Salty's Little Wildcat Mtn Trip Reports

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Hiking Dates

06/23/2012

08/15/2009


Date Climbed: 06/23/2012

Distance: 3.2 miles

Low Elevation: 1657 feet
High Elevation: 3340 feet
Elevation Gain: 1683 feet
Elevation Loss: 1683 feet

Start Location: Glen House
Finish Location: Glen House
Route: Direct line to summit, slabbing south around steeps, east to summit, return similar.

Weather: Sunny to partly sunny, warm
Companions: NewHampshire, HardcoreIdiot, JustJoe, Desi

Photos: http://saltynh.smugmug.com/Hiking2012/Little-Wildcat-23-JUN-2012

Another day for a NH3k finish, this time for Greg. Greg, who started the list 2 years after me, and blew right on by. That's amazing to do the NHHH and NH3k in only 2 years. Bravo!

Greg's finish was Little Wildcat, a short and relatively easy whack as long as you don't mind some steepness, so Desi joined in the usual crew. After some discussion of routes, Greg chose the direct route from Glen House, the route I had taken before. Signalling the weirdness that would come, I actually showed up a half-hour early, and Greg was a touch late. That gave me some time to take some pictures of the awesome view across the street.

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We went up a little road beside the barn and ran into some brush, then finding a ski trail which we followed until it went off in the wrong direction. From there, it was open woods with some hobblebush here and there. The usual antics were in play, Joe bitching about everything, us putting down Joe. We took it nice and slow for Desi's sake, and the steepness and heat weren't exactly pushing me to move quickly anyway. The bugs weren't too bad today. They were out, but no need for bug dope. It was getting warm however.



We kept finding evidence of old logging roads, but as logging roads generally do, they slab the slope instead of taking you up. Around 2600', the woods started changing to softwoods, but were still open enough. Joe and Brian went off in a more direct line to the summit, while I stuck with Greg and Desi as he slabbed south around the steepest stuff. It did get steep enough eventually and we'd hit the occasional ledge, which we got around easily enough. One final push and we hit the open plateau. I stopped and asked Greg if he smelled something. Like me, he said food. A second whiff a little later and I swore it was hot dogs. This kept happening and I was getting psyched that maybe, just maybe, Joe and Brian were at the summit cooking up some dogs. Yeah!

We arrived at the summit to no Brian and Joe, but a stuffed cat and a mooning lawn gnome. OK, they were hiding. And no hot dogs. What the hell had we smelled? So with a few more steps, Greg was done with the NH3k's. A big grin broke out on my face, as I (almost) knew all he had accomplished to be here today. A lot of beautiful woods, surprise views, a fair bit of horrible woods, diverse conditions, lots of driving. Good days, bad days.



And so came out the Gifts of Stupidity. The best one was Brian's chicken head. Greg is a lover of all food chicken. I had spaced getting something, so I dug out my rubber chicken and bequeathed it as Greg's mascot. Brian had his mooning lawn gnome, now Greg has a clucker. Joe contributed a funny shirt playing off Greg's moniker.



It was comfortably warm on the summit, so we lounged a bit before heading back. Greg, whose amazing ability to find open woods I've constantly extolled, led us into scrappy crap right away. Desi, not a bushwhacker, was making her displeasure known to our amusement. It didn't get any better and we were now stuck on the wrong side of a ridge and had to fight our way over, never coming out into good woods until around 2800'. Oh well, we all miss from time to time, but it was pretty funny it should happen on his finish. Through this I realized I lost my cigarettes. Uh oh, this can't be good. I jokingly warned Greg if he screwed up again I'd probably kill him out of sheer nicotine withdrawal.

At 2600' we came back into the hardwoods and beelined it back to the car. A quick change, food plans were made, but I again wanted to get home in the afternoon, and I sped off to Gorham to the nearest convenience store. Ahhhh, better.

Now two of my buds have finished the NH3k. I'm very happy for them for obvious reasons, but also that they are now free to pursue whatever interests them. I never have, nor do I see the list as a burden, but my thoughts lately drift increasingly to all the other hiking things I want to do. At seven peaks left, that will come soon enough.


Date Climbed: 08/15/2009

Distance: 2.5 miles

Low Elevation: 1610 feet
High Elevation: 3350 feet
Elevation Gain: 1740 feet
Elevation Loss: 1740 feet

Start Location: Glen House
Finish Location: Glen House
Route: Straight bushwhack to Little Wildcat Mtn. and back

Weather: Sunny, hot
Companions: Marc Howes

Photos: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/574160952yxtMbH

A slightly shorter than normal TR, with a shorter than normal hike. It was a 2 Ĺ hour bushwhack to and fro Little Wildcat, a 3k to the NW of Wildcat itself. Marc Howes invited me along, along with nearby Black Mtn., and maybe Paugus. I jumped at the chance to hike with Marc, forgetting along the way that I had to preferably pick someone up at 6 PM, and had to be back by 7 to yet again be the backup DJ (real fun standing in one spot after a hike). Oops. With a 2 Ĺ hour drive, this might be tight.

I pulled into Glen House amidst a sea of bicycles (the auto road bike race, yay). I spotted Marc and we were off in short order. It was moderate grades from the get-go, letting up eventually, but either Marc was being kind, or I was keeping up well. Marc took the initial lead, checking his compass far less often than I do. As it turns out, Marcís got an excellent built-in compass. Whenever I led, Iíd invariably end up right of our heading, to which Marc would gently correct me. I check my compass every couple of minutes, but too much of that couldíve added up. Usually I go in the other direction to correct when this happens, ya know, just to add some more mileage. Another advantage of whacking a lot is he was good at finding paths through the nasty bits. Iím more of a plow in a straight line kinda guy, but I noticed the energy-expenditure difference.

The woods are nice and open down low, and as he called it, we started seeing some moderately thick bands around 2800 ft. None of these lasted long, and the going was relatively easy and quick. As we got higher, the grade gets steeper, and we encountered a couple of small ledges, but they proved to be little problem with plenty of handholds. It was beautifully mossy up there. We came to a ledge and had a nice view of the Presiís. Love those surprise views on a supposedly viewless hike.

Iím generally a quiet guy when I first meet people, and the conversation was short but easy-going heading up. Might have had something to do with the huffing and puffing I was busy with. Coming down, the talk flowed a little more.

Up top, the woods are pretty open, and we travelled north along the summit ridge for a short time before Marc spotted the summit. Good thing, too, as I totally missed it as the only thing showing on the side we were on was a thin orange string. The last person up there was in June. I planned ahead and actually had something funny (to me, anyway) to add. Iím usually at a loss.

Coming down was quick, save for a few moss traps, Marc leading the whole way got us exactly to our starting point. Of course, in typical Salty fashion, my first mishap of the day was slipping and almost falling on the gravel road. No, not on the steep mossy ledges, but on a stupid road. Hilarity provided, thank you. Marc starting discussing heading up to Black, and I felt like a putz and had to back out. My legs were shaking pretty bad for some reason, and I had underestimated the length involved in the Black hike. It would probably also be pressing up against my must-go time. I asked if he was going to do it solo, and was relieved greatly when he said ďoh, yeahĒ. Phew, wouldnít be blowing his plans, but unfortunately wouldnít be providing any company.

A nice little whack, nice to meet Marc and observe his tactics. Sorry to bail, but as Iíve mentioned before, Saturdays are tough for me. Hopefully, thatíll be easing up shortly.