Wildcat Mountain remains a classic among New England ski areas, providing a glimpse of the sport's heritage and roots while continuing to resonate with a core market that simply comes to ski and ride.
It was the summer of 1933 that the depression-born civilian conservation corps, armed with axes and cross-cut saws, started clearing the Wildcat trail, one of the first ski racing trails built in the United States. Designed by Charley Proctor, the all-around ski champion of Canada in 1927, it was designated as a class "A" racing trail.
The decision to develop a modern ski area on Wildcat Mountain was influenced by a few factors. Tremendous annual snowfall, high elevation, and northern exposure assuring a long ski season. Then there was the possibility of year-round recreational development. Of course, the spectacular scenery that surrounds Wildcat, including eye-level views of Tuckerman Ravine and Mt. Washington directly across Pinkham Notch, played a role as well!
Among the group that dreamed, planned, and finally built the ski area were Brooks Dodge and George Macomber, both of whom had raced many times on the famous old Wildcat Trail. These two men, each of whom had raced on two U.S. Olympic teams, were joined by Malcolm McLane and William Beal in shaping the first plans for the development of Wildcat Mountain Ski Area. A corporation was formed, capital obtained, and before you knew it the first T-bar was ready to roll. Only a few weeks later, and with appropriate ceremonies and fanfare, the first Gondola passengers were carried all the way to the top of the Mountain. Wildcat had entered the "Big Time" as one of the major ski areas in the United States.