Got an early start up Polecat Trail at Wildcat (too early it turns out, paid my $10 trail use fee to Wildcat when I came down but got lectured for hiking outside their "open" hours which start at 8:30. Wouldn't have chosen this route had I known ahead of time about their hour restrictions. Getting a late start is the one thing I always avoid when winter hiking during these short days). Wildcat ridge is now hard as a rock after weekend thaw. Pretty uneven surface. Carried snowshoes but they were unusable due to the hugely uneven frozen surface. Booted in microspikes the whole way with no issues. Descent into and out of Carter Notch both ways would be extremely treacherous without good traction. Carter Moriah Trail to the Dome was frozen and got pretty hammered by bare-booters over the weekend. Lots of deep frozen post holes. Had to tip toe through some sections, but not too big a deal. Will take quite a bit of snow to even out the trail surface. Jeb W-B