Ascent of Wildcat E on 2016-02-21

Climber: Robert Larkin

Date:Sunday, February 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wildcat E
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4046 ft / 1233 m

Ascent Trip Report

My daughter and I chose to tackle this very rugged section of the mountains yesterday and while there were some decent views on the ascent - especially of the heavy cloud cover over Washington, by the time we started hitting the summits, the clouds had begun to roll in on us as well. We had to being at the Pinkham Notch AMC lodge because the parking area at Glen Ellis Falls is shut down for the winter. We could have chosen to park on the road but instead opted for beginning on Lost Pond Trail. The Wildcat Ridge Trail is as rugged as promised and imagined. Once we reached it, the ascent was steep, icy and slow. One section, not too far up the trail offered a glimpse of what could be if you misstepped as it was just a foot or so wide foot path looking over a precipitous drop. We had our spikes, but just looking at that drop was fear inducing, lol. By the time we reached the first peaks there was alot more snow on the ground (about 18-24 inches I'll guess) and moving between the peaks was much easier but still a bit of a slog. The trail, while not super difficult to move along, was not packed down by alot of traffic so there was some slipping and sliding to be had. After reaching the last peak, We decided to not recross that terrain as it had been very slow going - 4.5 hours for the 5 mile hike and we chose instead to descend via 19 Mile Brook Trail. It left us with a bit of a road walk back to Pinkham Notch but the way the weather had rolled in and turned truly nasty up on the peaks above us, I believe it was the right call. While the peaks were smothered in heavy dark clouds, the valley below, as we walked, was bathed in sunshine.
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