Ascent of Wildcat Mountain on 2010-07-24

Climber: Tony Rachupka

Others in Party:Anne
Date:Saturday, July 24, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wildcat Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4422 ft / 1347 m

Ascent Trip Report

With showers and thunderstorms expected for Saturday night and Sunday morning we decided to forego our plans for a Bonds backpack. The weather looked good for a daytrip however and the Wildcats were picked. Our friend Zac would join Anne and I for this adventure.

Our plan was to go over the Wildcats starting from Lost Pond, going over the ridge and exiting via the 19 Mile Brook Trail. The trailheads are about 3.5 miles apart and no one wanted to do that road walk. So I volunteered to bring my bike, spot the car at 19 Mile and bike to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center where I had dropped off Anne and Zac. What I had forgotten was that it would be uphill almost the whole way. What a warmup for the hike! I’ve got a mountain bike so I didn’t feel bad about getting passed by a group of guys on road bikes. They were friendly and offered encouragement. We’d see each other again at the visitor center where they saw me putting on my pack and realized I was less a biker and more of a hiker and they looked amused.

We started the hike by going by Lost Pond. We almost skipped it and started right at Glenn Ellis Falls. But the pond is pretty and I’m glad we went this way. There’s one spot where the trail is underwater, including some boards that used to go over the wet area. We briefly lost the trail here but quickly got back onto it. We heard a guy who was trudging through the woods who probably had the same problem. I yelled to him that the trail was over here and he sounded annoyed that I was trying to help him. Screw you buddy, sorry to help!

Now the Wildcat Ridge Trail. It’s steep as advertised but has lots of scrambling which I enjoy. The open ledges with views of Pinkham Notch are fantastic. The clouds would cover the summit of Washington all day but we had great views of Tuckerman Ravine. The worst part of the hike was getting to the part where the gondola brings up all the lazy people. We took a break here and then saw where a new platform is being put up on the D peak.

I warned Anne that I had read “The Wildcat Ridge trail is substantially more strenuous than the distance and elevation gain would suggest.” Boy would this be true! Now this became the worst part of the hike. It should be the PUD ridge trail! They have peaks A through E named but it seems more like A though Z. After what seemed like forever, we made it across the ridge and rested overlooking Carter Notch. An excellent spot for a break!

The trip down to the Carter Notch Hut wasn’t too bad. There are lots of steps making it easy. Zac and I had run out of water at this point so we stopped at the hut to refill. I really like this hut location. We hiked the easy and gradual 19 Mile Brook Trail back to the parking lot and some tailgating. It was a hot and humid day with no winds to cool us off. A tough hike, especially with the PUDs on the ridge. My favorite part the steep part up the ridge trail. I loved the open ledges and scrambles.

Anne has 20 of the NH48’s done now and I’ve got 36.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3150 ft / 960 m
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3150 ft / 960 m
    Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Trailhead:1272 ft / 387 m
Descent Statistics

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