Jon and I spent a pretty leisurely morning in the hut drinking coffee, by 10ish I was getting itchy and the temps were climbing 2 degrees and hour. We headed out the door with our minds on Road to Nowhere.
Conditions were great skiing up the river, then a short boot up the rocky hill, then skis back on then off and a steep boot pack to the base of the route. This is the most deceptive looking ice climb I've ever been on. My theory is the steeper the approach to the base, the less steep a climb will look, but it will feel much steeper always. The first pitch looks easily like a grade 2 solo.
Road to Nowhere
Jon was feeling generous because he's climbed this route many times so he let me have the lead on the first and third pitches. It didn't appear anyone had done the route recently because the ice was as smooth as glass, no features whatsoever for the first 100 feet. I was glad I had my 70m ropes, because pitches up this route were long!
Jon on the Second Pitch
View of the Mitre, Tombstone? Area, and the Miller Mite
It was super fun climbing the whole day out. The pitches had overall high quality ice, and it was thicker on the third pitch than in previous years. We debated climbing the 4th pitch above us, but it looked like 50 feet of snow to about 80 feet of unappealing, rampy climbing. So we called it a good day and bailed.
Jon and I at the Top