I'm still not sure whether this mountain is more properly called "Mt. Kineo," or "Kineo Mountain." Since there is a Mount Kineo on the coast of Maine, in Acadia NP, I tend to thing that the latter is better. But, whatever it's to be called, after hiking up into Jones Park in previous summers, I decided that Kineo would be a good winter target.
I arrived at the Gold Camp Road parking lot/trailhead rather late in the day, about 2 pm. (Family obligations forbade any earilier start.) Although much of the rugged Seven Bridges Trail was covered in ice (in places it is a watercourse, and, of course, in winter, the water freezes!), I ran it as fast as I could manage. The lower parts are the worst.
Once above the ice, the trail was fairly easy to negotiate up to the lower reaches to Jones Park. Then began the route-finding section, trying to stay on the gentle and rounded west ridge of Kineo. I deliberately left tracks in the snow where I could, to aid my descent. After clambering over at least one false summit, I finally came up to the "back" side of the true summit, a rock outcropping easily visible from the valley below. An initial attempt to gain the summit by trudging up the scree slopes on the south side a couple of weeks before had ended in my giving it up as too much work.
I was happy, finally, to reach the summit, roughly one hour and fifteen minutes after leaving the trailhead. The day was fine and clear, but, as this was January, the sun was already sinking in the west, so, after a brief stay to enjoy the very nice view (especially to the east and southeast), I high-tailed it back down. A testament to the slipperiness of the ice covering the trail is that my time down was, almost to the minte, the same as my time up.
This climb reminded me of one of the reasons why I love climbing peaks above timberline so much: Below timberline, there is all this timber in your way! Still, it was a nice winter keep-in-shape climb, rewarded with a spectacular view. Short, but sweet.