Friday, November 11, 2011

2011.11.11 Cannon Mountain - Nary a Soul

This was Veteran's Day 11-11-11 (is my keyboard stuck?) and this would be the first of two days of hiking in the Whites.  Though the weather report did not call for great conditions, rain in the am and questionable the rest of the day, I still expected that this being a holiday there would be numerous other hikers.  It was not to be.  On this entire trek of just over 5.5 hours we saw no one else.  No humans, no critters, nada.

Our hike today involved going basically straight up Cannon Mountain using the Kinsman Trail.  The trail parallels the major ski trails of Cannon and for a short time actually follows one of its glade ski trails.  Though I am an avid downhill skier, glade skiing is not in my repertoire and this particular glade trail is definitely beyond my skill level.

My GPS data indicates that this was a short 4.4 mile trip but; the majority of it was at a constant 31-32% grade.  That is pretty challenging for a 'big guy' like me.  That challenge was worsened by the fact that I was having some trouble with my asthma this weekend, not unheard of for me in the October/November timeframe.  Here is a screenshot of the descent data from my GPS:

We were lucky enough to be invited on this hike by some friends.  Mr. and Mrs. Slowsky (that's us) most certainly slowed the pace of our hosts but we had a great time nonetheless.  We also had the pleasure of hiking with their dog Benny.  Benny is a fantastic hiking partner and though most Golden Retriever's are good natured, Benny is particularly so.

Moving on to some pictures...

Our friends Scott & Leslie at the trailhead.

Mr. and Mrs. Slowsky at the trailhead.

A light covering of snow on the trees as we ascended.  It was beautiful.

Literally within seconds the views would open and then become cloud covered again.  It was ever changing.

Is it water or is it vodka?
The benefit of vodka is that it doesn't freeze but, it does make getting safely down the trail a challenge so, we had to settle for water.

An American flag left on the trail by someone who had hiked this trail on another day.

The snow covered trees at the summit were even more stunning than they were on the way up.

This photo was taken from the fire tower atop the summit (thus the support cables).  We only climbed the tower a flight or so because the winds were very strong and it was cold!

Here is clear evidence of how cold it was on the fire tower atop the summit!

The top of the tramway at the summit.

Benny finally makes it into a photo!

My vegetation shot for this hike.
The white dots in this close up are actually hail/snow that we experienced on our decent.


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