The Freak of Franconia Notch : Cannon Mountain

Date of Hike: 1/10/15

Kinsman Ridge Trail:  4.2 miles  (2,200 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- With the higher summits obscured and Whitney working in the afternoon we decided to head to the northern end of Franconia Notch to hike Cannon Mountain via the Kinsman Ridge Trail.
- The Kinsman Ridge Trail leaves from the Cannon Mountain ski area tram parking lot and basically parallels the tram on the way up.  The trail is relentlessly steep for the first mile then eases out as grades become moderate.  The good news is the trail is easier when there is snow blanketing the trail as all the exposed roots, rocks, and eroding soil are will hidden beneath the white stuff.  The Trail passes through some ski glades on three occasions.  Luckily, there were no skiers heading through the glades so we could take our time crossing through them.
-  Whitney set a great pace up the mountain, taking advantage of the perfect snowshoe conditions and we only ran into one other hiker with his Chocolate Lab above the glades where the trail becomes less steep.  The last half mile up to the summit is an enjoyable hike up over the exposed eastern shoulder with great views, as long as it's not windy that is.  Luckily for us there was no wind since the temperature was hovering around zero.
- We made it to the summit tower around 9:30 and took pictures before booking it down the mountain.  The hike out was fun and enjoyable as we basically bounded down the mountain in our snowshoes.  I took a detour through one of the glades on the way down, then as we neared the bottom I spotted a lone cross country ski track and hooked onto that and went through a nice open forest all the way back to the start of the trail where I hooked back up to Whitney.

 Route for the day, click here for details
 Bottom of the Kinsman Ridge Trail
 Looking back down the trail and checking out the ariel tram as it makes it way up and down the summit
A great snowshoe track and looking down to Echo Lake
 Kinsman Ridge Trail
 Dogs on Cannon Mountain!
 Looking down into Franconia Notch
 Heading up to the summit through the scrub with the tower in view
 Looking across to Agony Ridge with Franconia Notch in the clouds
 The Rim Trail up to the summit tower
 Cannon Mountain summit tower
 Watching the skiers unload and looking out towards Mittersill Peak
 Kinsman Ridge
 View from the summit tower across the notch
Starting the descent down from the summit
 Whitney heads through the steeps above the glades on the Kinsman Ridge Trail
Going off trail for the last quarter mile through open woods and stumbling upon an old water tower

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