|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Wildcat E, Wildcat D, Wildcat C, Wildcat B, Wildcat A, NH|
||Ski trails, Wildcat Ridge Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Route 16|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, July 15, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked at main ski lot as side road that allows direct access to slopes is gated (but may or may not be locked) to avoid any parking issues. First car in lot at 5:30 AM, but plenty of parking when no snow. Planned to do out and back, otherwise would have parked at 19 Mile Brook (which was already 1/3 full) and roadwalk to ski area to avoid roadwalk in hot afternoon sun. Decided there was too much wet slippery rock climbing on the ridge and the descent on the ski trails on loose dirt would have been summer skiing, so exit stage 19 Mile Brook. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No water crossings on ski trails, although there are some wet drainage ditches that might hold water in a rainstorm. Wildcat Ridge Trail from E to A have no normal water crossings, but there is a lot of water on the trail requiring rock hopping to avoid the worst (also bog planks). Wildcat Ridge Trail descent to Carter Notch has several runoff stream crossings all rock hoppable but almost all rocks are wet or partially submerged. 19 Mile Brook from Wildcat Range Jct to Carter Dome Jct has several drainage areas, again all rock hoppable on wet or submerged rocks as well as several trail streambed sections. 19 Mile Brook from Carter Dome Jct to trailhead also has a few drainage streams and streambed sections, but not as many as upper section and generally a little less water.
Major streams on 19MB have plank bridges or full foot bridges, although the triple plank bridge farthest from trailhead has middle plank completely broken, so this one is tricky to cross.
Recommend wearing your choice of footwear for very wet conditions. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Several bog planks along Wildcat Range Trail are either broken or have loose spikes, allowing movement under weight. However, most of the planks are in good condition and well secured.
Shout out to maintainers who have worked on the WRT descent to Carter Dome. This short, very steep section has many rock steps (wet, but flat) that make this so much easier and have minimized the trail erosion. Thank you all for all the work that must have gone into this.
No summit markers at B or C, that I could see, but these are unranked so maybe not a priority. I think I found the high point on C (large boulder on trail), but didn't attempt to find B. |
||Lots of rock climbing along ridge that would be difficult. Also lots of water and mud for your pup to play in. Rest of the trails would probably be just fine.
No water on ski trails and mostly standing water on ridge. Some running water on descent to Carter Notch and lots on 19MB.
Didn't encounter any on this trip. |
||Saw them flying about along ski trails with a few landing, but no bites. Didn't notice any along ridge until stopped for pix or water, but again not biting. Surprising very few along 19MB and only bothersome when stopped. |
|Lost and Found:
||Didn't lose anything that I noticed and found nothing. Noticed there were several items at 19MB kiosk.
||Stayed as far north as possible and basically stayed on the access road on the ski slopes. Road is mostly dirt with rocks entire width with a few sections that just two tire ruts with grass in between. Footing generally good. Damp to wet ground but little mud or standing water. No difficulties ascending other than it is pretty steady moderate grade with only a few short breathers and a few very steep pitches, but looked like descending would result in some slipping and sliding (could be wrong). Some of the trail signs had names other than Polecat, so not really sure which trails I actually used. (Not a skier, so ski trail signs are confusing to me.)|
I did do the extra mileage to get to E for sentimental reasons (removed from prior lists when D discovered to be higher). Many steep climbs over wet rocks along entire ridge. I lost grip at least once on every ascent and descent along the ridge, but fortunately no mishaps, but pace was cut in half due to extreme caution in making foot placements. Several areas required scrambling for me, old person with aging knees, no hip flexibility and prone to slipping on wet rocks.
In between the rocky climbs were endless mud pits and water bogs, fortunately most with bog planks or rocks to hop. Most rocks were wet, making the rounded, slanted and pointy ones more interesting.
Since there were too many opportunities for bad things to happen along the wet, slippery ridge, I decided to descend from A to 19MB, although 19MB also has some challenges, but definitely no scrambles and a much easier grade. Still 19MB has its share of wet rocks and roots and streambed trail sections.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.