If Cannon was private, and I ran it!

Moving this subject from the Killington thread, and just dreaming.  Cannon closed Sunday 4/16, as it is State run, and the year round employees are being moved to prepare for Summer operations in Franconia Notch State Park.  However, it is my opinion that if it Cannon was privately owned by some Spring skiing fanatic, like me, it would be possible to stay open longer than the Big K.                                  Here are my reasons for such an outlandish claim. First off, spring fed Echo Lake is the snowmaking water source, and I have had several employees of the mountain claim that it has much more available supply than they are currently utilizing. (They have even referred to it being unlimited?!?!)  Secondly, the Cannonball lift accesses around 840 ft. of vert. between 3200' and 4040' above Sea Level. That is great elevation for retaining snow pack, like the '80s late skiing set up at Killington and Mount Ellen. Also making Cannonball and Profile, the main run it serves, superior to others is their Northern exposure, and consistent pitch. Thirdly, only 3 of the seven runs up there would need to be deeply covered to extend the season, using the Peabody Express lift to access the upper mountain. Additionally, there is a work-road to the bottom of Cannonball, which would allow skiers to be trucked up to it when the Profile run is all that is left with cover. Or the trucks could be used to ferry the skiers the short distance between the top of the Peabody and bottom of the Cannonball.  Yes, I am dealing with the end of the season blues with a dream.  I bury the Profile run with more snow than Superstar, and lay down the gauntlet with the Killington Ops folks, to see who can stay open longer.  I wonder how much money I would lose!


  • I like it! But no trucks are needed. Just run the tram to upload and download people to access the Cannonball.
  • edited April 2017
    Yes I have always agreed on those points. If I ran Cannon I would have made the 2016 snowmaking improvements 5-10 years earlier. And the Cannonball Quad is ideal for early season skiing.

    I disagree with late season skiing. Those skiing late want steep bump runs like Superstar. Maybe make a parking lot at the bottom of Zoomer with an umbrella bar and limited lodge services. That pod has great free advertising from I-93.

    Is there any reason why Cannonvall isn't used as the opening terrain with up/downloading in Peabody Express?
  • SPK27alumni
    Your vision is one of my shall I say "wonders why" for the last 3 decades. Cannon in the fall of 1989 opened for Fall skiing on the upper mtn. in Oct. and I was there. Since then I just can't understand why they stopped doing that. Like you point out the elevation, lifts and now the snowmaking capacity would definitely compete with any of the late season ski venues. With the amount of trails up there they could have multiple trails well into May and even June. I would bury all of those trails with snow up and over the height of the trees! This would not only generate income from the spring skiing and boarding crowd but would peak the curiosity of tourist wanting to see the people skiing and boarding so late in Spring hence the Tram would be filed with sightseers during those times when the Tram is usually not operating. And if Tram inspection is an issue, it could be done in the Fall after foliage season. And one last note, the proximaty to the eastern Mass. so.Maine and all of N.H.is a tremendous market to tap!
  •  Is there any reason why Cannonvall isn't used as the opening terrain with up/downloading in Peabody Express?
    Yes, there is a reason and it's the same reason as everything else that does/doesn't happen at Cannon: F.S.C.

    2 years ago, before the snowmaking improvements, Cannon struggled to keep 1 trail (Gremlin) open through December.  That meant all of the beautiful people from Ernies had to endure the indignity of getting ready with the unwashed masses in the Peabody lodge.  It went on for a solid month before the Whos got to move back over to Whoville and their unofficial "semi-private" lift (Zoomer).

    Apparently that's all it took for JD and the FSC cronies at the State House to pony up $5M for snowmaking improvements. A year later, they bury 3 trails for early season skiing.  Care to guess which ones? 
    Exactly.  The 3 trails closest to Ernies.  So what if there's terrain 2K feet above?  We're talking about making life easier for the racers here.  Isn't that what it's all about?

    (Segue into Mittersill rant).

    In November it'll be all about getting Mittersill open first.  They might throw a bone to everyone else with Gary's, Lower Cannon, and Brookside, but you know that's just to complete the racer's loop over to the training slope and back.

    If you want the upper mountain opened early, you're going to have to move Ernie's to the bottom of the links.
  • When do you think they'll move Ernie's over to Mittersill?
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • No idea.  The sooner the better.

    I'm sure they're hard at work coming up with some elaborate deal where FSC gets everything and gives up nothing.  Or as close to that as they can get.

    See: TBar, Valar

    It'll be a "public private partnership" where the public partner provides all of the funds and the private partner gets all of the benefits.  Or a "win win" that's actually a "win lose".  Or some complicated swap that's reminiscent of some of the land trades we made with Native Americans back in the day.

    Whatever, it's no use trying to fight FNSP city hall.  Just get on with it already.
  • Yep, I was thinking about the Tram/Cannonball combo when I was there last time.  Peabody melting out and tons of snow at elevation for my last visit on the 14th of this month.  My only complaint is that Cannonball chair sucks, super slow and kept stopping.  I'd overhaul it with conveyor loading, faster line speed, and longer chair spacing.
  • Don't forget spring skiing isn't what it was in numbers, say 30 years ago. I do agree about everything mentioned, but for early season.
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