Maybe it's because it sits both literally and metaphorically in the shadow of Tuckerman Ravine. Or perhaps it's the dearth of base-area distractions (Wildcat is on federally managed land, and development is severely restricted). Whatever the case, Wildcat tends to get lost in the New England-resort shuffle. Shame, because it harbors some choice terrain. Of particular interest are the snowed-in creek beds of Tent City, Elevator Shaft, and Thompson Brook. Tight, twisting, steep, and off the beaten path, they're at once unique and classically Northeast. With the fastest quad in New Hampshire (it's a six-minute ride to the 4,100-foot summit) and sparsely populated slopes, vert junkies will have no trouble contracting a case of quiver-leg.
For a classic Eastern buzz run, point 'em down Al's Folly, a steep, twisty slice of bumps. To understand why Wildcat is different, traverse out to the narrow, unforgiving funnel of Thompson's Brook.
With a base elevation of nearly 2,000 feet, Wildcat gets its share. But it's also a cold, often-windy mountain, so dress accordingly and score blown-in freshies when everyone else retreats.
Motor south on Route 16 to the Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery (603-356-6381), where you can wash down plates of Tex-Mex with the fruits of brewmaster Will Gilson's labors.
"My dad used to tell me the car wouldn't steer to any other mountain. My car seems to have the same problem, probably because I'm still finding new stuff after 29 years."