Wildcats Ridge Traverse
By Mike Boisvert.
Always up for a challenge, I rejoiced at the opportunity to tackle the Wildcat Ridge again. This time around I was accompanied by Charley Anderson, Tom Chase, Carlos Davila, Markus Donovan, John Huss, Mark Laske, Rick McCurdy, and Jon Normand. We were to take the Wildcat Ridge Trail and take the Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail down.
We met Charley at our endpoint at 19-Mile Brook and left his car there, and hopped in one of the cars to drive down to Ellis River Falls parking area. We found the crossing a difficult to cross so we drove to Pinkham Notch and started at Lost Pond Trail instead that would bring us to Wildcat Ridge.
The trail makes an abrupt turn skyward. We made excellent time up with no difficulties. Along the way, we swapped hiking stories and chatted about a variety of other topics.
Along the way up, we marveled at the awesome views of Mt. Washington and the other Presidentials, noting the blanket of white snow and the ravines. It was a definitive sign that winter is approaching, despite the warm temperatures we experienced this day.
We soon reached the summit station of Wildcat Ski Area. We were hungry at this point, so we ate lunch behind the summit building and continued to admire the views of Mt. Washington and its ravines. We continued onward and reached our first 4,000-footer of the day, Wildcat D. We admired the views from the summit platform for a while and then continued the trek.
We rolled up and over Wildcat C and B. We ran into a few hikers on the trail for the first time of the day.
We made our way to the summit of Wildcat A, Jon’s 46th peak of the 48. Just two more to go. He is planning to finish at Mt Cabot on New Year’s Day and this trip is posted in the GayOutdoors Events Calendar if you are interested in joining the celebration.
We then descended down towards Carter Notch.
We eventually reached Charley’s car. He drove the driver’s back to their cars and then we stopped for dinner before heading back to the Mad River Lodge. A beautiful day with fantastic views!
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