There is a low-walled, roofed rock shelter near the summit (in fact, Sebastian and co. had been contemplating camping in it). It looked like the remnants of some more proper building, now reconfigured into a basic shelter. I had a look around inside, and didn't find it too appealing. For one, the floor is not especially even, making setting up a comfortable place to sleep difficult. Secondly, there isn't a lot of headroom. But, it would certainly do in a pinch.
Final look at southeast ridge
Although we were in no rush, we eventually decided to head on back down. This we did in a leisurely fashion, enjoying the expansive views on the upper open slopes. Once down in the trees, we re-passed Sebastion and co.
When we got back to the upper trail re-route, I decided to split from Jenn and Brian and quickly take the 'old trail' through the firewarden's cabin clearing, so that I could (a) get a GPS tracklog of the old trail, and (b) get a few shots of what the clearing now looked like. We agreed to meet back up at the lower joining of the re-route section and the original trail.
The clearing is still there, but there isn't much of the burnt out cabin left. It appears as if most of the debris has been cleaned up. After a few snaps, I quickly hurried along the trail, meeting back up at the re-join point with Brian and Jenn pretty much as they did.
The rest of the way back was along that same bit of almost level, perfect path -- which made for easy, concentration-free hiking. I stopped and took some time to set up some long exposure shots of the beautiful little mossy cascades that occasionally crossed the trail.
Looking down Norton Brook
An hour of leisurely walking brought us back to the trailhead. Back down at these lower elevations it was quite warm again, and we decided -- as we were driving back down the bumpy road towards the highway -- that we should cool off with a swim. We stopped at the 1st bridge crossing of Rapid Stream and went swimming in the quite deep section directly underneath the bridge. The water was a bit cool, but most refreshing. Swimming under the bridge also gave us a closeup look at that collapsing bridge buttress. It seems stable at the moment, but if it were to get worse, I wouldn't be surprised if the bridge became impassable.
Refreshed and cleaned off from our swim, we drove the rest of the way back to highway 27, then north back to Stratton and the White Wolf Inn.
Interactive Trackmap with photo points - Mt Abraham Climb - click map to view
Mt Abraham via Firewarden's Trail - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet