Thursday, February 9, 2017

Attempt of Wildcat A, 2/6/2017

***We are pleased to announce that we will be fundraising over the coming years for Union of Concerned Scientists.  As citizens of this planet and students of science, we fear for the future of our environment.  The Trump administration seems neither to understand the science behind the threat nor care about the welfare of future generations.  We strive to do our part to support science-based research and education concerning climate change so that We The People might give ourselves and future generations the chance to enjoy continuous clean water and habitable environments, regardless of the actions/inactions of the current United States Powers That Be.

We are meeting with the good people at UCS this month.  After that, we will write more about our plans and actions.  In the meantime, please visit the UCSUSA website to learn more about who they are and what they do, and DONATE...because it certainly looks like science and the procurement of real knowledge will be more and more dependent on public, and not governmental, support over the next four years.***


I usually post trip reports Thursday morning; this snowstorm, however, necessitated a change in our travel and extracurricular plans so we could avoid getting caught in a blizzard.  This means we had to change things around in our schedule, so I will write my weekly trip report on Saturday instead of this morning. 

In the meantime, here is a photo of Sage crossing the slide on Wildcat A.  We did NOT make the summit this time -- which is extremely rare for us...I think we have turned back before reaching a summit less than five times over the course of seven years -- but it was still a great hike and it is always important to remember that safety comes first.

I'll have more on Saturday morning.  In the meantime, stay warm and safe.  And -- here are some great links to check out.  Please help save our environment!

(almost) Wildcat A
about 6.3 miles round-trip
Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail
2822 feet of elevation gain

We started off expecting a fairly simple hike; Wildcat A is not long, and the trail is usually clear enough to follow because there is Carter Notch Hut nearby and many people visit it.  The temperature was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside, but the wind chill was much colder, which was why we chose a sheltered mountain to ascend.

I had high spirits as the chilly breeze brushed past my face and swirled up into the air. 

We had about two miles of flat trail to begin with...

A nice bridge to brighten the day!

Still on the flat part!

The snow was mostly firm (we left footprints, but nothing deeper).

A little animal left perfectly straight footprints leading into the woods.

The trail finally got a bit steeper.

We arrived at the intersection with a new white sign and an older sign.

Continuing up after some quick delayering stops...

There was the summit!  It looks so close...

We got to another intersection...

...and attempted the final push to the summit.  Even with snowshoes on, we moved slowly; the trail was no longer packed due to large drifts.  The path was slippery with deep plunges into the snow with each step.  Even though these were not ideal trail conditions, we could handle the challenge.  The real issue came when it was no longer apparent which way the trail went.  We lost sight of any blazes and it was difficult to know where the trail actually was.  We tried to keep going up in the direction of the summit, but we spent a long time trying to get there.  Our limbs ached from grabbing onto tree branches, our hands gradually felt colder, and our feet were sore from struggling through the heavy snow.  It was very steep, and we kept slipping.  We are used to hard work and feeling tired, but the fatigue we all experienced here was more than usual; eventually we decided it would be better to unfortunately turn around this time than to keep going and risk our safety.  Sometimes it is the better choice to turn around.
The trees' shadows intermingled and became one mass of lines and blurs on the tinted snow beneath my feet as we hiked down.

We stopped by a fast food place before going home...just this once!  The milkshake was tasty. 

Having to turn back when you are so close to the top isn't ideal, but sometimes it is important to push your ego away and realize when it is time to try for the summit a different day. 

There is a blizzard coming, so we may or may not have a chance to hike again this week.  Hopefully we can get out there soon!  If so, then I will have a trip report by Wednesday night or Thursday morning.  Stay warm!

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