“It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.” Theodore Roosevelt
Mt. Cannon (4100)
Trail: Kinsman Trail, from the Cannon Tramway parking lot to Cannon summit
Date: September 19, 1998
Attending: Dawn and Scott Hinkle, Gabe, Simone, & John Chicoine
Miles: 4.2-mile Time: 2.75 hrs. up, 2.5 hrs. down
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Cannon Summit Ski lodge
Weather: Sunny, (except on Cannon summit, thick fog) 60’ish,
The day was supposed to clear up into the PM hours so we decided to go for it. We talked Scott and Dawn Hinkle into attending this peak with us. This was their first hike in the Whites and even though Simone and I thought we had been really clear as to what 4K peak bagging was all about. We had never done this trail before so we could only hope for the best. The trail starts at the Cannon Mountain Ski Area parking lot; immediately climbing up steeply as it passes through lots of eroded crumbling sand-stone gullies. There was lots of erosion of the trail (I personally believe this trail needs to be re-routed or shutdown). The second half of the trail has lots of loose rock and gravel. This trail is really showing it’s excessive use and is in need of serious maintenance.
As we progressed into mid morning the clouds thickened instead of dissipating and the summit became damp and fogged in. Gabe was hiking just up ahead of the rest of us; (We were just barely a minute behind him) and at the first of the lookouts Gabe had a great view of the Franconia Notch for just a few seconds and then like a curtian closing, the clouds fogged everything over just as we rounded the corner to the lookout. We saw nothing but a thick white wall of cloud. At one point Simone was standing 40 yards away from the Tram Lodge and she thought the eve of the lodge was another summit off in the distance. At least the Tram lodge had restrooms and a cafeteria for us to sit and relax for a few moments. The summit was damp and the wet and the wind pushed the cold down into the bone. The temps were actually in the 45’ish range. After warming for a few moments in the lodge we started our slow descent.
As fate would have it that day, just as we walked out of the woods into the parking lot the sky cleared and we could see the Tram Lodge clearly from the parking lot. We consoled ourselves with a pizza at the pizza shop in Lincoln. This did not make for a great first hike for Dawn and Scott; bummer. (They commonly refer to this hike as “The Hike From Hell”.) As for us, it was just one more peak in the long list of 4K’s. One that I doubt we’ll ever repeat even on a great day. I have since seen someone with a great idea for this mountain. He is saving this mountain as his last 4K peak so that when he bags this peak he can have all his non-hiking friends and family take the tram up and celebrate with him when he gets there. That is a great idea!