Trip report

Wildcat Mountain Hike

Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/07/2009 - 11/07/2009

Trip/Event Location: Gorham, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I'm not making any money running this trip

Difficulty Level: Strenuous

Hike two 4,000 footers, Wildcat D (4, 062') and Wildcat A (4,422') with magnificent views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range.

Total Distance: 8.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,150 feet

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at: No directions were posted
Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Trails: Wildcat Ridge Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail

Summits: Wilcat D Peak, Wildcat A Peak

We pulled into the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail - our planned exit location. We then carpooled to the start of our trip at the Ellis Falls parking lot. With the cars spot taken care of all that was left was the hike.

Our planned schedule for the day had us on-trail at 9:30am for a hike over the Wildcats and exiting with the Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead for approximately 4:30pm. We were looking at a very full day. Plans are subject to change. Our first challenge of the day was crossing the Ellis River. Some of the rocks we had to step onto had a coating of ice. I led the way and on the other side slipped off a rock and both feet plunged in the water. Rick also slipped off a rock and his feet went into the water. Some of the guys put on traction and that did the trick. Before the hike I recommended that everyone bring spare socks for just this sort of mishap. Rick and I were happy we brought them.

After the crossing we began the exceptionally steep and rugged climb for the ridge. We soon realized that some added traction was a good idea. MicroSpikes, Stabilicers and YakTrax came out. The light traction was perfect for the conditions. We had a very solid rock surface with periodic ice to hike on. So, we were careful with our steps.

The conditions on the Wildcat Ridge Trail included traces of snow, some ice, bare rocks and ledges. In other words, we had a little of everything. The progress was slow through the initial steep climb. We picked our way through the bare places to protect our MicroSpikes and were extremely careful on the icy areas. A mistake would certainly leave a mark. Gradually we hit the various viewpoints along the way and enjoyed views south and across to the Presidentials. As we gained elevation we also gained views to the north. Approximately 11:50am we were at the top of our last ledge looking at the short ridge walk and climb to Wildcat E Peak. We should have been there by now and realized the climb is costing extra time. Safety is more important than clock time on this trail. Unfortunately, the day is going in slow-motion and we're losing time to the conditions. 

After the short cruise over Wildcat E we passed by the top of the Wildcat Ski Area. It was time for lunch and recharge. We were running low on energy and needed a boost. With that out of the way we were back on the hike.

We continued on to the D Peak (4K number one for the day). The bottom of the stairs that lead to the observation deck has a barricade to keep people out. It was easy to step past. We paid a short visit to the deck, got a few summit pictures, and were soon on our hike across the Wildcat Puds (including C & B peaks) to Wildcat A Peak (4K number two for the day). 

At the A Peak, we enjoyed a terrific views into Carter Notch and across to Carter Dome and north to the Carters.

We made our way steeply down to Carter Notch. The easiest part of the descent was crossing the slide.

We hit Carter Notch and the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail 90 minutes behind plan but having a great hike with terrific conditions. We made a quick stop. The Nineteen Mile Brook Trail is possibly one of the most heavily traveled trails in the area.

It's still a decent hike out at 3.6 miles and we started using our headlamps when we reached the junction of Carter Dome Trail. Under a beautiful starry night we reached our cars, packed our things and headed to Ellis Falls to pick up the rest of the cars.

Thanks guys for a great day in the mountains. I had terrific time and hope you did too!

~ Mike Boisvert

  There are 37 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • This was such a great hike. Thanks Mike for leading this trip and thanks to everyone for making it a fantastic day. - DaveSchumaker
  • The entire hike was a blast! A challenge in some icy spots giving small pumps of adrenalin, beautiful scenery, a fun night hike out. Everyone was fun to be with and I look forward to the next! - WalkaboutBrian

Members That Participated


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