Peak(s):  Mt. Lincoln  -  14,293 feet
Date Posted:  07/03/2022
Modified:  08/24/2023
Date Climbed:   07/03/2022
Author:  Split_the_FR
 Lincoln Amphitheater - Rock Slides & Scrambles   

Wanted to avoid the crowds this weekend on a trail less traveled and landed on taking Lincoln Amphitheatre up to Lincoln. Arrived at the Montgomery res trailhead and started up at 6:45.

The beginning of the trip, up the waterfalls and to the base of the amphitheater included some scrambles and difficult route finding. I opted to go far right of the falls, which ended up working out fairly well however this was the most technical part of the trip. I believe I departed from the initial trail about a hundred feet early however since most of the day would be spent off trail, I took what looked like the easiest way up. The ground was very muddy and rocks were wet on this section which didn’t help at all. I intersected with what seemed to be the recommended trail a few times, but continued to stay right of the falls.

Once I arrived at the top of the falls, I opted to take a right, through the glacier as I was already closer to that side. I crossed through the snow for about 50feet and back onto the rocks. The snow held well but i knew this wouldn’t be a preferred descent route as the temp was already rising rapidly. This wasn’t the last of the snow I would see on this route but there were only a couple other small snowfields after this. No traction devices were used or needed.

Up the falls and through the glacier, I was in the valley proper. I was ascending on the far right, or north side of the amphitheater. Most of the base of the valley consisted of boulder fields which were relatively easy to navigate. I continued up staying far right of the creek flowing on the other side of the amphitheater.

As I began to climb up and above the valley, the route finding became increasingly difficult and rocks increasingly more loose. I had become careful with every step as I was finding huge rocks that you can typically rely on would slide. This was some tough going.

As I continued grinding through the loose rocks, above the amphitheater at this point, I got startled by the sounds of a big rockslide behind me in the valley below. The slide was directly adjacent to where I had just been navigating the boulder fields. Since I was so high above the valley, I could only see debris in the air and small rocks falling from the east ridge of Lincoln however I could hear the sounds of massive boulders falling into the valley below. It was so loud. I don’t believe that the slide would have reached me just by looking at how weathered and sedentary the rocks I had been crossing were , but this is certainly an experience you’d like to avoid. I had noticed danger for rock slides on this route while researching it and noticed as soon as the valley came in to view that it would be a hazard.

Since I was so far right on my ascent, I did not gain the ridge of Lincoln until on a few hundred feet below the summit. I would advise anyone doing this hike to take a left directly after the first big cliff / falls and gain the ridge immediately (as recommended in the route description). I did this on the way down after looking at it from the summit and it was much easier.

I reached the summit at 9:05, I had not encountered anybody on the trip until then. It was pretty cold and crowded up there so after about 5 minutes I began my route down.

On the way down I was able to stay on the recommended route a bit easier; but even then , navigating the incredibly loose and slippery rocks was very difficult. I tried to make it through the base of the valley as quick as possible after seeing that rockslide a couple of hours prior. This is not easy terrain to navigate quickly through though. For future hikers, I’d recommend doing the opposite of what I did and hug the creek , on the south side of the valley while completing this route.

Once out of the valley, I knew I still had the most difficult part of the trip ahead - navigating down the falls. I tried to find the same route I took up but ended up staying closer to the falls, which seemed to be the recommended route. Between the mud and the slippery rock, getting down was slow and difficult. I wish I took a photo of this zone though because it is definitely cool. There are a bunch of rock shelves that require small, exposed moves.

I got back to the car at 11:15 as coming down took a good bit of time. Awesome route though besides the rock slides, I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a.challenge!!

Comments or Questions
Great Route
07/04/2022 09:21
Great way to avoid the crowds. Those falls were very beautiful. I climbed up the slabs on the right of the valley and went up that ridge all the way to the top. Just like you, I saw no one til the summit. The mine ruins along that ridge were very interesting. Fun day!

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