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Wildcat, NH - March 5, 2018

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fullsizeoutput_4b.thumb.jpeg.18b97ae0ee37289dceb4e646d06e05f5.jpegThis trip was in the works since last week for another destination in New Hampshire, but on the way down I found out that the mountain I was to ski today was closed and would be until midweek, to preserve the snow. We haven't been the only ones to have been hit with the warm temperatures and snowmelt. So there was a decision to be made; a) abort the trip, or b) continue on and come up with a backup plan. I chose option "b". Enough time to figure out where to go. That turned out to be Wildcat. It would be my first time here, although I have been by it a few times before in the summer months. I arrived at 8:45 with the temperature of around 0. The top of the mountain was socked in with fog, but the bottom half you could see. From afar the coverage still looked pretty decent, with the exception of the natural snow trails which were thin and some rocky. I bought my ticket and it was go time. There were 2 lifts, The Wildcat Express Quad, and the Snowcat Triple spinning along with the beginner Snowbelt magic carpet lift. 42 trails announced as open, with some groomed and some not groomed. The trails with snowmaking were well covered, and the natural now trails either very thin coverage or completely closed.


The first warm up runs were up the Snowcat Triple serving some easy trails. The coverage on trails with snowmaking was still pretty decent. The Snocat Trail and Snocat Slope of groomed granular and wet snow over a base that was not too hard nor too soft. There was a slight crust that was very breakable from what seemed to be a light freezing rain during the early hours of the morning. Carving through this very light crust was nothing. 

The Snowcat Slope:


Then it was on to the Wildcat Express Quad for a couple of runs at the summit. The first run was down the Upper Polecat, Middle Polecat, Lower Polecat, New Hampshire's longest Green trail at a length of 2.75 miles (close to 5kms). It was foggy at the top and visibility was as expected. There was a light freezing mist that coated the goggles enough to have to clean them off after getting off the lift. The second ride up and descent was on the Upper Catapult, Middle Wildcat, nice Intermediate trails, and then on to the Wild Kitten, a nice Green easy cruiser. There was zero wait time of either of the lifts.

Ride up the Wildcat Express:


Upper and Middle Polecat:



The Upper Catapult and Middle Wildcat:



After a quick break it was back over to the Snowcat Triple for a few more laps, and then one last run to the top, for the Polecat trails. Unfortunately about a third of the way down, I was making a slow turn into a stop, but I hit a small pile of snow which the with the momentum made me fall forwards and eat snow, but with the force of falling forward, and my binding not releasing, it resulted in a strained calf muscle which I am icing down. I did manage to get myself down off the mountain under my own power. I managed 12 runs today before this little incident. Had a bite to eat and then headed back home. I think I am going to pay for this tumble in the morning!

What is noticeable about the trails here at Wildcat is that some are narrower than most trails you would normally ski. There are some wider trails as well. This makes for a nice variety of terrain. I had a decent day but with the weather and the snow conditions, unfortunately I didn't get the full experience of skiing Wildcat, but with this sample today, it does pique interest in retuning again.

Here are a few more scenes from the day:








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Thanks Paul. This morning I thought would be the worst but so far it feels a lot better than last night. I am staying off the boards for the rest of the week and won't be pushing my luck. I was hoping for at least one more outing this week. I guess that won't happen.

Today would have been the perfect day to go, but with scheduling it didn't work out. 

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Nice report Paul. Wildcat definitely looks like an interesting place to visit, especially that there is a good variety of narrow and wide trails. Looks very picturesque.

Sorry to hear about your fall. Hope you recover quickly so you don't miss out on too much time on the slopes! All the best.

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Thanks Shane. 2 days removed now and it's feeling much better. Still not 100% yet but getting there. Just feels like the after effect of having a huge charley horse. It is causing me to miss the after the dump ski day I wanted to do at Orford. Not taking any chances even though I feel that I could ski a bit. I had the same injury 5 seasons ago with my other leg with the same result and I ended up skiing the day on it and two weeks afterwards. It took longer to heal. Almost totalled that season. Not going to push it this time.

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