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The adventure started about 3:30 Friday afternoon when I left work to drive on up to Cannon. It had been snowing heavily for a few hours, so the roads were slick in places. Couple that with the traffic of everybody else trying to get north or just get home, and it was truly miserable. At one point it took 90 minutes to go about 10 miles from Nashua to Manchester. : Once I got north of Concord, NH though traffic let up substantially, and I was able to slowly make my way to Lincoln.

Woke up early Saturday morning to make darn sure I was going to get on the first tram. Cannon starts the tram at 8:15, but for some reason they didn't have us boarding until 8:20. Oh well, the rest of the lifts don't start running until 8:30, so we still were going to get freshies.

First run of the day was on Upper Cannon. Easily a foot+ deep. The weather was some weird combination of sleet, misty rain, and snow. Made for some really heavy glop, with a real thin layer of crust on top. Oh fun! I crashed once or twice before I started getting the hang of it. By the time I reached the lower mountain though, I had more-or-less figured out this stuff. (Go fast, young man -- go fast !)

I met up with a tele-skier (Dave) at one point. It was his first day ever at Cannon. He asked if he could hang with me and get a tour. As I was alone, I said sure. Dave and I turned out to be about the same level. It was nice to have some company. We hit the mother lode on Turnpike. Turnpike's a steep, wide blue and when we got to it, there were all of two tracks in it. Hello! Dave and I proceeded to add two more.

I didn't hit any of the glades. Cannon's glades are tight, and I wasn't real confident in my turn NOW ability in the dense snow. I was on my 168cm Elan Magfire 10's, which worked fine... But for one of the few times in my life I was wishing I was on a real fattie.

Crowds were absolutely zero. Crowds? Heck, the only person I'd see for entire trails was Dave. We just skated right onto the lift each and every time. One tram ride consisted of about 10 people. It continued precipitating in various forms throughout the day. My goggles were in a perpetual state of frozen-over. The upper mountain was socked in by the clouds, so visibility was pretty much zero all day. Oh well, a wise man once told me that seeing where you're going while skiing is a luxury that should not be counted on.

Last week's thaw melted a lot of snow, and the subsequent re-freeze turned what was left into bulletproof ice. So as the day wore on we found lots of rocks and ice lurking underneath. I haven't dared look at my bases and edges yet -- I'm sure they're trashed. Skis are tools, not jewels. Certainly not a smooth, predictable ride by any means. Slide on the ice, slam into the powder mounds. The same wise man told me that balance is a luxury that should not be counted on either. Somehow I made it work.

Despite the challenges (crusty, gloppy snow, zero visibility, rocks and ice lurking underneath) it truly was an awesome day. I made a lot of turns that were nowhere near another track. I finally had to call it quits around 2:30. My legs just couldn't take any more turns.

As Bob Barnes likes to say, there is snow that's good and there's snow that's good for you. Saturday's snow qualified as both "good" and "good for me". ESA-Aspen training came in handy at times! (Shameless plug).