In order to somehow get to several dozen mountains in several weeks, I figured out awhile back I was going to have to double up whenever possible. So, Friday was one of those day and I think it might have been one of my favorite days ever. First was Wildcat in Pinkham Notch, NH and then Attitash in Bartlett, NH, so without further ado, the formal video introduction for Wildcat. I swear these get nerdier every time.
And now the review…
Location: Wildcat is about 2 hours and 45 minutes from the Manchester area, and there’s two main ways to get there. You can either take the scenic route up through Meredith, NH (Exit 23 off 93 North) or the more straightforward route, which takes you through Franconia Notch. Both have their pros and cons. The Meredith route can be plagued with traffic at times, but it has lots of places to stop along the way. The Franconia Notch route is breathtaking and a little quicker, but can be treacherous in bad weather and doesn’t have as many places to stop for gas or food. Either way, it’s a pretty drive! Cell phone reception can be a little spotty at times on both routes, but seemed pretty good at Wildcat!
Parking: Parking at Wildcat is easy. It’s a massive single lot and it doesn’t look like any spot can really be that far away from the lodge. So just park, go to the lodge. Simple, huh?
Ticket Counter/Guest Services: I don’t usually come across ticket counters or guest services that do something so out of the ordinary that I mention it, but Wildcat’s staff is worth mentioning. After asking if we had been there before, they highlighted on our map all the trails that were open, told us about some of the better routes of the day, and answered any and all questions. So very appreciated!
Price: Wildcat is one of the many mountains partnered up with Liftopia, so I got myself a nice $40 ticket for the day. On a normal day (Monday through Friday) tickets are $63 and weekends are $70, but be sure to check out their daily deals too! Another perk of a full day Wildcat ticket is that it’s transferrable to Attitash. Yep, transferrable. See, Wildcat and Attitash are brother-sister ski areas, so they share some pretty cool perks!
Lodge: I love a well laid out lodge that fits in with the mountain, so Wildcat made me happy. Entrance leads into ticket counter and guest services. Seating area is huge and surrounded by massive windows looking out on the patio and mountain. The flow just made sense and it felt cozy. Oh, and ample table and cubby space too.
Lifts: We spent our morning on the Wildcat Express which takes you take the summit in just about six minutes. It was in great condition, and I was amazed at the fact it could handle much higher winds than a lot of other resorts could. As mentioned in the video introduction, Wildcat is across from Mt. Washington, so it’s windy!
Trails: Overall, trails at Wildcat are phenomenal. They’re interesting beyond belief. Imagine getting off the lift, starting down this path with graceful pine trees lining the side, corduroy under your snowboard (or skis). Then you suddenly pop out on a wider trail, only to be funneled into a narrow hairpin turn that literally flings you out at top speed into a huge trail for massive carving potential. Ah, Wildcat. I can’t wait to come back again.
And now… the chicken tenders. So before I get into the review, a bit of a back-story here. While on my way up to Wildcat, I got in touch with snow reporter and Wildcat marketing extraordinaire Justin, who ended up taking our first run with us. I was originally planning on skipping the tenders at Wildcat and eating lunch at Attitash because seriously, how many tenders can I eat in one day?
Well, thanks the encouragement and hospitality of Justin (again, thank you), I decided to try the chicken tenders and fries at Wildcat. So, here it goes. The chicken tender basket included 5 chicken tenders for $7.25. We also decided to get a side of fries for an additional $2.75.
Now, I knew at some point I’d encounter chicken that was a little less traditional, so apparently Wildcat gets that honor. If you like McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (and I do – guilty pleasure that I don’t like admitting), than this chicken was for you. It was 5 chicken tender sized McNugget flavored pieces. However, I’d like to note that these actually appeared to be made of chicken, instead of whatever McDonald’s makes chicken out of. Was it worth eating? Yep.
The fries were delicious. They were cooked perfectly and had lots of flavor. Also helped that a side of fries was huge. I don’t think we even finished it!
Final Score: 3.25 out of 5 Tenders