The Bonds 3/19/2017 via Lincoln Woods trailhead
Random Group of Hikers, party of four. We did an out-and-back to the three Bond peaks, perfect weather in the low 30s, sunny skies. We skied in on the Lincoln Woods Trail and lower Bondcliff Trail flats, dropped skis & put ski boots in a plastic bag, then hiked up to the peaks, reverse procedure on the way out. The flats on Lincoln Woods were firmly packed in the center and less so on the edges, a little slippery but decent enough skiing with just a slight rise. Bondcliff flats were somewhat less packed with a few stream blow-outs that required some skiing gymnastics and/or ski removal to cross. We had spikes on for the uphills of Bondcliff Trail near the base, then switched to snowshoes. On the way out just used the spikes entire way. Surface was poorly consolidated but firm. About 1' deep or less below to a couple feet deep just below treeline. Lots of branches in the face on the upper treed parts of Bondcliff Trail. Unevenly tracked out sidehills were like walking in a funhouse. Mid and lower water crossings were open, upper ones still frozen over. No trouble with crossing. Above treeline was very bony but still enough ice to use spikes. No need for crampons. There were some of the usual herd path digressions from the true trail, for a short stretch on the ascent of Bond and moreso along the West Bond Spur route. Snowshoes from Bond to W. Bond and back. We followed the existing tracks and did not attempt to parse the true trail where it was lost. Snow was eyeball deep on the north side of Bond but, again, tracked out firm but loose on the path. Passed five other hikers exiting south on the same day. Skiing out was a breeze--there were long stretches on Lincoln Woods where I could just pole myself along effortlessly without even moving my legs. I used wide skis with simple 3-pin tele bindings. Some members of the group fared less well with nordic packages which are being billed (for some reason) as "back-country" at local rental establishments. Inevitably, whenever I tell folks about the benefits of using skis on trips like this (with lots of long, boring flats), I get skepticism, even from folks who have skiing experience. I'm perpetually puzzled by that. I'm a crappy skier but doing it another way would be like hating fun and embracing boredom.
Photos pending: