This awesome cliff face is Mt Cannon (4,100 ft) in Franconia Notch. I climbed it last Sunday during a surprisingly blustery day, that required me to pull out a fleece and a warm hat on the windy summit.
I didn’t actually climb the cliff head-on, although I did pass rock climbers who were intent on doing so. Instead I hiked up the Kinsman Ridge Trail on the north side of the mountain. This is a very steep trail that rises 2,000 ft in 2 miles. It’s a surprisingly rough trail, but nowhere near as rough as the Hi-Cannon Trail which I used to hike down. They must both be wonderful to climb with crampons and double ice axes in the winter.
The views from the top of Mt Cannon are quite amazing. The forested dome in the picture above is one of the sub-peaks of Cannon called a Cannon Ball. Just beyond it is the mountain pass called Franconia Notch and a 2,000 ft drop (the other side of Cannon cliff) to the interstate highway that runs though it. Beyond that, the bald summit on the left is Mt Lafayette (5,260 ft) and the peaked one to the right is Mt Lincoln (5,089 ft). Those are both tough climbs from the highway, rising more than 3,000 feet in less than 3 miles.
In addition to the trail, there is also a tramway that runs to the top of Mt Cannon, parallel to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. It’s open daily, from the end of May to late October, the height of leaf-peeping season. Built in 1938, it was the first tramway to be built in North America, and carried over 6 million people to the top of Mt Cannon before it was rebuilt in 1980.
Cannon is now the 47th peak on the White Mountain 4,000 footer list that I’ve climbed, which just leaves Mt Isolation at the base of Mt. Washington in Oakes Gulf.