Skiing Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch Park, NH

This past weekend I headed up to Cannon Mountain to ski with my husband and a few friends. It was a cold day, mid 20s for the temp, but there was some serious wind too. The sky was gray, snow guns were going on quite a few trails, the world looked sepia. The only color was from bright ski jackets, and the two tramway cars, Mustard and Ketchup. The tramway? Oh man, I could write a whole post on the history of the tramway. Alexander Bright saw tramways in at ski areas in Europe as a member of the US Olympic Ski Team. North America’s first aerial tramway was built in 1938…..Alexander Bright’s vision came to life thanks to L.R. Bateman and his American Steel and Wire, E.J Loyd and Roland Peabody of Franconia, and the NH government at the time. Peabody was the first manager of the tramway. One of the chairlifts is named after Peabody.

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Heading up to the top on the Cannonball Quad, loving the beautiful rime ice on the chairlift!

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Mountain Station, tramway side! There’s Mustard ready to head back down the mountain.

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Other side of the Mountain Station, the 4080′ Cafe and restrooms are inside. Selling point? Highest Beer Tap in NH!

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Looking back at the view on the Peabody quad I believe

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Racing shack on Lower Ravine (my favorite trail)….but lets just pretend its my quaint warming cabin k?

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Check out all the snow making action! It was so windy we wondered if any snow made it to the ground!

I am pretty sure we did every blue trail besides the Tuckerbrook family area. There aren’t a ton of green trails, but loads of blues thankfully! A couple of us took a break and my husband and some others headed over to the Mittersill ski area. Mittersill is a sub peak of Cannon Mountain. The Taft Trail on Mittersill had been used for skiing/racing since 1931-32. Baron Hubert von Pantz (I know, what a name) opened lift service to the Taft Trail in 1942 with a rope tow. The Baron built what he called the Franconia Mittersill at the base of Mittersill after his Austrian Mittersill Castle. After WWII, Mittersill was quite the resort- a restaurant and ice bar along with the inn, and besides skiing there was skating, dancing, tennis, and car races on frozen Echo Lake! In the late 50s, Mittersill started to make snow, and the resort flourished in the 60s. Competition with its neighbor, Cannon Mountain, started to heat up in the late 60s and by 1984, Mittersill was done. The inn is still there though, see their website here. When the inn opened in 1945, it was a society hot spot. The Baron was already back in Austria working on his Mittersill Castle there when the ski area in NH closed.

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Looking back at the summit of Cannon from Mittersill! See the Mountain Station up there?

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View of the Cannonballs and the Kinsmans are in the background in the clouds.

Before Mittersill even closed, Cannon was trying to figure out how to incorporate the Mittersill ski area. See the history here or here. Finally in 2009, the rope cutting took place! In between time, many backcountry skiers utilized the Mittersill trails by skinning up, and skiing down. That is now not allowed! In those early couple years, you had to take the tramway or the lift up to the summit of Cannon and ski/hike over to the Mittersill trails. It was still very much backcountry status. A double chairlift started up in 2011 over there so now you can ski Mittersill without using lifts at Cannon. On Saturday when we were there, my husband said big training/racing was going on over at Mittersill, very exciting. Part of the deal for Cannon getting Mittersill was that the Mittersill trails were going to be a racing complex. The money needed to construct and expand the trails for that were contributed by the Franconia Ski Club and the state of NH. That means that the racing facility does not just belong to Cannon….it belongs to the Franconia Ski Club and NH…which is pretty cool. See all the drama of the racing expansion here.

So I need to go back many more times. There was just too much. There’s a ski museum at Cannon that I didn’t even get to go to. There is so much history at Cannon/Mittersill. I just can’t help but think about how glamorous it all must have been. The Cannonball Pub at the base of Cannon is terrific, but to see the ice bar or restaurant at Mittersill back in the 50s? That would be something.

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A New Hampshire New Year’s Weekend

I am back to work today feeling refreshed after a week off. I would like to think that my students also feel refreshed and ready to learn annnnnd so I am going to continue to think that haha! I absolutely loved my New Year’s weekend this year. My husband got out of work early on Friday and we headed up to Gunstock Mountain for some night skiing. We had just gotten all that snow on Thursday so the conditions were great! Some areas were a little icy/bumpy because the snow gets pushed into piles in steep parts, but my skis are pretty new still, nice and sharp!

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Lake Winnipesaukee view from summit of Gunstock!

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View from the summit, we got one summit run in before the lift closed at 4!

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View from the Pistol lift, the light made it all look strangely purple

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View of the Stockade and the night skiing trails all lit up!

Saturday night we went to a friend’s house for a get together that included multiple bonfires, fireworks (because those are legal in NH, whaaaaaa?), and snowmobiling! It was such a fun night. We were all together in the living room for the ball dropping and champagne toasts.

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Welp, I don’t have any resolutions. Trying to eat better and exercise, be kind to the people I love….those aren’t resolutions, they are things that I try to think about all day every day. I am doing my first dressage clinic/lesson this coming Saturday with the trainer who worked with the horse I ride when his owner first brought him here from Ohio. I am so looking forward to it, Draki and me have been working hard and have really made progress since I started riding him in the fall. Its been quite a year- I got married, bought a house and moved to NH, and started a new job. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!

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Ski Day at Gunstock & Valentine’s Day!

Happy Presidents’ Day!! Today we celebrate George Washington’s birthday which is on February 22nd AND Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which is on February 12th. The official holiday name is actually still Washington’s Birthday though.

This past weekend, we braved the cold to ski at Gunstock on Saturday. It was cold, but we were dressed for it- no exposed skin at all. We skied from 8:30 AM to 1 PM, did about 13 runs. My new skis were awesome. They are Rossignol Temptation 77’s and they definitely made me look like a better skier than I actually am. They turn so easily and really are no work at all. I am used to using rentals and sometimes really having to bend my knees and push to turn, my new skis are very little effort at all. I got an awesome deal on them too because ski places are trying to get rid of inventory and the snow is a little late this year. I got a great deal on my Nordica boots too!

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Beautiful view

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Me and Jon bundled up! Look at the beautiful backdrop we have!

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End of the day as the worse weather was rolling in….

The views from Gunstock of Lake Winnipesaukee are breathtaking. All of the trails are awesome, but my favorite is Stonebar. I usually try to do that one a couple times. Saturday, we all ended on Stonebar which was awesome. It was just starting to get really windy and the sun went in behind snow clouds when we were leaving, perfect!

Sunday’s Valentine’s Day was an extremely cold day, thank goodness we skied on Saturday. Jon got me a Lindt dark chocolate & pomegranate bar and the Harding Lane mountain hat I mentioned here! He does read the blog!! Woo!! It was the perfect gift. Jon loves his Yeti koozie, and put the Miller High Life tshirt I got him right in the laundry to wear this coming weekend. We made a delicious dinner with heart shaped steaks, roasted kale, and wheat rice pilaf. I made little chocolate heart cupcakes too! We chose the Southern Tier Choklate stout to go with our meal, so good!

I honestly don’t know if we will ever go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day because we have such a good time planning a nice meal and dessert. We save so much money too!! Tomorrow I am off to Florida for a few days, and my new hat will be coming with. It will be in the 70s, which is cold now to my parents, but will be soooo warm for me! I wish Jon could come but he sadly has to work. February vacation is a definite perk of being a teacher. I hope that you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed Valentine’s Day no matter who you spent it with!

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