Diva Safari, Day #9: Wildcat

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 01/30/13 •  3 min read

This weather. What can I say.

The Diva Safari has seen it all. We started out in the ice box, braving temperatures well below zero, and now we’re into spring skiing. In January.

Last night we had freezing rain. Then today it went into the 40’s, with plenty of fog.

No one can call the Divas quitters, though we are down by one. RachelV had to head back to Colorado. Sniff. G’bye, Rachel. It’s been soooo much fun.

So that leaves us with three. Three Divas, three more mountains: Wildcat (today), Mount Abram tomorrow, and Saddleback on Friday. And then we head home.

First, a word about last night’s accommodations. Attitash (another ski resort in New Hampshire) and Wildcat are owned by the same company, who kindly put us up at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel. (We didn’t ski Attitash, but it looks like a great mountain. I’ll definitely come back). This is a huge resort hotel right at the base, and looks like a great place for a family vacation, no matter what time of the year. We had comfortable accommodations in connecting rooms and a great dinner in the pub. Thanks, Attitash!

But our heart was set on skiing Wildcat, so Wildcat is was. After all, Wildcat is consistently rated by SKI Magazine as one of the most scenic ski areas in the east.  The mountain is located in the famous Pinkham Notch, with views of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the east, and the snowy Tuckerman’s Ravine.

If only it wasn’t entirely socked in. Sadly enough, you can see in the image above what the mountain looked when we pulled in this morning.

This is how the trails looked, once we got up top:

But we are intrepid. We stuck it out, anyway. And am I glad we did! Even with limited terrain and fogged in views, Wildcat is amazing. I’d love to be here when the weather’s better, because we still had a wonderful time. The trails are classic old school New England — narrow and winding — and they’re nice and long. Just the way I like them.

Occasionally we got a hole in the clouds and the fog lifted a bit, and we were able to catch a glimpse of the rugged White Mountains around us. Truly, it almost looks like you’re skiing out west:

But this is how the view is supposed to look, on a clear day:

Another view from today, in a different direction:


Here are some stats, for those who are interested:

Skiable Acreage: 225 acres includes wide groomed trails, glades, bumps, steeps and tree skiing
Trails and Terrain Parks: 49 trails, 1 terrain park
Summit Elevation: 4,062 feet
Elevation Base: 1,950 feet
Vertical Drop: 2,112 feet
Average Annual Snowfall: 200 inches
Snowmaking: 90% Coverage

I loved Wildcat. It’s an old school sort of place. No slopeside lodging, so sushi bar, no fancy-schmantzy anything. Just terrific skiing on great terrain. One concession to modern times that I do like: the lightning fast Wildcat Express quad, which takes you to the summit in only 6 minutes. There are three other lifts, but these are pretty slow. In fact, only one of them was open today. I don’t blame the mountain for that, though. Other than a few other hardy souls, it was pretty empty.

Wildcat has a reputation as being a challenging mountain, but don’t let that keep you away. There’s plenty here for all abilities, with plenty of charm to burn.

Tomorrow (unless we’re totally rained out): Mount Abrams.


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