Cannon Mtn And North Kinsman

Date:  January 14, 2012
Route:  Cannon via Hi-Cannon, Kinsman Ridge and Cannon Balls to North Kinsman, Fishin' Jimmy to Lonesome Lake.
Team:  tMail, DogMan and me.
Conditions:  Hi Cannon and Kinsman Ridge were unbroken, but with a base of only at most a foot, travel was easy in crampons the entire day.  Temperatures never got over -5°F so the snow stayed soft and manageable.  Snowshoes were unnecessary unless it was only for traction.

DogMan's Trip Report:  Two curious couple sightings.

First the "grumpies" heading into Cannon Balls. The more I reflect on that, could not have been a good end result.

"All your losing is a little mascara!"

And then the "fashionistas". WTF was that????

Great day. I am tired and stiff. But then I have more body fat than TMail or Mutha, and not as good of equipment (although TMail does his best providing my hand me downs). But my hands still froze into useless pain generating nubs at the car. That was freaky.

Thanks guys! Missing everyone else.

tMail's Trip Report:
My trail runners worked great.
My jeans worked better.
My boots with fur sticking out have great traction.
My rope I was carrying "just for the look" was awesome.
Great day!!!
Mutha's Trip Report:  Yeah! Wish you all could have been there. It never got above -5° all day, though we were sheltered for the most part and only got hit with a cold breeze a few times.

We all had great success with clothing/gear - no changes the entire day (9am to 4pm). We stayed surprisingly uninsulated and surprisingly dry (I'm still in my hiking clothes as I type this). Given our vertical assault up Hi-Cannon to the summit and the ass-dragging over the Cannon Balls and the bitter cold wind, it was quite surprising.

Crampons all day. Perfect gear.

One quick anecdote: on arriving back at the cars at the Lafayette Place Campground Parking Lot, we started to go through the simple gestures of pulling down jackets out, removing boots, etc., and each of us, like synchronized swimmers, got hit with a massive wave of bitter cold, bone-chilling finger loss. We nearly died there in the parking lot. In under three minutes, at 2°F with a very light breeze, we all lost the use of our fingers in one of the most painful episodes I can remember.

For me, I had just removed my pack, set it on the ground, lifted the top pocket and dug in for my down jacket. In the span of time it took me to pull it out of the pack & unzip the storage pocket I nearly lost the complete use of my fingers. I had great difficulty unfurling the jacket and almost couldn't get it on me. Unbeknownst to me, DogMan and tMail were getting hit with the same thing.

I've never experienced anything like it. It reminded me of the tsunami videos where it just comes on in an unstoppable assault. It was like the gates of hell opened and released the demons and sucked us into the vortex of cold hatred to die there just outside the parking lot. It was like being doused with gas and having a match thrown on us, only with cold, not heat. It was an explosion of numbing extremity-loss.

It took a while to recover.

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