Snow on the Kinsmans, Cannon is cold – Sept. 16, Day 10

(This is the first of four short Trip Reports from last weekend’s campaign. We’re breaking down each day into a separate report so our friends at TrailsNH can more easily tag each individual hike. Enjoy!)

The frosty Franconia Ridge from the cliffs of Cannon Mountain near sunset.

As I pulled into the trailhead parking lot of the Kinsman Trail, I was thinking was: If the weatherman is reporting clear skies, why are my windshield wipers on?

It felt like New Hampshire skipped fall all together Friday morning and went straight to winter as I hiked up to the Kinsmans, two lovely peak in Franconia Notch across from the Franconia Ridge.

And moments after I finally attained that ridge, it started snowing; not the early season wet non-stick snow either. As I summited North Kinsman and made my way to South Kinsman, this stuff was piling up!

Ugh, what a way to begin our third weekend… but little did I realize that snow would become the least of my problems!

Highlights:

Yeah, weather: Snow. Hail. Sleet. Frigid wind. And even blue skies near the end. The day had it all. I was mostly prepared with a fleece and rain jacket. I wasn’t mentally prepared for winter to start yet though. It was a tough day! Though the frosty Franconia Ridge looks nice, wouldn’t you say?

Trails: The Kinsman Ridge Trail between the Kinsmans and Cannon is tough enough without having to deal with high winds and slick conditions. The trail traverses a series of “Cannon Balls” that go up and down. A lot! The final climb up to cannon was nasty, with slick, cold car sized boulders. I’m reasonably certain that’s the place where my injury happened, though I wouldn’t realize it until the next day.

Cannon cafeteria: I’m not a big fan of the cafeteria atop Cannon Mountain, that is unless I’m freezing and tired when I get there and am able to order a hot chocolate and a big slice of bacon pizza. Then, I’m a big fan!

Complete untouched and untoned pictures from the day can be found here: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5283164

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