last run down the Hards. I can’t remember ever having seen Middle Hard opened with this good coverage this early in the past ten years I have been skiing Cannon. It seems like Cannon is being a little more liberal with opening trails with suspect conditions. This is a good and bad thing… I applaud the change in attitude towards thin cover but I rue not having runs reserved.
I have seen worse coverage in base depth at Cannon in February in past years. I suspect the reported 79″ season total is very much inflated (perhaps including early season snows that washed away? and perhaps the new GM has a bigger measuring stick…). But realistically, it seems Cannon is already almost half way to their average yearly snow fall entering the Christmas holidays. Monday must have been off the freaking hook. I am a pass holder at Jay but Cannon will always be my mountain. Crazy cool day up there today.