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 TRIP REPORT: Wildcat - 5/27/07 
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Peak Bagger
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 TRIP REPORT: Wildcat - 5/27/07
Hike: Wildcat, Peaks E through A

Trails: Lost Pond to Wildcat Ridge Trail as an in-and-out

Distance: 10.4 miles

Time: 8 Hours

Only had one car so the loop via 19 Mile Brook Trail was out. Attempted to cross the Ellis River to save the 2 miles of the Lost Pond Trail, but the water was a bit high and not worth the risk or getting wet.

Given the holiday weekend, the trail was remakably quite, except for the Ski Area near peak D, I only encountered 6 people. The trail Wildcat Ridge Trail is exremely steep and rugged from the get go. There are a couple of very exposed spots, more on that later.

I put the poles away early and spent much of my time using my arms to climb and descend. Rencountered patchy snow at 3200 feet and some ice there after. Lots of snow from Peak E to A, mostly packed, did some postholing due to rotten snow. Stabilicers Was a cool day, mostly in the 50's. Great views drom peak A of Carter Notch, the Carters and Mt. Hight. Had some drizzle and rain on the way back, this made the open ledges and the exposed cliff traverse a bit dicey.

Overall a terriffic hike, bagged two more 4K's and enjoyed some superb views. A long, challenging and very rewarding day.

Hike on . . . .


Thu May 31, 2007 6:48 am
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Thanks for the TR!

I do love the view looking down to the Notch and over to ther Carters though!

any pic's?

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Thu May 31, 2007 8:43 am
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Peak Bagger
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No pics, leaving the camera seemed like a good idea at the time. I have been up there many times before (skiing) and know the views well. Plus, I was looking to go as light as possible given the trail demands and time constraint. Of course, as soon as I got to the first overlook of Pinkham, I was mad at myself. Woudl have kicked my own butt, but I might have fallen off the mountain . . . .


Thu May 31, 2007 9:04 am
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Peak Bagger
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Irishskier --

Sounds like a great hike, with the challenging climb up the Wildcat Ridge Trail.

I've not done this trail before and want to ask your advice on this:

I'm pestering my wife to do this hike with me this summer and because of her busy schedule we really do need to keep it to one day (otherwise, wait until late fall or winter, when her business calms down a bit). We're well over an hour and a half away from the trailhead so that's about four hours of driving time there and back.

Was some of the eight hours you spent on the hike attributable to snow/ice or would this be a reasonable amount of time even with dry conditions?

Thanks for your feedback on this one...


Thu May 31, 2007 10:52 am
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Peak Bagger
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barkingcat:

You can do it in one day, however, it is a VERY long day. The 8 hours was pretty real, book time was 9 hours, 20 minutes. I took two 15 minute breaks and a 20 minute lunch (that was included in the 8 hours)

If you cut out the Lost Pond Trail by crossing the Ellis River (park @ Ellis Falls Parking Lot, just south of Pinkham on Rt. 16), which was almost low enough a few days ago and should be in the summer, you can cut off 2 miles and at least 60 minutes. Also, the rain slowed my descent a bit with wet rocks. The snow only slowed me down a little.

You can certainly do it in a day, especially with dry conditions and no Lost Pond detour.

There is another option. You can head in via Wildcat Ridge and descent via Carter Notch via the 19 mile brook trail. This would be longer but faster and you'd need a second car further north on Rt. 16. But should be quicker.

It is an awesome hike, unreal views and a super rugged trail. Be wary of a couple of very exposed ledges and one overhanging cliff traverse life I have never seen before! Good luck.


Thu May 31, 2007 12:33 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Irishskier --

Thanks for the prompt feedback.

Although my wife and I feel like we move a bit slowly on some of the trails (or as she likes to say "she plods"), we typically beat AMC booktime by a significant amount.

Eight hours is what we'll budget.

And I know she'll look forward to the exposed ledges and overhanging cliff traverse -- she'll scamper along like she's on solid ground while I'll be crawling on hands and knees.

I'll look forward to the great views, though.


Thu May 31, 2007 1:29 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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To save A LOT of effort, if you have the ability to, spotting cars at the Wildcat Ski area helps. This would allow you to hit the peaks from 19 Mile Brook trail and head right down rather than retrace the rollercoaster ride back over the ridge. Even coming in from Wildcat Ridge trail, the carspot at Wildcat Ski area can help a lot. Take the Polecat down and you can drive back to get your other car (wether it be at Pinkham Notch visitor center or the Wildcat Ridge trailhead on 16.)

The other option is to make two days of it. If you are intent on doing the Wildcat Ridge Trail from 16, then park at the Trailhead, hike up and over the Wildcats down to Carter Notch Hut and stay the night. Then just go back the other way the next day. The hike up Wildcat A from the Notch is steep (as much as, if not more, than the other side) but it is a much shorter duration.

B.


Thu May 31, 2007 5:26 pm
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New Hampshire/Brian --

The spotting cars option for the one-day hike sounds like the plan to follow; thanks for the advice.

(I think my wife would mutiny if I suggested having to re-cross the ridge instead of going down a different route.)


Thu May 31, 2007 5:56 pm
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:lol:

I understand about the mutiny. In a little over 2 miles that damn mountain packs in 5 peaks! This section of the ridge is where people who love rollercoasters go to hike for fun! :lol:

B.


Thu May 31, 2007 6:19 pm
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