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2 Snowboarders lost and rescued at Cannon due to "whiteout" conditions.


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https://patch.com/new-hampshire/across-nh/two-snowboarders-lost-whiteout-cannon-mountain-rescued

 

Call was received at 5:40 about two missing snowboarders. They weren't rescued until 10:20 PM. They were found wet and freezing on the backside of the mountain after getting lost and disoriented on their final run of the day. 

 

While it's probably a bit hypocritical for me to bitch about Cannon making snow, this "whiteout" condition was caused entirely by the snowmaking system. The visibility yesterday was probably less than 5 feet from about a 1/3rd of the way up the mountain. We bailed before noon because of the snowmaking fog and as soon as we pulled on the highway it was bluebird everywhere. 

image.thumb.png.d6393ea70afc41f945b613b284b6b3a6.png

 

I don't understand why they don't turn the guns off on a weekend during the day. It's reckless and led to those two snowboarders getting caught in a really bad situation. There were bodies and gear littered all over the mountain. We saw one kid fly off the side of a trail, down a slope and directly into a tree. Incredibly lucky he walked away from it. Just a horrific day and entirely self inflicted by the Mountain Ops staff. With the increased crowds they need to either turn the guns off or pull out the old ones that just sprayed water on you instead of blinding the entire mountain.

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This is written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about. Was this your 1st time in the notch? Cannon is known for low visibility days like this without snowmaking. Considering the visibility issues only hindered 4 or the 40ish open trails that day, who gives a crap? These two hiked up AFTER the mountain had closed "for one more run". They had no business being up there. They are going to be billed for their rescue by both Fish and Game and Cannon Mountain. "There was gear and bodies everywhere." Good god, sensationalist much? I thought you couldn't see? How did you see bodies and gear everywhere? How did you see people slide off trail into a tree if you couldn't see? Did you happen to take a look at the bodies that were "everywhere"? I'm willing to be 90% of them were college kids as the "White Mountain College Superpass" exploded in sales this year. Leading to HUNDREDS of drunk college students on the mountain every day, that were not there in years past. This is a photo from that same day, around 1130AM on the summit of the mountain, a few hundred yards away from where these two were rescued. Still think this cloud was 100% snowmaking? This was an article written on unfounded claims and with little knowledge of the situation.

20210108_114843.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Aaron Gray said:

 Did you happen to take a look at the bodies that were "everywhere"? I'm willing to be 90% of them were college kids as the "White Mountain College Superpass" exploded in sales this year. Leading to HUNDREDS of drunk college students on the mountain every day,

Did JD approve your new tagline?  "Cannon: HUNDREDS of drunk college students on the mountain every day"!

Edited by Cannonballer
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The thing about suspending snowmaking for the weekend is the problem is usually limited to trails that are either closed or barely open, and would slow down the opening of the mountain.

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12 hours ago, Aaron Gray said:

This is written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about. Was this your 1st time in the notch? Cannon is known for low visibility days like this without snowmaking. Considering the visibility issues only hindered 4 or the 40ish open trails that day, who gives a crap? These two hiked up AFTER the mountain had closed "for one more run". They had no business being up there. They are going to be billed for their rescue by both Fish and Game and Cannon Mountain. "There was gear and bodies everywhere." Good god, sensationalist much? I thought you couldn't see? How did you see bodies and gear everywhere? How did you see people slide off trail into a tree if you couldn't see? Did you happen to take a look at the bodies that were "everywhere"? I'm willing to be 90% of them were college kids as the "White Mountain College Superpass" exploded in sales this year. Leading to HUNDREDS of drunk college students on the mountain every day, that were not there in years past. This is a photo from that same day, around 1130AM on the summit of the mountain, a few hundred yards away from where these two were rescued. Still think this cloud was 100% snowmaking? This was an article written on unfounded claims and with little knowledge of the situation.

20210108_114843.jpg

 

 

Im seeing more day tickets than ever before, day tickets are obviously the people going off the trail and or doing yardsales on easy link ! the kid that went off on Paulies was like well there wasnt a slow sign !!! LOL Go back to Loon !

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43 minutes ago, Aaron Gray said:

Quite frankly I don't care who approves anything. The author of this article is extremely misinformed. And if you don't want snowmaking running during the day, you belong at Loon.

Hmm. No cap clouds for the snowmaking cloud to add to.

mittycloud.jpg

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On 1/10/2021 at 12:11 PM, fcksummer said:

https://patch.com/new-hampshire/across-nh/two-snowboarders-lost-whiteout-cannon-mountain-rescued

 

Call was received at 5:40 about two missing snowboarders. They weren't rescued until 10:20 PM. They were found wet and freezing on the backside of the mountain after getting lost and disoriented on their final run of the day. 

 

While it's probably a bit hypocritical for me to bitch about Cannon making snow, this "whiteout" condition was caused entirely by the snowmaking system. The visibility yesterday was probably less than 5 feet from about a 1/3rd of the way up the mountain. We bailed before noon because of the snowmaking fog and as soon as we pulled on the highway it was bluebird everywhere. 

image.thumb.png.d6393ea70afc41f945b613b284b6b3a6.png

 

I don't understand why they don't turn the guns off on a weekend during the day. It's reckless and led to those two snowboarders getting caught in a really bad situation. There were bodies and gear littered all over the mountain. We saw one kid fly off the side of a trail, down a slope and directly into a tree. Incredibly lucky he walked away from it. Just a horrific day and entirely self inflicted by the Mountain Ops staff. With the increased crowds they need to either turn the guns off or pull out the old ones that just sprayed water on you instead of blinding the entire mountain.

Well, the article says these two Brain Children got lost Friday evenng, not the weekend for starters.  We drove up through the Notch friday afternoon about 430pm, there was a lot of cap cloud activity in the notch then and a ton of Rime covered trees at elevations we could see indicating the clouds had hung lower during the day.  Snowmaking may have added to that a bit, but this past week I saw clouds hanging on the high terrain all week while skiing at Loon,  Even there South was locked itself in a midmountain cloud most of Tuesday.  Strange weather week.  Weekend at Sunday River, the higher Mahoosucs were locked in Cap clouds all weekend as well.

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I ended up on a snowmaking trail at stratton once. It was towards the very end of the lift served day, and while I knew I was ON a trail, I honestly couldn't see shit. My goggles glazed over, I couldn't keep my eyes open, and was legitimately scared as hell. On Stratton. All because there was zero visibility. 
I could see these kids making a wrong turn. 

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4 hours ago, Puck it said:

Hmm. No cap clouds for the snowmaking cloud to add to.

mittycloud.jpg

This got worse as the day went on.  The main mountain was socked in with the snowmaking cloud in the middle third and down the spine.

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1 hour ago, Machski said:

Well, the article says these two Brain Children got lost Friday evenng, not the weekend for starters.  We drove up through the Notch friday afternoon about 430pm, there was a lot of cap cloud activity in the notch then and a ton of Rime covered trees at elevations we could see indicating the clouds had hung lower during the day.  Snowmaking may have added to that a bit, but this past week I saw clouds hanging on the high terrain all week while skiing at Loon,  Even there South was locked itself in a midmountain cloud most of Tuesday.  Strange weather week.  Weekend at Sunday River, the higher Mahoosucs were locked in Cap clouds all weekend as well.

Yeah that's my mistake. I got the article in a text thread on Sunday morning and didn't read it well enough and assumed it was from Saturday. And if the kids hiked up instead of taking a lift then that's definitely their own fault but that wasn't mentioned in the article so...

 

My original point was about the snowmaking haze/fog that these new High E guns at Cannon can cause at times. I'm not talking about cloud cover or even the traditional gun spray that freezes on your goggles as you ride past. The fog/haze that these guns create is very distinct and if I had to guess, it probably only happens with specific weather conditions. Its not a good situation to have on a weekend with the type of crowds they had this past Saturday. 

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2 hours ago, fcksummer said:

Yeah that's my mistake. I got the article in a text thread on Sunday morning and didn't read it well enough and assumed it was from Saturday. And if the kids hiked up instead of taking a lift then that's definitely their own fault but that wasn't mentioned in the article so...

 

My original point was about the snowmaking haze/fog that these new High E guns at Cannon can cause at times. I'm not talking about cloud cover or even the traditional gun spray that freezes on your goggles as you ride past. The fog/haze that these guns create is very distinct and if I had to guess, it probably only happens with specific weather conditions. Its not a good situation to have on a weekend with the type of crowds they had this past Saturday. 

Well, yes.  But I'm sure Cannon like most everywhere else in NE is behind schedule with terrain expansions.  The have to make when and where they have the temps.  I would agree that you have to have specific weather conditions for the Low E guns to produce a snowmaking fog.  I have seen it at Sunday River too on occasion, it sucks and if the falling snow ices your googles, even worse.  Though at SR, it is usually much easier to just move over a trail pod to avoid it, Cannon doesn't quite have the same lateral spacing.

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28 minutes ago, Machski said:

Well, yes.  But I'm sure Cannon like most everywhere else in NE is behind schedule with terrain expansions.  The have to make when and where they have the temps.  I would agree that you have to have specific weather conditions for the Low E guns to produce a snowmaking fog.  I have seen it at Sunday River too on occasion, it sucks and if the falling snow ices your googles, even worse.  Though at SR, it is usually much easier to just move over a trail pod to avoid it, Cannon doesn't quite have the same lateral spacing.

This is something different.  There is no "falling snow" to ice your goggles.  It's all fog. Like a blurry air that you can't see through but doesn't have any particles. And it fills the Notch.

I've been skiing Cannon for 35 years.  I know all about the cap clouds, notch effect, Cannon cloud, all the aspects of weather in Franconia Notch.  This is a completely new thing that began with the new guns. I don't claim to understand the physics behind it.  But it's very obvious that it's happening.  There were many days last year that guns came on = instant fog, guns turned off = almost instant clearing.  My guess is that the Cannon crew are equally perplexed by it and aware of it. In fact there was at least one weekend day last season when it was insanely bad and they shut the guns off in order to clear it up, and it worked.  We all want them to crank out snow when the getting is good.  And when that fog is a byproduct mid-week the locals deal with it just fine because they all know their way around.  But on busy weekends it creates a total hazard for intermediates and people who don't know the mountain.  

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17 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

This is something different.  There is no "falling snow" to ice your goggles.  It's all fog. Like a blurry air that you can't see through but doesn't have any particles. And it fills the Notch.

I've been skiing Cannon for 35 years.  I know all about the cap clouds, notch effect, Cannon cloud, all the aspects of weather in Franconia Notch.  This is a completely new thing that began with the new guns. I don't claim to understand the physics behind it.  But it's very obvious that it's happening.  There were many days last year that guns came on = instant fog, guns turned off = almost instant clearing.  My guess is that the Cannon crew are equally perplexed by it and aware of it. In fact there was at least one weekend day last season when it was insanely bad and they shut the guns off in order to clear it up, and it worked.  We all want them to crank out snow when the getting is good.  And when that fog is a byproduct mid-week the locals deal with it just fine because they all know their way around.  But on busy weekends it creates a total hazard for intermediates and people who don't know the mountain.  

If nothing is falling, sounds to me Cannon's water pressure on these days is far too low for the Low-E guns.  Would be interesting to know if these events happen with guns running at the extreme distance from the main pumps on the hill.  Perhaps a booster station is needed if it only happens when certain run(s) are made.  I would think if nothing is falling, Cannon's snowmaking team would want to quickly adjust the guns or shutdown.  Seems like a waste of energy if nothing is falling.

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23 minutes ago, Machski said:

If nothing is falling, sounds to me Cannon's water pressure on these days is far too low for the Low-E guns.  Would be interesting to know if these events happen with guns running at the extreme distance from the main pumps on the hill.  Perhaps a booster station is needed if it only happens when certain run(s) are made.  I would think if nothing is falling, Cannon's snowmaking team would want to quickly adjust the guns or shutdown.  Seems like a waste of energy if nothing is falling.

To be clear about what I said... Yes there is the usual "falling snow" in front of the guns.  They can make one hell of an impressive line-up of whales.  But in addition to that the air around the whole mountain turns into weird fog that I can only describe as 'blurry'.  Really hard to describe and even harder to photograph. 

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I agree with Cannonballer that the man made snow clouds are weird and different. It can engulf areas in a fog, even if that part of the mountain does not have snowmaking.

I was waiting for more information about the rescue before commenting. But I'll bite. I am having a hard time buying that this was related to snowmaking. Cannon's upper mountain soft woods are THICK. You cannot go off the trail without intending to do so, especially off the backside. The only thing I could think of for unintentionally getting lost is if someone headed off trail into south bowl thinking they were skiing boundary trees. But I don't think there is enough snow at that entrance area to make that is easily accessible without intent.

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31 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

To be clear about what I said... Yes there is the usual "falling snow" in front of the guns.  They can make one hell of an impressive line-up of whales.  But in addition to that the air around the whole mountain turns into weird fog that I can only describe as 'blurry'.  Really hard to describe and even harder to photograph. 

The photographs are cool but don't really demonstrate what it's like to be skiing or riding in it. Here's some from a few years ago

20181227_104857.jpg

20181227_104830.jpg

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3 minutes ago, thesnowway said:

I agree with Cannonballer that the man made snow clouds are weird and different. It can engulf areas in a fog, even if that part of the mountain does not have snowmaking.

I was waiting for more information about the rescue before commenting. But I'll bite. I am having a hard time buying that this was related to snowmaking. Cannon's upper mountain soft woods are THICK. You cannot go off the trail without intending to do so, especially off the backside. The only thing I could think of for unintentionally getting lost is if someone headed off trail into south bowl thinking they were skiing boundary trees. But I don't think there is enough snow at that entrance area to make that is easily accessible without intent.

It wasn't related to snowmaking, I was mistaken on the date of the rescue. The incident happened on Friday afternoon. I was there on Saturday and the snowmaking fog was as bad as I've ever seen it. If it had indeed happened on Saturday then I could have seen the fog being a factor.

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11 hours ago, fcksummer said:

It wasn't related to snowmaking, I was mistaken on the date of the rescue. The incident happened on Friday afternoon. I was there on Saturday and the snowmaking fog was as bad as I've ever seen it. If it had indeed happened on Saturday then I could have seen the fog being a factor.

I was there on Friday with Cannonballer and it was just as bad. 

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On 1/15/2021 at 10:05 AM, Cannonballer said:

Just a little follow up.

Today is the first day in weeks that Cannon doesn't have any snowmaking turned on.  Today they are also hyping the fact that it's the first time they have seen the summit in awhile. Coincidence?

 

 

Screenshot_20210115-095754.png

Lol dude, Cannon is knoe for all of 5 sunny days a year. Once again, welcome to the notch, first time here? 🤦‍♂️

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