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Mittersill is back?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Surprised not to have heard about this on the forum yet. Looks like there is a land-swap deal in the works that will give Mittersill to Cannon and bring it back online in a limited capacity.
post #2 of 7
The land swap is a work-in-progress.

Some of Mittersill was re-opened a couple of seasons back as the new learning area for Cannon. The rest is still in limbo over a 190-acre land swap, which should be resolved in the next couple of years.

The Franconia Ski Club still clears quite a few of the trails in the off-season, but the locals are wary of Cannon rebuilding a lift over at Mittersill. As it stands now, it's a fun poach.

Five pics from Mittersill over Pres' Day Weekend: one two three four five

(That's KevinF in the first pic, threading the bump line on Baron's Run into Mittersill.)
post #3 of 7
Very cool. Its been over 25 years since I skied over to Mittersill from Cannon.

post #4 of 7
There was a very short discussion on another forum here. Even if the land swap were to occur, I seriously doubt that there would be any functional change -- i.e., it would just become "legal" to make the 5 minute hike that nobody stops you from making anyway. I guess that would mean the sign at the bottom of Taft (on Cannon) saying "you are leaving the ski area boundary" would get moved a mile or so to the north.

I truly hope that if the two areas are merged that Mittersill remains "as is" -- i.e., no snowmaking, no grooming, no new lifts, hike-to-access only. Maybe put a sign in at Mittersill saying where to start traversing back to Cannon.

They've been talking about somehow integrating Mittersill and Cannon for at least 15 years now. I'll believe the change when it actually occurs.
post #5 of 7
Its my understanding that Cannon already owns the bulk of Mittersill ski terrain. The area they are trying to obtain w/ the proposed swap is a parcel at the top of Mittersill that is part of the National Forest. We've been able to link up to Mittersill for years and they've even been grooming parts of Mittersill on and off for at least the last ten years or so. I read recently that state officials had told Cannon employees to cease giving directions or otherwise encouraging people to hike over there in order not to jeopardize negotiations with the National Forest Service. I doubt the critical area is really 190 acres, more like 5 or 10. I'm not sure why the USFS has so far been unwilling to relinquish this small parcel adjacent to Cannon unless the land the State has proposed to swap for it has been deemed undesirable.

An unwritten aspect to this is that the potential for expansion of Cannon should the state ever again consider privatization (as they have done at Mt. Sunapee) would be considerable. In the eyes of a privateer the place could become extremely desirable not only for that reason but because the land adjacent at the base of Mittersill is privately owned. I hope the land swap does go through but we should steel ourselves for another round of privatization discussions if it does.
post #6 of 7
Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, here's a doctored trail map of the Mittersill tract:

The area in pink was part of Mittersill's property, and is now the beginner terrain at Cannon. If you take the Taft Gulch trail at Mittersill and make the early exit, you end up at the top of the "H" lift.

The red liftline on the Mittersill side shows where the old Hall double chair runs. The top station of said lift is at the upper perimeter of the private Mittersill property. What Cannon wants to do is expand the liftline up to the peak (where Baron's Trail starts), likely to allow an easier crossover between mountains.

Most of the area within the USFS land is not cut as trails, save for Baron's Trail (which is kept clear by the Franconia Ski Club to allow easier hike-to access from Cannon to the lower Mittersill trails). So Cannon would like the extra acreage to be able to have a few more trails and a bit more vertical drop.

I fall on the side of keeping Mittersill wild - an "in-bounds-out-of-bounds" experience, similar to what is found at much of Mad River Glen and Jay Peak. The Cannon-Mittersill setup is unique as it stands, and in a great snow year (like the present one), Mittersill is New England skiing at its finest.
post #7 of 7
I like the current setup. What I am afraid is going to happen is that Cannon will be leased to a private operator, as was Sunapee, who will construct more lifts, expand Cannon into Mittersill, probably improve the snowmaking, increase the cost of lift tickets, develop condos at the bottom of Mittersill. in short remake Cannon in the image of all the other "pouffie" ski resorts. New Hampshire will be tempted to do this because it promises to increase revenue, decrease their expense at a time when their government is particulary strapped for money and, of course, the greedheads perpetually hover in the wings, so to speak.
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