A Beautiful Day On The Bonds . . . Bondcliff, Bond, & West Bond

Date of Hike: 1/23/16

Lincoln Woods Trail: 2.9 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 7.9 miles / West Bond Spur: 1.0 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 7.9 miles / Lincoln Woods Trail 2.9 miles
Total Miles: 22.8 (4,912 elevation gain)  Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Trip Report:
- Saturday I woke up early and drove south to Lincoln to take advantage of another stellar winter weather day in the White Mountains for one of my all time favorite hikes, an out and back of the Bonds.
- Just like my last few posts I'll start this one off by stating that this winter has been extremely tame as snow levels have remained ridiculously low in the higher elevations, reminds me of 2012, so I felt like I was stealing these peaks again, which is fine by me after last year and the brutally cold, windy, and snowy conditions!
- An out and back of the Bonds does not start off with a bang, it starts off with a mellow five mile flat walk over the Lincoln Woods and lower end of the Bondcliff Trail to Camp 16.  The trail then gradually heads uphill for four miles, with one short steep burst mixed in.  So even though it takes nine miles to break above treeline, it's not too tough and is a pleasant walk in the woods.
- Before popping up into the alpine zone, there is one small scramble the trail heads up, which was covered with snow over a layer of ice.  Because of the ice I was unable to negotiate the scramble in my bareboots or microspikes so I had to detour around and up through the scrub emerging to the first big view of the day.
- Over the next mile I enjoyed the phenomenal above treeline views between Bondcliff and Mount Bond.  This stretch of hiking is probably one of the top three areas for continuous views in the White Mountains, the others would be the Franconia Ridge and the Presidential Range.  The Bondcliff Trail travels by the cliffs of Bond into a col and then makes its way up to Mount Bond high above the Hellgate Ravine as the 'Monster' slides fall steeply from the southern ridge of West Bond across the ravine.
- Since snow levels are low, I had no issues of following the trail back into the scrub for that last few tenths of a mile up to the summit of Mount Bond.  Usually where the Bondcliff trail enters the scrub the snow is high enough that it covers the entrance back into the trail corridor making for some route finding but this is not the case so far this year making for easy navigating.
- From Bond I enjoyed the quick descent down towards Bond/West Bond/Guyot col, where I hooked onto the West Bond Spur and easily made my way up to the very windy summit of West Bond.  I ran into Jesse and Philip on the way, they were doing a speed hike of Hale/Zealand/Bonds and were motoring right along.  They are two of the more stronger hiker/ultra runners in the Whites and I always enjoy seeing the big mile hike/runs they are able to complete in any month of the year.
- I made it to the summit of West Bond around lunch time but was unable to enjoy thew views because it was really windy so I had to hustle back down into the woods to warm up, refuel, relax, before retracing my tracks back to Lincoln Woods.
- As I headed back along the ridge I enjoyed the views and also ran into other hikers that I knew.  I ran into  Dennis, who is one of the best bushwhackers in the Whites and can locate old abandoned trails from the WWII era.  I also bumped into Jeff and Karine who were doing a two day Pemi Loop, and then I saw Franco who was really enjoying being on the Bonds on a perfect day!  It's always nice to see other hikers I know out there, especially when the weather breaks just right, everyone is full of smiles!

The old railroad grade along the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River

The short scramble below treeline

The Osceola's from above the scramble

Classic Bondcliff shot with West Bond, Bond, and Hellgate Ravine in view

Mount Garfield

The steep slides of West Bond

Mount Carrigain watches over the Pemigewasset Wilderness

Hancock Range, the 'Stinger' slide in view along with some visible haul/skidder roads cutting across the mountain

The bald summits of the Guyot's as seen from Mount Bond

West Bond from Bond

Presidential Range

Mount Monroe and Washington

Zoom-in  of Mount Washington

Bondcliff Trail

West Bond Spur

Redrock Ravine as seen from West Bond

Bondcliff from West Bond

Heading back up to Mount Bond

Bondcliff Ridge

Owl's Head and the Franconia Ridge

Mount Liberty and Flume with the southern tip of Owl's Head.  An old railroad grade is distinctly visible in this picture cutting across Owl's Head

Bondcliff and the Guitar slide

Guitar Slide

The Franconia Brook is just starting to freeze over


  1. What a day, outstanding photos. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, Anonymous! Glad you liked the pictures :)

  2. Nice running into you on a super day in a great location Chris. Totally agree; one of the top 3 areas in the Whites. Thanks for placing names with several features out there (slides, ravines etc.). Your photography is always appreciated and recaptures the thrill of being there that day. My best camera doesn't come close to the quality of your photos (close up of Washington for instance). Pass on a Thank You to Whitney here. Enjoy your site. Till next time. Happy Hiking!

    1. Hi Franco! It was great to run into you again out on the trails on such a perfect day to be out. Hope you have a great rest of the winter hiking and I look forward to bumping into you again!

      Take Care, Chris