My first official Winter 48 4000 footer! I have hiked a few 4K's in winter conditions, but it wasn't yet officially winter. This was a great hike with Nancy and Gary. The weather started out warm with a slight breeze to cool you off. The ending weather had us picking up the pace in the rain.
Cannon always kicks your butt right off the starting line. A steap and steady grade all the way to the top, only leveling off around 3800 where you have a nice platform to look out at Franconia Notch. Today was no different. I was a bit slow moving, but Nancy and Gary were awsome. I didn't feel rushed at all.
At about 2050 feet, maybe 1/2 of a mile up, there is a nice little water fall. Not too far across, but the ground was a little soft (and deep as we discovered on the way down.) So we opted to go a little higher to make the crossing easier. Nancy and Gary spent a little time taking some photos of the water once on the other side.
I was post holing a lot, and Nancy suggested using snow shoes. I put my Cresant Moons on, but was too tired to be able to use them, and took them off shortly after. She then suggested trying hers after she felt how heavy mine were. She had MSR Lightning Ascents, I believe 22". They were about a 1/2 lbs lighter then mine. Much better, and I was able to continue on without post holing anymore. Wore them all the way to the base of the lookout tower.
A little past the half way mark me and Nancy looked up at the sky, and for a few seconds, the clouds where a bright green, red and orange. I don't see that very often during the day.
We made it to the lookout (3800') just after noon. Nancy wanted to do a yoga pose, and I got a good shot of it. After a rest and some snacks we carried on up.
Once we got to the spit that goes to the lookout tower and lodge, we went towards the tower. Would have been much easier to go to the lodge first. Much easer terrain, at least in the winter. But we managed to arrive at the tower in good time, and in once piece. Once pictures were taken, and view appreciated, we headed over to the lodge for some hot chocolate and to eat our lunches. Nancy treated eveyone to hot chocolate. When we were packing up, I realized I only had one treking pole. Luckely I remembered I left it at the lookout tower.
The sky started getting dark shortly after we left the lodge, and a steady rain ensued shortly after, lasting until we got to the car. On the way down, we discovered how much better the MSR show shoes where. Mine would just keep slipping. Gary's were worse (he was borrowing Pauline's) since the crampon's were bent almost flat. I am very glad I used dry sacks to keep my clothing in. My backpack was soaked through. I was fairly went inside my rain jacket, although I'm not sure if rain leaked in the collar and pit zips, or if it was just from sweating. Once I got home I discovered my Puffy had a wet spot, even though it was in my dry sack (XS size). So next time I plan to use a plastic bag instead.
After hike burger time was at Black Mountain Burger. Good food, fairly prompt service. They had some cooking/restaurant show being filmed.