The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge was designed to provide a method for our forum members to get official answers to skiing-related questions directly from a ski area representative. Amy Bassett, Director of Marketing of Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 7/15/2005:
thetrailboss: Amy…Kudos on a great website. I’m wondering if you are going to add a live webcam? How about some more pictures of the resort or maybe a virtual tour?
Amy Bassett: Thank you for the positive feedback on the website. We are currently working on revamping the site. We have talked a lot about the live webcam, unfortunately, we do not have the capabilities to have one. Due to older wiring and the elements in the notch it is difficult and costly. As to more pictures, that is a great idea and we will try to incorporate in the upgrade site.
awf170: Any plans to try to fix the area between Bypass and Paulies Extension? It is usually extremely icy and has bad snow coverage. Maybe more snowmaking? How about a sign before the drop to warn people, or a sign at the top saying, “experts only?” Are there any other plans to try and reroute traffic through this narrow part of the mid-mountain (Middle Cannon, The Links, etc)?
Amy Bassett: Trail work is the key here . We plan to mulch more and cover rocks with more hay and to get more grass in that location. This will make it easier to make snow on it. The plan will then be to make more sno w in that location. The better we make that trail the better the middle of the mountain is. That is one area that we will be working on this summer.
NHpowderhound: Amy, what is the next step towards the reincarnation of Mittersill and the general timeline? My opinion is to leave it as is but I know the state has big plans. I was disappointed the season before last (03-04) when I saw a snowcat had packed a trail across the saddle and all the way down Barron’s. I must say I did enjoy the shuttle last season back from Mitty.
Amy Bassett: At this point the only plans are part of a Master Development plan that was created in 1998. That would be part of phase 3 and we are finally finishing phase 1 and still have work on phase 2 to do. I think people, overall, enjoy Mittersill the way it is right now. To sneak powder is much more exciting.
thetrailboss: Amy, is the old Taft-Slalom ski trail still cleared all the way to the trail head on Route 116? I’ve heard that this trail was very demanding and back in the day it was a testing grounds for skiers. Maybe Cannon could encourage folks to reclear it and maybe host a ski race on it (akin to say, the Stowe Derby)?
Amy Bassett: We only own to the bottom of Taft Trail. The rest is off state park land. We do not and can not maintain the rest of the trail. That part of the trail is on National Forest land. We can’t do anything on it until it is part of the state park land.
ga2ski: Amy – I love the old school feel of Cannon feel which is one of the main reasons I go there. Is its managements’ plan to continue improving the infrastructure while maintaining the old school atmosphere? Speaking of improvements, what improvements are planned in the next year? How about the five year plan?
Amy Bassett: The old school feel certainly adds to the Cannon experience. The mountain and people are full of such wonderful skiing history. Yes, that is the plan to keep the old school fee. This summer we are working on our Mountain Station, adding a wonderful new deck off the north side. This summer’s Mountain Station improvements are part of several that will be done over the next few years on the mountain station. The overall next five year plan is to upgrade the facility at Peabody and continual work on trails and other maintenance to enhance the experience.
NHpowderhound: Amy, I’ve really been looking forward to skiing Tramline but have been unable due to the mediocre snow years we’ve had since it was opened. Are there plans to tame this trail with blasting of the boulders and or snowmaking, or can we hope that this trail will be one of those gems we have to wait for the right day to ski?
Amy Bassett: Tramline was open a lot last year and well received. There are no plans to change what is there. When the trail was cut, the plan was to cut and maintain but no other changes would be made.
thetrailboss: Besides the “Bold and the Beautiful” pass you co-sponsor with Bretton Woods, have you considered offering a joint season pass with other Northern New England independent resorts, like Burke or maybe Tenney?
Amy Bassett: We offer a college pass with Gunstock and Mount Sunapee Resort. We also offer a NH Educator’s Pass with Gunstock. The only program we have with Burke is that there is offer their season pass holders a 50% discount on purchasing tickets. Burke offers the same to our pass holders.
thetrailboss: Do you have any old pics of the old double T-bars at the summit? That must have been an interesting ride. Speaking of Profile, I noticed last season that there were snowmaking lines that ran up both sides of the trail. Why is this?
Amy Bassett: We do have photos; of course, I will have to do some digging for them. They were very interesting to ride on. Growing up we had a lot of fun on the t-bars. Last year we added snowmaking pipe to the other side so that we would be able to maximize snowmaking on that trail. The wind really affects Profile and now we can make on Profile no matter the wind direction.
Zand: Will there be any additions to the base lodge soon? I was there on a relatively uncrowded Sunday this year and we had to eat outside because it had no seats left.
Amy Bassett: In the next year or so we hope to be adding on more seating. The plan is to increase the Notchview Lodge.
salida: What is Cannon’s official backcountry policy besides the seemingly open boundary to Mittersill? It seems Cannon has especially zealous patrollers when it comes to poachers of Tramline and the terrain surrounding it. I will admit to being one of those skiers who has been nabbed by ski patrol while attempting to leave Cannon or trying to sneak into the woods on open trails. I was sporting the proper equipment and enough gear to survive had I gotten stuck and had to spend the night.
Amy Bassett: Trails we control are on state park property and we open/close them as necessary. Meaning, trails we don’t own we don’t patrol. We are only responsible for our ski trails. If you leave our area you are on your own. Closed trails mean just that.