Cannon, Thursday 2/16/2017

powderstudpowderstud intermediate
in Trip Reports Posts: 34
Yesterday may have been one of the very best days I've ever skied Cannon--and that's saying a lot since I've been regularly skiing it since 1977.  The place was simply awash in powder--wall to wall powder.  That's what 20" in the preceding 24 hours, on top of 18" two days prior, which is on top of even more snow preceding it (Cannon reports 51" in the last week).  As I write this on Friday morning, my legs are still incredibly sore.  But what pleasure such pain can bring!

The only negative yesterday was visibility--up top it was nearly impossible to see anything, which meant extreme caution was required and which reduced the fun factor up at the very top.  But as I quickly discovered, getting into runs that are not so wide with trees nearby, like Upper Hardscrabble to Middle Hardscrabble, and the visibility was just fine.  I think I took two runs on the Upper Mountain other than Taft Slalom to get to Upper Hardscrabble--and those would be Cannon and Skylight, neither of which I enjoyed because it was nearly impossible to see anything.

I've only once before seen Middle Hardscrabble in such astonishing shape.  And while it was getting skied, I would say people were in general going elsewhere on the mountain.  Skier's left on the last face before the runout was all but untracked even by early afternoon.  Yes, skiers had gone through it, but it was not cut up and still felt untracked even though there were tracks through it.  I think I skied Upper/Middle hard around 10 times yesterday.  It was a total blast!

Don't ask me why, but no one had bothered to ski skier's left on Red Ball until late morning, so I kept getting untracked snow there at the end of Middle Hardscrabble accessing it from the end of the runout (which required breaking through 2 feet of snow to get there).  But by afternoon, word had gotten out and I noticed there were a lot more tracks there than mine.  No big deal, but it was still fun.  Ditto skier's left on Turnpike.  While it had seen more action, skier's left near the snow guns was largely being avoided by others.  What a shame...for them.

I spent most of the afternoon on the Zoomer runs due to the visibility problems higher up.  While visibility was improving by late afternoon, I still kept it low and had a blast.  Paulie's Folly and Avalanche were simply incredible, awash in cut up powder and no one was on them except for a random skier here or there (and I met my first vole yesterday at the top of Paulie's).  I don't know where everyone else was skiing at Cannon (and you could see the parking lot was unusually full for a Thursday), but on the mountain it felt like the place was empty even though it wasn't (and the proof was the madhouse in the cafeteria at lunchtime).  Maybe a lot of people went over to Mittersill--I have no idea, because I didn't.

But the skiing was EXTRAORDINARY.  And moreso, while this is entirely subjective, it seemed to me that skiers were friendlier and happier than normal.  I was solo yesterday but for whatever reason, it just seemed like the powder brought out the friendliness in other skiers more than usual.  I met some really nice people as well as a couple that was on their honeymoon, and took a run with them and showed them my favorite spots on Middle Hardscrabble (which I think the wife did not particularly enjoy--sorry again in case you're reading this!). 

This is a day I will long remember as one of the finest powder days I've ever had in New England.

Comments

  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,293

    I loathe you!! Thanks for the report, sounds like great fun!

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • JimKJimK advanced
    Posts: 178
    I'm going to Colorado in about a week.  NH has better snow than CO right now.  Wow!
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 203
    Red Ball for the win. I call that Middle Hard the Hard Way and it is the best way to do it when there is fresh show. Just like it used to be done...

    I am sure most of the powder fiends were likely in the woods. That is where I always go after the first hour or two and the main trails are beat and completely untracked lines can still be found in the trees.

    I was at Burke yesterday and it was nuts. I skied Warren's Way four times in a row to start the day and had essentially completely untracked lines top to bottom each run in knee deep plus on Upper, boot deep on Lower. 

    The only thing separating yesterday from a "lifetime day" like the now famous VDay blizzard years ago was lack of refills throughout the day. 
  • powderstudpowderstud intermediate
    Posts: 34
    riverc0il said:

    Red Ball for the win. I call that Middle Hard the Hard Way and it is the best way to do it when there is fresh show. Just like it used to be done...

    Middle Hard the Hard Way, indeed!  And I remember not so long ago when it was Middle Hard the only way...

    It took me 10-15 minutes to break through all that snow the first time I broke tracks on the runout.  I kept questioning my sanity.  But the question went away quickly with face shot after face shot on my turns down Red Ball.  It may not be particularly steep, but it works! I did get some random face shots on Paulie's in the afternoon, but most of them came on Red Ball.  And they never get old!
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited February 20 Posts: 1,293

    Well I was there Saturday early and I can tell you that there was probably not one bit of  exaggeration in Powerstud's report.

    Some of the best conditions in the east I've been on in quite a while. I heard several remark that it was like Colorado...and then the thermometer rose to 45°. It turn a little chunky monkey in the afternoon but still very nice.

    Check out the snow on the side of the trail in pic 2. Unlike Powderstud, we made the trip over to Mittersill when the racing was done because we heard the new Valar T-bar was running. It was nice smooth ride and the racing slope has a good sustained pitch.

    Last pic is the bottom of Middle Hardscrabble in the failing light. Doesn't do it justice. Big bumps. It was getting closer to normal but still fun.

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    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
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  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 830
    Wow Ibrake4tbars gonna go Gaga
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,293
    Definitely could hold an eclair on that ride
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • powderstudpowderstud intermediate
    Posts: 34
    Ski It, thanks for posting those great pics!  I really enjoyed seeing them.  Of course it was nearly impossible to see anything on the upper mountain Thursday--practically whiteout conditions--so it's nice to see the aftermath.  I'm glad you had a blast.  And I'm glad I'm not acquiring a reputation for presenting alternative facts.  :)  I'm looking forward to my ride on the new T-bar next time I visit Cannon!


  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited February 20 Posts: 1,293
    Nope no rep. yet. You'll notice I didn't take any zoomer chair pics. It was too nice to waste time. I ended up waiting for my crew a while at the bottom of MH, hence the pics. I figured you couldn't take pics so that's why I added to your report
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • MrMagicMrMagic intermediate
    Posts: 91
    Wow looks great love that picture of the T bar with the mountains in the back ground. Great reports all around !!!
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 668
    So with the massive width of Taft Training Slope, if gates are up on one side like in your pics, is the rest of the trail open?
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,293
    obienick said:

    So with the massive width of Taft Training Slope, if gates are up on one side like in your pics, is the rest of the trail open?



    Yes by that time the TTS was wide open. There were only a handful of racers left. We took a run down it closer to the T-bar side. Big difference from last year when it was a closed boulder/ice field. I didn't read the snow report Saturday, but there were signs all over, like on the entrance road that there was RACING TODAY. They were taking down snow fencing along lower Baron's Run so perhaps it was closed for racing as well, IDK.

    I saw snow making pipes higher up on Mittersill on Skyline. Earlier I saw a lot of people were hiking the Saddle over.

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • JimKJimK advanced
    Posts: 178
    Really impressive snowy goodness in those first two pics!
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