Cannon makes you work. Great skiers routinely get spanked in the trees at Cannon. Unlike almost any other mountains save perhaps Mansfield, you really suffer for the best turns at Cannon. That type of rigor elevated my skiing as I was developing my tree chops and skiing Cannon more than any where else. But I don’t ski Cannon much any more. And it shows whenever I return to my home mountain.
Despite a claimed twenty four hour total of eleven inches, I immediately had trouble finding snow deeper than my boot buckles. I started on Mittersill in hopes that the lift being closed yesterday would have kept traffic to a minimum. The limited fresh felt nice but my favorite slot on the mountain was already well bumped and deeply troughed from yesterday. It was time to go into the woods in earnest and employ noontime plans just after the opening bell.
Epic descents were had and up to eight inches of fresh was slayed. I worked. I sweated. I fell on the hard pack outside the Tram Summit Station and busted the toe piece on one of my bindings. Oops. I made it work. Just like the mountain was making me work.
One discovery was made today. A glade I long suspected but had never sought out the entrance. And what a ball buster of an entrance it was! But much like everything else at Cannon: well worth the effort. My last two runs were down an extensively long tree shot that I hadn’t skied in years. Phenomenal. My second to last run was epic with mammoth effort and super human turns. My inspired turns were juxtaposed as I passed two skiers hacking it out. I thought it would be my last run but I wanted one more, it was too good. And then I was the skier that was hacking. Cannon has a way of doing that to you.
Despite the holiday weekend, the Mittersill Double was ski on all day. While across the ridge, the Peabody Quad was bulging under considerable crowding (by Cannon standards). But the Singles line sported only a few minutes wait. Off piste, the mountain got hit hard. Since Cannon groomed almost every acre save Middle Hard, Vista, and small bumped segments of select Zoomer area trails, those seeking powder were decidedly limited to the glades, Mittersill, and off piste.
I was flabbergasted that the Mittersill Double would be so underused on a busy holiday weekend and powder day. If it is not going to have a line today, it’s never going to have a line given all other lifts are spinning. Perhaps the lack of lift lines says something about holiday crowds?
Or perhaps it suggests that even the day after a snow storm, that Mittersill is pretty scraped and beat down and folks don’t care for that type of experience. I sure don’t. What used to take a week or two now happens in an hour or two. The biggest culture shock was seeing bumps under the liftline during my first ascent. One of the draws (for me) to Mittersill was powder skiing without bumps. Due to the long lift cycle time and most folks skiing Baron’s Run, most of Mittersill rarely bumped up except some tight tree slots and Baron’s.
Many folks were still hiking the saddle with the expressed intent of skiing Mittersill. Perhaps some folks forgot to check the lift report and assumed the Double was closed. But more likely, they are Cannon skiers. Hiking the Saddle is the way its always been done. And it beats skiing down to the beginner area and riding the Tuckerbrook lift. Plus you get to ski the Taft. It’s still the best way to get to Mittersill even if it’s not the path of least resistance.
Especially if it is not the path of least resistance.