It was cold, windy, and there was no one else around as I reached the summit of Cannon Mountain on Saturday morning for my 48th solo White Mountain 4000-footer. I've done about 1/3 of all my hiking solo. I wasn't really shooting for this, but after looking at it some time ago, I realized I had only a handful left. It's pretty exciting. I've done some absolutely amazing hikes in the White Mountains solo. Its a rewarding feeling that is often quite different than when you reach a summit with someone else or a group. Its a greater challenge, but one I've welcomed. I've had some of my best moments, views, and experiences hiking these peaks solo through all seasons. Now to the hike....shall we?
The drive up from MA was very early, and it was uneventful until I hit Lincoln, where it was snowing and blowing like crazy. I pulled into the Lafayette Campground. I sat in the car, as it looked like a blizzard outside. Gee, I knew there would be some snow that morning, but I seriously didn't want to get out of the car. I dozed for about an hour and a half staying toasty for a bit longer. Thankfully the trees behind me didn't snap, and as the sun was rising, I finally got geared up. I'm so glad I waited, because it would have been a lot tougher to get going.
I headed up into the campground area, and took the Lonesome Lake Trail to the Hi-Cannon Trail. I'm glad I chose this starting point. One, so I could red-line the Hi-Cannon Trail, but second of all, because the trail was really nice. It was a nice switch compared to the Kinsman Ridge ascent from the tram lot. It was perfect for this last solo ascent. I had a peek-a-boo view of Flume and Franconia Notch from one of the ledges above the ladder. Shortly after that I made it to the Kinsman Ridge Trail where it was a nice easy walk to the summit of Cannon Mountain.
|Flume & Franconia Notch from Hi-Cannon Trail|
|Kinsman Ridge Trail junction on Cannon|
|Cannon Mountain summit|
|Looking back to western slopes of Cannon Mountain|
|Near the summit of NE Cannonball|
|Kinsman Ridge Trail between Cannonballs and N. Kinsman|
|Summit outlook of North Kinsman|
|South Kinsman summit|
|Franconia Ridge from South Kinsman|
|Slightly closer look at Franconia Ridge|
|Lonesome Lake and Franconia Ridge|
This was a good one for me - I was on a roll as I knocked these three off. It was my last solo 48 hike, all were for my third round of the 48, all new grid peaks, one was a Trailwright, and then NE Cannonball in winter, and last but not least, 7-9 of 48 for this winter season. Feeling pretty good, I grabbed a bunch of food, and went back to Winnisquam to eat it and catch some sleep for another 10 miles and three peaks the following day.
Trails: Lonesome Lake Trail, Hi-Cannon Trail, Kinsman Ridge Trail, Fishin' Jimmy Trail
Distance: 12 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,850 ft.
Actual Book Time: 8:10