While I have recently posted some updates around my life, I haven’t posted about any of my recent hikes (and you all know I’ve been up to some serious hiking). I won’t post about every single recent hike but I will be sharing some recaps from a few top hikes this summer.
The Wildcats: 2 peaks on the NH 4000 footer list (Wildcat A and Wildcat D) with 3 peaks (B, C, and E) not being “official” 4K list makers because they lack the elevation loss/gain needed to meet list requirements. Dang rules.
Amanda had just returned back from her trip to Hawaii and we chose this hike on the basis that it wasn’t uber long and we both loved it when we hiked it back in fall of 2016. I was really pumped because this meant I was going to get the peaks in another season – summer. I’m working on two lists right now – finishing the 4000 footers (even though I’ve now repeated 27 of them tehe) and hiking all of the peaks in each season!
The drive to this hike is about 2 hours, while not short, it’s not the longest either! We decided to stop for coffee at one of our favorite local coffee shops to fully caffeinate ourselves for the drive (and hopefully hike!). One thing I’ve been dealing with the past few months now is car sickness. It’s something I’ve dealt with on/off but used to really only happen when sitting in the back seat. Well, I pretty much have to be driving now for it to not happen. What’s up with that?! Silly belly. I think I may have been just having a bad day though because I felt off for most of the hike.
There are a couple of route options for this hike and we choose the same approach as the first time, creatures of habit I suppose. It’s also the quickest, read: steepest. Our hike started out at Glen Ellis Falls which has you cross the river as the first part of the trail. When the water levels aren’t too high it’s fairly rock hoppable if you’ve got good balance! From this point, it’s a moderate to steep climb right off the bat and for most of the trip up to E peak. The route we picked has you head up E peak first, then D, C, B, A. Although to be honest, C and B are really hard to distinguish because they are wooded and there are A LOT of ups and downs along the Wildcat Ridge Trail WRT between E and A. Once at E peak we continued for a hop and skip to D peak which is very obvious once you’ve arrived because there’s a lookout tower on top!
At this point, a bulk of the hike was more open areas and a fair amount of exposure, especially on the steeper scrambles of E peak. But heading from D peak to A peak is a mainly wooded trail that continuously rises and falls over the “lesser peaks”. On the way to A peak, there was a lot of excitement, but also the occasional comment about how many downhills there were and how they would be uphills on the way back! I kept seeing bees, which no thankfully I’m not allergic, but had a bad experience with them on a hike a while back (we walked over a nest in the ground and got stung a bunch!), so I’m
somewhat super hesitant.
Last time we hiked the Wildcats we had utilized this cool rock that kind of makes the perfect chair for a photo-opt… whelp, we obviously had to do the same this time. Mind you, this chair rock I speak of, it’s on the edge of a clif. #liveontheedge ? I’m safe I promise. Pinky promise. But c’mon.
The official summit is in a wooded spot right near this lookout area (where I’m sitting on my throne 😉 ) and is marked by a small cairn. After making sure to visit the official marker we began our way back to the car. I will say, while I love all hiking, I’m a big fan of traverses and loop hikes as opposed to out and backs. It just changes it up versus seeing the same trail twice. At least it’s from a different direction though!
The return trip was mainly uneventful. I kept asking Amanda how many more “ups” there were. The answer? A lot. I do feel like the trip back to D peak from A is faster than from D to A… which makes zero sense but I remember thinking this the first time we hiked the Wildcats too! The river crossing I gave up on, which was planned because it was so hot and humid out. Why rock hop when you can walk right through it!!!! Well, in the summer months of course! No walking through rivers in the dead of winter.
I eventually want to hike/run the entire Wildcat Carter Moriah traverse, classified as one of the White Mountain death marches… how lovely. So this was another reason for this hike – I wanted to see the Wildcats again before embarking on the much longer trip!
Overall I loved this hike as much as I did the first time! I think I can say that for almost all of the repeats I’ve done to this point. Even though I had already experienced the summits and trail, the day was new and therefore a new adventure was to be had!
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” – Susan Cain