Last week before the rain storm Saturday morning, the entire mountain was fully covered. This week there was barely any snow on Paulie’s and no snow under the Zoomer Lift with lots of bare spots showing on Avalanche and Zoomer. Not totally unexpected but the damage is considerable when you take into account just how deep the snow cover was a few weeks earlier.
Brian and I met at the Peabody Lodge to share some turns today on this late season foray. The snow surface froze hard overnight and was teeth chattering frozen granular in the morning. I stuck to the groomers which skied okay but were begging for some sun. Things didn’t warm up as fast as i had expected, but around noon time, every trail on the mountain was gold. But by early afternoon, it was mostly mushy mashed potatoes.
Pick of the day was Vista Way for nice soft bumps and fine views with hardly any clouds. Yet another fantastic day at Cannon! I have had more good weather days than bad this year at Cannon, it has been an amazing year. Honorable mention goes to Middle to Lower Cannon for a great run to let the skis run. It is how I opened my season at Cannon and how I closed my season at Cannon.
Originally, I had planned to pay my final respects to the 2001-2002 Ski Season at Cannon Mountain in the Franconia Notch. I was leaving open the possibility of visiting Burke in mid-April considering they recently received some of the best snow of the year. However, Friday night I learned that Burke would close that weekend despite having all of their trails open with ample coverage to last well into April.
My dilemma began. Cannon is my favorite mountain in New England and the front face trails beckoned for me to ski them one last time this year. Both ski areas were having Pond Skimming events on Saturday; however, I could only choose one. I went to bed Friday night with thoughts of Cannon in my mind.
Saturday morning, I got a late start on purpose due to rain and poor weather. I packed up and had the wheels rolling from my home in Haverhill, MA at 6:30 PM. The entire drive up I-93 was miserable with rain (rather heavy at times) and low visibility. While driving through Concord, NH, I phoned both mountains for their trial reports. Cannon reported fewer trails open than expected with a quad on hold, while Burke promised sunny skies with all trails open! The decision had been made, but that didn’t make driving by Cannon any easier. A look at the Front Face trails at Cannon confirmed my decision to be correct. The Front Face looked to be in awful condition with thin cover, dirt, rocks, and low base depths showing prominently in many spots on all of the Front Face trails. Amazingly, after passing by Cannon and driving out of the Notch, the skies cleared! The further North I drove, the more sun and fewer clouds I saw!