View Full Version : Wildcat A, B, C, D 2/17/11

Jimmy Legs and Little d
02-24-2011, 10:21 PM
Hoping to bag another 4,000 footer we decided to hike up the 19 mile Brook Trail to the Wildcat Ridge Trail and to the 4,422 foot summit of Wildcat A. We first stopped to at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center to check on the conditions in the upper elevations. The girl behind the counter checked with the Carter Notch hut master to find that he recommended traction devices ranging from microspikes, snowshoes and crampons. An ice ax would also come in handy; if we had one.

There were only a few vehicles parked on the lot at the trailhead and the temperature was around 28 degrees with temperatures rising to mid forties later in the day.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-2/1197742598_CavzY-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197742598_CavzY-A-LB)

Beginning at 9:15 am we at first tried snowshoes but decided it would be better if we bare booted on the firmly packed trail.
The 19 Mile Brook was snow covered but the water could still be heard beneath the surface.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-7/1197745604_Epu5F-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197745604_Epu5F-A-LB)

At the junction with the Carter Dome Trail we noticed that the upper section of the 19 Mile Brook Trail was less traveled. We continued on, still bare booting until the snow depth required us to finally put on our snow shoes. Michael used the 25? Tubbs Mountaineers and Donna used the Tubbs Flex ALP?s. The added traction and floatation of the snow shoes made hiking in the deeper snow pack easier.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-13/1197750284_KMXeq-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197750284_KMXeq-A-LB)

Reaching the junction with the Wildcat Ridge Trail we took a short break and enjoyed some gorp and a Stoneyfield Yogurt Super Smoothie. We would certainly need the energy for the steep climb ahead.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-15/1197751344_K9B5E-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197751344_K9B5E-A-LB)

The trail now was hardly broken out and the footing on the steeper sections was less than perfect.
The crossing of the slide area was uneventful in that it didn?t require the added traction of crampons.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-20/1197753961_4Ye4f-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197753961_4Ye4f-A-LB)

However, there was one steep section where caution is advised as there is a solid sheet of ice below the several inches of the snow.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-23/1197757107_Rjt9V-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197757107_Rjt9V-A-LB)

We soon arrived at the vista/summit of Wildcat A where we were rewarded with views down into Carter Notch neighboring mountains including Carter Dome, Mount Hight, South and Middle Carter.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-26/1197759377_3XdRh-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197759377_3XdRh-A-LB)

Soon another hiker came from the opposite direction and said that the trail was broken out all the way across the ridge to the ski area and Wildcat D. That was enough to convince us that we could easily bag another 4,000 footer. The only problem would be the long 3 mile walk back along Route 16 back to our vehicle. Mitch, the hiker we saw, offered us a ride since he would be going back to the Wildcat Ski area and do a couple of more runs on the ski trails. That solidified our decision to go on to bag Wildcat D.

With the temperatures now above freezing the snow once again became like mash potatoes and sticking to our toe crampons on our snowshoes. Traction also became a problem, especially going downhill into the cols. In fact Donna ended up falling several times.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-40/1197768909_PyJQ2-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197768909_PyJQ2-A-LB)

Views of the Presidential Range from the Wildcat Ridge Trail were amazing and afforded many photo opportunities along the way.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-32/1197764526_k6nqQ-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197764526_k6nqQ-A-LB)

What a feeling of accomplishment when we reached Wildcat D. Up to this point we had done 6.3 miles and still had another 2.8 miles down hill on the Polecat Trail. After a few pictures on the newly constructed platform we started our descent encountering more magnificent views made even better with the sun setting behind the mountains.

http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/Wildcats-21711-52/1197781548_DPCRM-M.jpg (http://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Wildcats-A-B-C-D-21711/15967116_iJixQ#1197781548_DPCRM-A-LB)

Finally reaching the Wildcat Ski parking area, Mitch pulls up in his vehicle on schedule. We loaded up our equipment and were back to our car by 5 pm.
What a way to end our winter vacation.

Thanks again Mitch for the ride back; we really appreciated your kindness.

Here?s the link to the slideshow of our adventure.


Mike and Donna

02-24-2011, 10:54 PM
WOW! What a great way to finish off your vacation...truly a pinnacle! I can only hope for an identical day when I hike the Wildcats...definitely want it to be in the winter after seeing this! Also, the views are spectacular, absolutely breath-taking...I can only imagine how much grander it was in person.
I'm all too familiar with falling while on snow-shoes -- glad to hear I'm not alone :p

Thanks for sharing.

Snow Miser
02-25-2011, 06:51 AM
This hike looks like it was a grand finale for your vacation. And it was nice of Mitch to offer you a ride back to your car so you could bag another 4,000 footer. Thanks for taking us along on your hiking adventures. There's not much better hiking than in The Whites.

02-25-2011, 07:09 AM
Wonderful trip report and awesome pics.. Your reports and pics. is making me want to head up there so bad. Looks like it was a beautiful day to be out there. Thanks again for taking us along.

Anna LeBlanc
02-25-2011, 07:59 AM
Looks like you guys had a great time and that's what it's all about isn't it!! Like Bob said there's nothing better than a day in The Whites.


02-25-2011, 10:35 AM
Great report and pictures! It looks like the weather was perfect too.

That last shot with the sun set and Donna shoeing is amazing. I can say for me, but probably for all of us, that its those type of views and experiences that make us love hiking.

Looking forward to this trip also.

02-25-2011, 05:22 PM
The sunset photo was my favorite.

02-26-2011, 07:26 AM
Agree with all above...especially about the sunset photo. You'll find it in the photojournal!

02-26-2011, 08:07 AM
Agree with all above...especially about the sunset photo. You'll find it in the photojournal!

All the photos are awesome but the Presi shots and particularly the sunset one are spectacular. It definitely belongs in the photo journal. As the others said, what a great way to end a great week. Hope we have half as nice a day when we finally make it up the 'Cats.

02-26-2011, 03:11 PM
sounds like a great day & thanks for taking the time to share the pics :)

I feel your pain with the warmed up slushy melting snow, but it is almost march after all. And good thing you had the snowshoes... I've made the mistake of heading out with just boot and crampons on days like that one time to many

thanks again for sharing the nice pics

02-26-2011, 03:19 PM
All the photos are awesome but the Presi shots and particularly the sunset one are spectacular. It definitely belongs in the photo journal. As the others said, what a great way to end a great week. Hope we have half as nice a day when we finally make it up the 'Cats.

yes second that!

really great shot that is now making me even more excited about getting back upto NH than I was before I looked at it.... only 3 more weeks to go

Jimmy Legs and Little d
02-28-2011, 02:06 PM
Thanks again. It is a pleasure to be able to share our hikes you all of you on the forum.
So glad you enjoyed, once again, coming along with us on our vacation.

OWEN: Pictures can be great but the only way to totally appreciate the views are in person.

BOB: We were lucky to have met Mitch. In the past, we've given rides to hikers back to their cars.

CHRIS: You need to get up there since your home project is now completed.

ANNA: I couldn't have said it any better!

DMO: It was a perfect day and hope yours is too when you hike the Wildcats!

DBC: I have to admit it is our favorite also.

JIM: Appreciate you posting the photo in the journal. It was just the perfect setting.

MARK: Lots of great memories with this trip. Hope you can get a chance to hike the Wildcats soon.

SC: We didn't want to get stuck without the right equipment so carrying extra traction wasn't a problem. Hate to have to turn back during a hike so the added weight wasn't a factor. Have a great trip!


03-09-2011, 11:05 AM
What a terrific hike!

It certainly looked like you both had a great workout.

It seems that winter brings out the best in you guys.

Nice job and thank you for a wonderful report and fantastic photographs.

Jimmy Legs and Little d
03-11-2011, 02:10 PM
Thanks, Earl.
Hands down it was our best hike of the trip!