Bob and I did The Backbone. It took almost five hours from car to summit and we topped out right on top of the summit of Lincoln. We missed the rest of the gang, but we had a glorious day out and worked our little fannies off. Since you've all seen the 'Bone from Franconia Ridge I'll spare you the blow-by-blow and get straight to the fun stuff (when Bob posts comments or emails me I'll include his report here as well). Pics are posted here.
- Treeline is pretty high up - probably close to 4600'.
- The snow was deep in spots, and progress often slowed to zero as we tried to gain purchase over deep traps. Twice we had to basically take a deep breath and just push on through. tMail, this was a LOT like we saw on Carrigain, except without the ice. The trees had dry snow on them that easily shook off, but no ice.
- As we worked our way up, we soon noticed that as we zig-zagged it was taking less and less time to reach points where the ridge dropped steeply either north or south.
- By 3500' or so we found that we could look left or right and see that the the ridge dropped steeply away.
- A little above 4000' Bob noticed that if we looked straight ahead (and up) that we could see the ridge drop steeply to the right (south) with our right eyes and to the left (north) with our left eyes without shifting our glance.
- Around 4300ft we hit a notch or saddle that dropped down at least 6' in elevation and was only about 50' long. On the other side it rose as steep as Lion's Head... almost intimidating.
- Just before we got above treeline we had to skirt the left (north) edge of the ridge in Bob On The Edge
order to avoid getting trapped in the trees. The pic at right is looking down on Bob's head. The snow in front of him is a drift that drops off at least 1000' into Lincoln's Throat. We were holding onto trees about 4ft from the edge. Click on it to zoom and take a good look. We were right on the edge.
- Above treeline, the ridge was so narrow we had a few puckers. PM, the jumble of rocks you and I noticed on Tyler Day (which we thought we'd have to climb over rather than around) had to be climbed over, rather than around. 'Around' would've been foolhardy on the south side and stupidly dangerous on the north. Luckily the rocks we had to climb were not ice covered there or we wouldn't have made it. There was enough hard ice to make us careful, but in general we had pretty good traction.
From Bob: Certainly a nice day for a walk in the woods. Mutha Z you were a machine grinding up the bushwack. Not a route for a poor visability or really windy day, but a great route. I left big cheese-its every 18 steps, so we should be able to retrace our route. You could go down, but I prefer to have my face into hill and not see earth falling away everywhere I look.