So I know most folks enjoy skiing the Sickle but, these days I'm pretty happy to climb the things people are skiing. I went up this fall expecting to re-create a climb from years ago. No such luck.
2001, 1st week of November: 600 feet of perfect styrofoam neve with a few small patches of ice. So secure we never roped up until we hit the "chockstone" which was a couple moves of moderate rock climbing then a fifty foot scramble to the top of the ridge. Scrambled the ridge to the summit with a few more short belays for a wonderful fall climb with three of my buddies from grad school.
2014, Mid-October: Initial couloir (~300ft) was either bulletproof old black ice (right side) or variable snow mush (left side). Insecure enough that we started belaying about 200 ft up. Past the initial chockstone (there were a few more this time!) the ice faded into a 4th class mud/snow grovel fest. Not hard but insecure and dangerous as it was filled with loose rock and nonexistent or crappy gear. It was made extra exciting as we were climbing on a single 7mm line we had brought "just in case".
Contemplated bailing but it seemed safer to proceed without falling than to trust anchors for rappels or do sketchy downclimbs. Finally topped out out after 5 pitches and 6 hours of ugliness, exhausted and with a core shot rope. No time to head to the summit and lucky to find our camp back down in the forest.
Anways, wanted to let folks know it's deteriorated almost completely since SawtoothSean did it in 2006.
Pat and I climbed Horstmann via the sickle couloir. It was a long day. The route was in great shape. I think I walked out of there with a pint less blood due to the skeeters :)
Great Fall day in the Sawtooths- Mixed climbing over snow, rock, and ice with great views of the snow splattered peaks in the range.