Our original plan was to ascend Flying Dutchman, climb over the top of The Beaver, rapp into The Notch, and climb to the summit of Longs Peak via Stepladder.
However, I felt like crap from the get-go and was thus really slow. By the time we topped out of Flying Dutchman it was late and the weather was looking a little dodgy. We decided to bail down The Loft.
Me on the crux.
The couloir was in pretty good condition. The snow was hard styrofoam - great for crampon traction, not so good for ice axe belays. The crux consisted of about 20-30' of water ice. The quality of the ice was okay. Brian protected it with two screws and a couple of cams. Both Fabio and Brian opted for one tool and one ice axe, which I think made it feel a little more spicey to them than it was for me with two tools. Following, with two tools, it seemed pretty straightforward.
Even though we didn't execute the entire plan it was still a good day out in the hills. Any day that includes a visit to Chasm Lake is a good one in my book.
...I had to form a pick hole with the tool, just to get good purchase with the axe. And even then I just used it to mantle on. The crux went at CI3 or so, that's Crappy Ice for the uninitiated. Nothing quite like seeing running water under your crampon points. Great day, great climb, great video, great partners, great memories.
ps: Damn, I sure do mutter the weirdest things when I'm climbing, I don't recall half that conversation I rambled on with...oh, nice inclusion of random bodily noises. 8^7
"Never! Never, Marge! I can't live the button-down life like you. I want it all: the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles. Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odors - oh, I'll never be the darling of the so-called city fathers, who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about what's to be done with this Homer Simpson?!"