The trail now climbed quite directly up the slope, more than making up for the long mostly-flat approach. The steepest section of trail-within-the-trees is the lower part, and higher up, the grade lessened. Over the course of about an hour, we climbed 1100 feet to the first of the views near treeline.
Shortly after the first very nice views north towards Sugarloaf, we came to treeline proper. Above us was a large and steep talus slope.
Appalachian Sign, but not Appalachian Trail
Looking back down on treeline
I knew about Abraham's summit talus, and I was expecting a somewhat tedious slog over loose rock. However, the firewarden's trail is actually decently cut into the talus in most places, and as a result there is not a lot of loose footing as long as you remain on the trail.
The steep aspect of the slope, the wide open views, and the pleasantly cool breeze made for a most enjoyable ascent. After about 500 feet of fairly steep climbing, the grade lessened. We also got our first glimpse of the summit from this point, easily recognizeable by the abandoned remnants of a fire tower.
Pretty section through tundra
As it nears the summit, the trail crosses a few patches of scrub and low trees, but mostly stayed in the open. We arrived at the summit proper at about 1pm. There was a group already on the summit (3 men and 2 boys), who very nicely welcomed us.
Mount Abraham marks my 114th '111er' peak. There was now only one peak left!
As was expected from such an open summit, we had nice views everywhere. The relatively haze-free day allowed us to see all of the surrounding 4000-footers of the Longfellow Range: Saddelback, the Horn, Spaulding, Redington, the Crockers, Sugarloaf -- even the more distant Bigelows.
Andrew and Brian on summit
After a bit of relaxation and lunch, I wandered a bit to the south-east to a small bump, where I could look down on Abraham's southeast ridge. Much of it is suprisingly open, even though much of it is below 4000 feet. The ridge even appeared to be cairned in places, and I wondered if there was an unofficial route that came up that way.
Looking back towards summit
Returning to the summit, I (well, we) said goodbye to Sebastian and his crew. They had been contemplating staying the night up at the summit, but chose instead to head back down to the backcountry campsite.
Abraham and other 4000-footers
Sebastian and Group head down