Return trip to Cannon Mountain 4100 7/4/02
5.9 miles 2350 Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
What better mountain to climb on the 4th of July than Cannon? This was another one Emma needed to catch up to Jude, another repeat for us. Another really nice summer day in Franconia Notch, definitely on the hot side. Starting at Lafayette Place Campground we climb the Lonesome Lake Trail to Lonesome Lake. These are some more of the best views for the least effort in the White Mountains. The trail leads to a spot on the northeast corner of the lake where you can get a good view south of the lake with the Kinsmans rising behind. Although we didnt make the short trip to the south end of the lake where the AMCs Lonesome Lake Hut lies, it is worth the trip because from there you can get a good view back to the northeast across Franconia Notch to the Franconia Ridge. This view is especially good in winter when Lonesome Lake is frozen and you can venture out onto the ice. Also it is the best spot I know of for swimming. From the northeast corner the Lonesome Lake Trail breaks north and up to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. Turning northeast the trail winds around to the north side of Cannon and rises steeply with many rock scrambles where it meets the High Cannon Trail rising from the south. From this point it is an easy climb up to the summit. The true summit is somewhere under the tower, I guess. We just climb the tower and take in the awesome views in all directions. The views east of Franconia Ridge are especially nice. As we approached the summit we noticed a couple seemingly heading down. I assumed they were following the many trails around the summit and probably had gotten there as many had that day by the Tramway on the northeast side of the mountain. In winter it carries skiers to the summit, in summer it carries ill prepared people who could easily get in trouble up there. This is why this sticks out in my mind. We spent a good long time on the summit, having lunch, taking in the views, resting. We decided that we would take the High Cannon Trail back down. About a half hour later, at least an hour and a half after we first spotted them, there were the couple I had mentioned before, on their way down High Cannon Trail. To be nice I will say the woman was large. She had sandals on, her male companion had sneakers. He had a pack, it was full of towels. They were headed for Lonesome Lake. The woman says, Oh, you look like you hike a lot, is it very much further to Lonesome Lake? Well, yes, I says, its about another mile and a half. They told us they had taken the Tram up and were hoping to go swimming down at the lake. The woman, besides being overweight had bad knees. They were both already struggling at this point. I tried talking them into heading back up to the Tram right away as it was getting late in the afternoon and they werent making good progress at all. If they insisted on going on I said they should bypass Lonesome Lake and just head down to Lafayette Place where they could take the bike path back to the Tram where their car was. As I tried to talk them into either turning around or descending, it began to rain. The man informed me the roof on his convertible was down. The woman informed me it was their first time doing something like this. That was glaringly obvious. I felt a little helpless because we had no real way to help them and had to leave them to their own stupid luck. I dont know what some people are thinking sometimes. I guess their not thinking at all. I don know what ever happened to these two but I hope they can look back at that day and laugh. Many others have not been that lucky and some have paid with their lives. These people broke every rule. They started late. They had lousy shoes. They didnt know their own ability. They werent prepared for the weather. They had no food or water. Maybe they looked at a map, maybe they didnt. Obviously they didnt know the distance or elevation before starting out. The woman had bad knees but no pole or hiking stick to help her. No knee braces. It would be good to know that you are capable of climbing back up something before you climb down it. All I have to say is dont be one!
K(68) J(40) E(38)