Ascent of Cannon Mountain on 2011-09-16

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Friday, September 16, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cannon Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4080 ft / 1243 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Lafayette Place Campground, I hiked up Cannon Mountain following the Lonesome Lake and Hi-Cannon Trails, and the Kinsman Ridge Trail for the final push to the summit. I then turned around and took the Kinsman Ridge Trail south across the Cannonballs and onward to North and South Kinsman. After reaching South Kinsman, I backtracked on the Kinsman Ridge Trail and took the Fishin' Jimmy Trail to the Lonesome Lake AT Hut, followed the Around The Lake Trail part way around Lonesome Lake, and finally took the Lonesome Lake Trail back to my starting point.

I faced blustery conditions, and for a late summer/early fall day, the air had a definite chill to it. I needed a jacket, pants, and gloves. It rained off and on at lower elevations, but it was cold enough to snow higher up. Cannon was spared from the snow, but I could see that the upper parts of nearby Franconia Ridge were coated with white from this season's first snowfall. The antenna above the Cannon Mountain lookout tower was coated with ice, and the strong winds were flaking off chunks of it, creating dangerous projectiles. As I was on the tower, one small chunk of ice struck me in the wrist, and I saw much larger chunks of ice being flung in other directions. I quickly climbed down from the tower to safety.

As for the trails, they were damp in spots but not icy. Cannon can be approached from the south along the Hi-Cannon or Kinsman Ridge Trails. Both trails are quite steep in spots. One couple I spoke with described the southern approach along the Kinsman Ridge Trail as "horrible" -- an overstatement, but it gives an idea of the difficulty. There is a long ladder to climb along the upper part of the Hi-Cannon Trail, and it comes out onto a narrow ledge. This part of the ascent is a little dizzying, especially for those afraid of heights, I'm sure.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2280 ft / 694 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2280 ft / 694 m
    Route:Hi-Cannon Trail
    Start Trailhead:Lafayette Place Campground  1800 ft / 548 m
Descent Statistics

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