Friday, August 29, 2014

Wildcats and Carters

Once through Pinkham Notch and the grandeur of the Presidentials behind, I started the final section of the White Mountain Nat. Forest which some believe to be to most rugged--over the Wildcat and Carter Ridges. The climb up Wildcat E is indeed really tough: 2800' of ascent that in places involves rocky scrambles and climbs with rebar steps. Ironically, the summit is crowded with tourists who took the easy way--the tram fro the ski slope on top of Wildcat.

The descent is just as steep into Carter Notch but the notch is really a beautiful and special place. The last of the huts is there and the notch walls seem to go almost straight up, nestling several high elevation ponds (that are popular for moose as well).


Carter Dome is another steep ascent and offers a wonderful view back toward the Presidentials. Fortunately the trail levels out for a bit going over the three peaks of Carter Mtn. but the final descent from North Carter was perhaps the steepest and most scary yet. I had chosen to slack pack this section to save my knees and was glad I did but it still was very slow going. I met Patty late on the trail and we hiked out on a side trail (Stony Brook) having to do the last hour by headlamp.

Fortunately, the next day was much easier, finishing off over Mt Moriah (another 4000 footer) and a gradual down to US2 and Gorham.

1 comment:

RICK STEFFEN said...

thats hardcore compared to me hiking in my flops.