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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Wildcat D, Wildcat C, Wildcat B, Wildcat A
Pinkham's Grant, NH, Bean's Grant, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.

Upper Polecat to Wildcat D

Route: Lower Polecat, Middle Polecat, Upper Polecat, Wildcat Ridge Trail, (Wildcat D), Wildcat Ridge Trail, (Wildcat C), Wildcat Ridge Trail, (Wildcat B), Wildcat Ridge Trail, (Wildcat A)

After reinjuring my knee jogging (stepped in a hole, doh), I took some time off. Finally, with a decent weather forecast for once, I took the afternoon off from work and headed up to Wildcat. Not wanting to deal with a water crossing or 3 extra miles of rocky trail, I decided to ascend via the ski area.

Seeing that there had been some vehicular traffic on it, I decided to take the easy Polecat trail up to the top of the ski area. Though hiking ski trails can be boring and hot, Polecat is a very scenic trail - covered in wall to wall wildflowers in many parts. With the exception of a crossover trail I took to save time, the ascent was moderate at best - a fairly easy first hike back in action after over a week of inactivity.

Despite the gondola being open, the ski area summit was fairly quiet. As always (when clear), the views were excellent.

I then took the short, steep ascent up to Wildcat D to discover the lookout tower was roped off. Without this, there are no views from the actual summit (though there are a few lookouts nearby). Seeing that the stairway was stable (the deck looks like hell, but there are some new boards nearby), I decided to take a few steps up as to actually see something (strong views of Mt. Washington).

The hike to Wildcat C seemed to take forever - you're dropped into the ravine near Thompson Brook for a short spell, before ascending up to C. There are a few moderate views from near the top of C, looking back toward D and at Mt. Washington. Not being an official peak, it's hard to determine when you're actually there - I wasn't sure of its location until my return trip.

A few more rocky dips brought me to Wildcat B, which again seemed to take forever, despite only being 15 minutes. With the exception of a directional view just after the summit, there are no views to be had. This view made Wildcat A seem far off, however it was in reality only 10 minutes away.

I didn't realize I was on Wildcat A until the view appeared right in front of me - and what a few it is - looking straight into Carter Notch, as well as points to the north and south.

After talking to a few AT thru-hikers, I decided to head back, taking some time to figure out where the B and C highpoints were. Soon enough, I was back to the ski area.

Descending down Polecat became a bit painful, as my knee pain from the jogging injury crept back up. Arriving in the base area, the gondola had just been shut off. 18 and 19 done.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Wildcat D
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Wildcat C
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Moderate
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Wildcat B
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Wildcat A
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Monday, July 16, 2007
Hike Commenced: 12:30 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,960'
Destination: Wildcat D
Ascent Commenced: 12:36 PM
Summit Reached: 1:42 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:06
Trailhead Elevation: 1,950'
Summit Elevation: 4,062'
Vertical Gain: 2,112'
Destination: Wildcat C
Ascent Commenced: 1:45 PM
Summit Reached: 2:23 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:38
Trailhead Elevation: 4,070'
Summit Elevation: 4,285'
Vertical Gain: 585'
Destination: Wildcat B
Ascent Commenced: 2:24 PM
Summit Reached: 2:39 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:15
Trailhead Elevation: 4,285'
Summit Elevation: 4,305'
Vertical Gain: 195'
Destination: Wildcat A
Ascent Commenced: 2:39 PM
Summit Reached: 2:49 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:10
Trailhead Elevation: 4,305'
Summit Elevation: 4,422'
Vertical Gain: 182'
Hike Ended: 5:18 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 04:48
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,714'

The end (beginning) of Lower Polecat next to the summit chairlift/gondola

Looking west at Mt. Washington from Wildcat D

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat C from Wildcat D

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat C

Looking west at Mt. Washington from Wildcat C

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat B from Wildcat C

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat B

Looking north at Wildcat A from near the Wildcat B summit

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat A from Wildcat B

Wildcat Ridge Trail to Wildcat A

Looking northeast from Wildcat A

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North from Jackson to the Wildcat Ski Area entrance. The Polecat ski trail is located next to the summit quad/gondola base terminal.

Back to Wildcat D Profile
Back to Wildcat C Profile
Back to Wildcat B Profile
Back to Wildcat A Profile

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