Ever Northward, on to Imp Shelter.
Came down the ski trails.
Climbed Wildcat Ridge from the south in very deep snow and temperatures in the seventies Farenheit. Had planned to stash my snowboard at D, continue to A, backtrack and ride down the ski trails. After over five hours of effort including some unplanned bushwhacking, was happy to reach D and ride down.
Many, many scratches, and a sunburn to boot.
Two different trips. Both spectacular.
Took AT, as usual in this area, sharp descent into valley.
Hit Wildcat A before beginning Carter Range Traverse (came up Nineteen Mile). Had completed D and E in 2005.
Staying at hut off-season
After my resupply at Pinkam Notch my pack weighed 42 pounds. Wildcat took too long to ascend under that load so I stayed at the hut.
out to all the peaks and down the gondola. Why not? :-)
It was a hot day, I was 17 years old, climbed this first part with a 70 lbs backpack. No kidding.
We hiked this in perfect weather with no too much humidity and GREAT views from everywhere. The Ridge Trail was certainly very steep and we conquered a lot of elevation in not much time, but it was worth it. The walk between the five peaks was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of ups and downs. Going out Nineteen was a nice relaxing cool down from the steep portions in the beginning of the hike.
For those looking for your 4Ks watch for the peaks on your map because they really aren't well marked and you can easily walk right by them without knowing it.
Backpack on the AT starting from Moriah. Very hot this day and I got a little heat sick. Thanks Fern for staying close
The real work began upon hitting the base of the Ridge trail. I immediately began to climb and gained 1000 feet in something like half a mile. At points the trail was a diagonal slice in a very steep rock face and four-limb scrambling was neccessary. Not for the faint of heart! Still, the views from the ledges are simply awesome. Sitting on the higher ledges I could watch a helicopter buzzing around in Tuckerman's Ravine on the other side of the valley either rescuing or filming something.
Towards the 4000' summit of Wildcat E, things calm down a bit and the last mile is a pleasent amble up a moderate grade through evergreen forest and occasional rock ledges. The summit of E is unnoticable, but in the saddle between E and the nearby D (a descent of perhaps 20') is the top of the Wildcat Mountain Ski Area; my former employer and supplier of complimentary ski passes. The gondola line (oldest in the US and quite obviously so) disgorged a small current of camera-lugging tourists who all troop up to the roof of the lift building, to admire the view shrouded in the diesel fumes from the lift engines. I elected to continue to the summit of D where there is a lookout platform and eat my lunch in peace.
From D, the trail drops pretty steadily into Wildcat Col and then rises back up again through classic northern high-elevation forest to the higher peak of C. There is a moderate drop and rise to B and then an even more minor dip to the highest peak, Wildcat A at 4422'. Most of this ridge walk is devoid of views but when you reach the far end of A, you are presented with a small rocky perch where you can spit on Carter Notch Hut 1100' below you in the dramatically rocky Carter Notch. There are two small ponds and some large fields of boulders supplied by the cliff face you are standing on the even taller one on the other side of the notch. The whole thing is very reminiscent of the high-altitude huts and terrain of the Northern Presidentials.
In half a mile, the trail drops all 1100 feet down to the notch in a surprisingly unpainful manner. Carter Notch Hut, the most northerly and smallest of the eight AMC huts, is "self-service" having only a caretaker for croo.
The last day of winter, and a spectacular day to be out. There was enough snow on the ridge to raise the trail into the trees, which made for a lot of scratchin' and grabbin'. Great hike with LarryD, ChrisB and of course SherpaKroto from VFFT.