Got two days in this week.
Tuesday on the Black Dike, we where the 4th party that day. Parking lot and back in 6 hours with at least an hour of waiting for the party ahead of us to clear the second/crux pitch.
First time on the Dike and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I led the second pitch and the rock traverse was pretty easy with a fixed sling in the middle of it. The transition to ice was tricky and the ice was near vertical, hacked out and brittle but not bad. I didn't put in any pro until the top of that section. The rest of the climb was a ramp with a few steps.
My climbing partner led the last pitch. It had a funky chimney above the belay then mellowed out after that. It felt good to get such a classic done.
We then headed to the bivy to drink beer then crash. We went out to Chapel Pond after the Noonmark Dinner and found fat conditions on Chounards Gully. I led the first pitch with my new Nomics. First lead and first time using them. Used my Vipers on the Dike. Followed the second pitch.
Wanting to test my abilities with the Nomics we headed over to Crystal Ice Tower. It was also very fat and dripping on the left side so I went right of that. I got a ways up and I swung my right ax and everything plated. With the Vipers and leashes I would have been stuck smashing it away. With the Nomics I moved my left hand to the upper grip put the other ax over my shoulder grabbed the lower grip with my right hand and stepped to the left. I grabbed my other Nomic with my left and moved up the climb. I saved a lot of energy by switching hands. The Nomics also stuck on the first swing a lot more than my Vipers. Needles to say, on probably the last day of my ice season, I went leash less and I don't think I'm going back.
The grip on the Nomic is best I've used. Put the weight on my stronger fingers.
We finished the day climbing the 2 pitches above the Tower. What a nice climb. All ice in a thin gully. It took screws with no problem. We didn't bring rock gear but it would take small and medium cams.
All in all, one of the best ice seasons I've had in years.
jugs or mugs