I then led up again on a short pitch, which I felt was probably the crux today. I climbed the thin chimney on the right with a large detached block on the left with the larger chimney left again. Once the snow was removed from the back of the chimney I made my way up again having to trust blind axe placements but everything was solid. Through out the day, due to the amount of powder, gear was sparse on the whole route and I think on the two long 60m pitches that I led I maybe only placed 4 or 5 pieces.
Lena then led a short pitch to the base of the last chimney which true to form only had 2 bits of gear and I lead up and over the short iced wall and then carried on direct instead of breaking out right onto easier ground and that short chimney probably gave the most interesting climbing at around a hard technical grade 4 or maybe 5.
With the snow falling and the weather closing in we planned to absail off instead of walking round. So once we found an appropriate block, down we went. On the way up there are 3 handy, new in situ ab points at 60m each. So once we reached the first it was a bit if a sideways ab to the next and then back to the start of the climb where we abed again to get down the snow slope quicker.
It would have been a simple case of just walking back down to the path had it not been for the thick icy crust on top of the powder which either held your weight or didn’t. So with a few small slips from Lena and 2 ice axe arrests from me (one feet first and the next head first) we made it to the path just as it was getting dark.
So with 5 pitches and 4 abs it confirmed my thoughts as a really good route, a very good day all round.