Ascent of Wildcat D on 2011-09-17

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Saturday, September 17, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wildcat D
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4062 ft / 1238 m

Ascent Trip Report

I completed an out-and-back traverse of Wildcat Ridge. From Pinkham Notch Camp, I crossed Route 16 and followed the AT/Lost Pond Trail south until I met the AT/Wildcat Ridge Trail. I proceeded across Wildcat Peaks E, D, C and B and then reached Wildcat A, the fifth and highest peak. I then turned around and did the whole thing in reverse.

I'd have a tough time imagining better weather for today's hike. The air was cool and crisp, with constant sunshine providing contrasting warmth. The lower elevation scenery was accented by emerging shades of oranges and reds. Fall is in the air!

Today's hike was about nine miles, but the countless steep rocky pitches made it seem much longer. The initial western ascent up Wildcat "E" in particular requires an unrelenting series of scrambles up rock faces and other steep rocky sections of trail. It's not a hike to take lightly, and I wouldn't attempt this route if the rocks were wet. That said, the trail is well-constructed, and despite the steepness, there was almost always a convenient rock or groove to step or grab onto.

With the physical demands required to navigate the steep ups and downs in both directions, the summits of Wildcat "E", "C" and "B" are a blur, to be honest. Peaks "D" and "A" stick out in my memory better because "D" is at the Wildcat Mountain ski area, and the lift was letting tourists out at the top while I hiked by. From "D" you can see a great view of numerous sub-4000' peaks to the south. From "A" (the highest Wildcat peak), a short spur leads to a ledge with an awesome view of Carter Dome. From that vantage point you can also see the Carter Notch Hut far below.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:82 ft / 25 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:82 ft / 25 m
    Route:AT/Wildcat Ridge Trail
    Trailhead:3980 ft / 1213 m
Descent Statistics

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