After fierce deliberations during the evening prior, I decided to make a “driveway decision” in the morning. Seeing the winds on Mount Washington blowing only 40-50 MPH out of the northeast suggested that all lifts at Cannon would run and they did. Indeed, the Peabody Quad was as calm as I’ve ever seen it during a storm.
I would like to personally thank Deval Patrick for being a pussy. Otherwise, I would have feared the hoards of Massachusetts skiers heading north. Other options included four mid-sized ~1000′ areas that would have had snow and no crowds but not the same level of terrain. I’d say that I choose wisely.
Cannon reported a two day total of 16″ and that sounds about right. Six of those inches fell yesterday and the remainder fell last night. It snowed all day and they might have picked up another two inches this afternoon. Much deeper drifts could be found so while boot deep was the average, exploding knee deep was still plentiful.
Over the years, I have questioned what exactly makes me love Cannon above all other ski areas. Today, the mountain presented us with all the reasons to dislike Cannon: cold temperatures, high winds, extensive hard pack, ice patches on natural trails, (very) thin coverage, and only 4-8″ in the past 72 hours compared to two to three feet (plus) in Northern Vermont.
These are the very reasons I love the mountain so much. Nothing is easy at Cannon, you get what you are given and you have to do something with it. You get out of the mountain what you put into it. The challenges and short comings make you a better skier, and they remind you when you’ve gotten a little too soft.
Once upon a time, the only way to exit Middle Hardscrabble was a short uphill climb. Half a dozen years ago, the powers that be at Cannon decided to tame the final insult to Cannon’s most rough and tumble trail.
A pussy path was cut, MH Cut Thru was added as a trail (all 100 feet of it), and Middle Hard got a little easier. I was disappointed to see the classic trail’s final pitch blown open. But I’ll shamefully admit, I always use the cut thru.
I’m bringing the uphill back to Middle Hard. This is the kick off to the Middle Hard the Hard Way Campaign. In the spirit of the way this classic trail was cut, I invite all skiers and riders (if you have it in you) to climb out of Middle Hard the Hard Way up to Lower Hard. You’ll then have the option to ski the excellent first (and only) pitch of Red Ball. Let’s bring it back.
Who’s with me?