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courtesy RHanel
Topping out, first section
Just snowy steepness here
We very shortly caught up to the three person team at the second ice climbing section. We could see that the two french guys had managed to bypass the team of three, and they just crested the top of the climb and headed up out of sight. The team of three then set about climbing the ice themselves. It soon became apparent that we would be waiting here for quite a while.
Roland Practices
Hahnelman again
The team of three
courtesy RHanel
Hangin' around
After about thirty minutes of waiting around, my toes were starting to feel the effects of inactivity, requiring much wiggling and jumping, and I was glad at the 45-minute mark to finally see the last climber in the team ahead crest the top of the ice. Let's go!
Our turn
Second Climb
Belaying us up
This section of ice was harder than the first section, but still on the easy side of things in the world of ice climbing. We opted to use two technical tools for each climber on this section, and so Roland went up with his two, then I went next with Caroline's two technical axes. At the top, I attached them to the rope behind me and slid them down to Jenn, the next one on the rope. Roland had set up a more formal belay for this somewhat harder climb, and we all came up in sequence (instead of using a running belay).

It took about 40 minutes for the four of us to get up over this step of ice (less quick than I had hoped). And, as it turned out, this step was the hardest part (technically) of the whole climb.

Time was getting on, and we were still less than halfway up to the summit. We needed to increase our average speed if we were going to get to the summit before dark.
Upper Dike
Up to the exit point
Looking back down.
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
Knobbly ice
Climbers across from us
Above the second step of ice, the dike was almost completely a steep snow climb. I remembered several scrambly steps from the summer, but they were all fully filled in with snow now. We plodded up to the point where the route exits onto the slab. What would the conditions be like on the slab, I wondered? It was a far more exposed place than the narrow confines of the dike.

The exit from the dike onto the slab also normally (in summer) involves a short climb. Again, today the snow was right up to the edge of the slab and it was no issue to simply hike up and out of the dike.
The Exit
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