No. 20: WILDCAT, N.H.
207” Average annual snowfall
Toughen up, buttercup. Wildcat ain’t no place for “posers or fluffy boats,” mutters one regular. This no-frills,
classic skier’s mountain doesn’t mollycoddle. Surrounded by White Mountain National Forest, Wildcat can be cold and windy, lacks on-site lodging, and has a back-to-basics base lodge that begs for updating. Then again, who needs sizzle when you have steak? Satisfied regulars prefer assets over amenities.
The mountain’s 2,112-foot sustained vertical delivers “long runs and spectacular scenery [No. 1],” with in-your-face
views of Mount Washington.
It’s “rustic, beautiful, and challenging” with terrain
ranging from the “best top-to- bottom green circle in the East” to “hardcore off-piste.” (No. 8 in Terrain Variety, 10 in Challenge.) Readers love the bottom-to-top express quad but do wish there were another way to access
the summit on wind-hold days. “Great skiing soul.” —H.N.
Rants and Raves
“Exactly as advertised: cold, challenging, and great views. A little investment in snowmaking and grooming, and it would be hard to beat.”
Polecat winds an easy 2.75 miles from summit to base with Mount Washington for eye candy around nearly every bend.
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge, just two miles from
Wildcat’s base, offers shared accommodations and meals, making it easy to catch first tracks on a powder morning.
Top 3 Strengths
Scenery (No. 1)
Terrain Variety (No. 8)
Value (No. 9)
Top 3 Weaknesses
On-Mountain Food (No. 23)
Dining (No. 23)
Lodging (No. 22)