Wildcat 12/30/13

Last minute audible from my plans of skiing Attitash today. Once I got to North Conway and there was a slight drizzle, I decided to head up to higher elevation and ski Wildcat. I hoped the snow would be drier up there and I also didn't want to deal with what were likely major holiday week crowds at Attitash. I definitely picked right in terms of crowds. The main lot only filled to about 80% and the lifts were essentially ski on all day. Kind of sad for a Holiday week with a foot of fresh snow. I enjoyed the lack of crowds, but it's clear that people have been scared off from Wildcat this early season due to low trail counts compared with other areas. By 2PM the parking lot was only half full.

Wildcat got about a foot of fresh dry snow. It was pretty windy up there which was good in that there were some nice drifts, but bad in that a lot of the snow got blown off the trails in certain places. That foot of fresh fell on essentially zero base, so while it was a ton of fun, it was fairly sketchy. My bases took a beating, but I don't care much about that. The day started with only the trails they made snow on open (12), but by late morning they had dropped the ropes on all or parts of 40 trails.

Upper Polecat was open on Natural only, but they did have guns placed out on it. It and Upper Lynx got beat to hell pretty quickly. Lower Polecat and Tomcat had small whales and hadn't been groomed out yet. Catapult and especially Middle/Lower Wildcat was all boiler plate underneath the fresh and got skied off real fast. After the first couple of hours, it really wasn't worth it to head to the summit. So, I spent most of my day skiing off the Tomcat lift as the best snow on the hill was on Cougar and Catenary, both skied really nice. The Bobcat lift didn't spin all day and was listed as "On Hold". I'm not sure if it's mechanical or they just didn't see the need to run it, but it would have been nice to have the lower lift available on that side of the mountain too as the skiing was so much better down low. The snowcat triple was also down for a length of time.

I bet within a couple of days, Wildcat's trail count is going to plummet again if this storm doesn't pan out. They really need to get 12-18 inches to be able to groom it out and set up a base over much of the mountain. It's pretty clear they're not going to go crazy with the snowmaking. I think that's more a budget issue than mechanical. I say this because it's rather puzzling that they didn't blow other areas of the mountain when they had the pipe issue with polecat.

All and all it was pretty darn fun today. Not epic, but probably a better experience for my tastes than what I would have gotten at Attitash. I had to ski a lot more conservatively than I typically do, but still had many deep turns and there were some good bumps in places.

Pics:

Tomcat Schuss:


Only ventured into the trees once. Pretty good, but I was leary of the low base to spend much time in there especially skiing alone today.



Upper Wildcat



Obligatory Mount Washington photo



Closer Up

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