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Return Trip to Wildcat D 4062’ and Wildcat A 4422’

8.4 miles 3350’ Elevation gain

Joey, Dan, Kevin and Emma

As it turned out Jude’s brother Dan was poised to get his 47th and 48th 4000 footers and was ready to make the attempt. Jude decided to sit this one out and give her ankle a chance to heal, so accompanied by Joey, Emma and I we set out to get Dan’s list finished. This time we decided to tackle the hike a little differently. Instead of hiking across Wildcat D all the way to Wildcat A then retracing our steps we left a car at the parking area of Nineteen Mile Brook Trail.This way we could ascend Wildcat D from the Glen Ellis Falls parking area, cross the Wildcats and descend to the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail and hike out, rather than returning across the Wildcats to descend. This proved to be a good way of doing the hike. The Wildcat Ridge Trail crosses the Glen Ellis River and ascends steeply over rocky out crops. Moving slowly so as not to over work Dan we soon stop for a break. Dan complains of pain in his shoulder and combined with his heavy sweat I am now worried we have hiked him into a heart attack. I am going over CPR in my mind and asking Joey if he can run back to Pinkham Notch for help, but Dan insists he is OK and after a rest we start off again. It turns out Dan had never used a hiking stick before and the pain in his shoulder was from pushing with the stick on the steep inclines. This was good news but he sure had me worried when it began. As we rose up above Pinkahm Notch we also rose above the heavy fog which filled the valley and the surrounding mountains became visible making the task of scrambling over the rocks more pleasant as we now had spectacular views to take in. The sun was bright, the weather warm and it was a great day for a climb. Eventually we crossed the top of the Wildcat Ski Area and up to the viewing platform at the true summit of Wildcat D. The views across Pinkham Notch to the ravines on Mount Washington were outstanding. From here we still had to cross several smaller summits to Wildcat A high above the Carter Notch Hut. We eventually made it across and up to Wildcat A which is a wooded summit. There is a short side trail to an outlook high above Carter Notch and from here we can see massive Carter Dome and the tiny Carter Lakes below it, almost dry now from the lack of rain this past summer. As we start the descent we get views north toward the Carters and down into the Nineteen Mile Brook Valley where the changing of the seasons is becoming obvious by the array of color visible in the foliage. We are soon down to the intersection with the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail which leads us gently down the valley back to Dan’s Jeep parked along Rte.16. After spending much of his adult life pecking away at his list of 4000 footers, Dan has finally made his way across the summits of all of them. Unfortunately he is too tired to care right now. I am just thankful we didn’t give him a heart attack doing it. Now back to Jude and Emma’s lists.
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