Though there's no disputing the veracity of Cannon's racing heritage (it's Bode's hometown hill, after all), to go seeking nothing but speed would be a grave mistake. That's because Cannon locals are a twisted, obsessive bunch who apparently have nothing better to do than spend their summers hacking lines through thorn and thicket, creating an off-the-map network that rivals any in the Northeast. Much of that network is spread across the long-defunct Mittersill resort; powder-hungry skiers have kept the underbrush at bay, and Mittersill's steep, narrow runs are open to anyone willing to schlep their skis across the five-minute saddle hike. It's a New England rite of passage second only to Tuckerman Ravine.
Legally open for the first time since the tram was installed in 1938, Tram Line is Cannon at its narrow, steep, and unforgiving best. You won't even go to jail for nailing it.
Though Vermont's Green Mountain Range greedily sucks much of the moisture from western storms, Cannon scores when coastal Nor'easters hit.
If it weren't actually a very cool place to tip a few, we'd say The Village House (603-823-5405) wins by default; tiny Franconia ain?t exactly hopping. Thankfully, the Village House maintains the crucial balance of din, decent chow, and drunk skiers that mark every good ski-town bar.
"Cannon is a risk taker's dreamland. It's hard, fast, raw, and adventurous. Like the people around here, what you see is what you get. If you want perfect pow-pow, go West. If you just want to ski hard, stick around."
Vertical Drop 2,146 feet
Snowfall 150 inches