Ascent of Wildcat E on 2012-01-28

Climber: Matt DiFrancesco

Others in Party:Dave Langley
Mike Lynch
Sue and Earl
Date:Saturday, January 28, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wildcat E
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4046 ft / 1233 m

Ascent Trip Report

After the snow/rain/sleet from Thursday/Friday (the tail end of which I drove up through Friday night...), there was a "lovely" crust on top of crappy snow. Snowshoes went on almost immediately after leaving the road on Lost Pond Trail, and they stayed on until the lot at 19 Mile Brook. I had never been on this section of the Wildcat Ridge Trail, and let me say that it lives up to it's billing as one of the steepest trails in the Whites. It is rated at 1.9 miles and 2150ft, but what that doesn't tell you is that there is a fairly moderate section in between 2 VERY steep sections.

We bushwhacked around the first ledge, as it was narrow, had a nasty sheer drop-off next to it, snow drifted over it at a 50-60 degree angle, and likely an inch of ice under. Also nothing to hold onto. The bushwhack was a unanimous decision and took us 20 yards to the left of it up and around. No problems aside from being steep. The remaining ledges were okay, but took a lot of work.

The climb was SLOW. The trail was not broken out at all, and was pretty crumbly so even with good kick steps, you tended to slide backwards a lot. There were some very nice views from the ledges going up, however, and we took our time to get safely up to E peak. We were at the chairlift between E and D at 12:20, roughly 4 hours after leaving the Pinkham Visitor Center.

The traverse along the ridge went better as there was some broken out sections, but snowshoes were still very much needed. Some barebooters were punching a LOT of holes along the trail... We eventually reached A peak, took some pictures and looked into the notch, then cruised down to the 19 Mile Brook Trail. Sue set an aggressive pace out (especially after the trip we'd had so far...) and we reached the cars right around 5PM.

This was the first real test of my Lightning Ascent snowshoes, and boy were they terrific. Their grip is just amazing! In fact, 3 of the 6 in our group had LA shoes, and 2 of the remaining 3 had MSR's as well.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2216 ft / 675 m
    Total Elevation Loss:296 ft / 89 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2216 ft / 675 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2016 ft / 615 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Route:Lost Pond Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail
    Start Trailhead:Pinkham Notch  2030 ft / 618 m
    Time:3 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:96 ft / 29 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:Wildcat Ridge Trail
    End Trailhead:Wildcat E/D Col  3950 ft / 1203 m
    Time:8 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Wildcats 1-28-12

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Wildcat E2012-01-28 a2216 ft / 675 m
2Wildcat D2012-01-28 b112 ft / 34 m
3Wildcat C2012-01-28 c548 ft / 167 m
4Wildcat B2012-01-28 d170 ft / 52 m
5Wildcat Mountain2012-01-28 e152 ft / 46 m
Total Trip Gain: 3198 ft / 974 m    Total Trip Loss: 3741 ft / 1140 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Matt DiFrancesco
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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