Snow Dome, The Real Ice Porn to serac band. On October 13 Dana Ruddy, Cory Richards, and I climbed a waterfall ice route (800m, WI 5+) on the north face of Snow Dome. It is the fifth route on Snow Dome, and the first on the north face proper, around the buttress from Slipstream. As with Dave Marra’s route, For Fathers, we did not top out our route, which is guarded by a serac band. Dave, who had spotted the line, persuaded us before we ventured on the route that, from his experience, climbing blue seracs was not wise. A week after our ascent Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten climbed through the serac and added 50m to our effort, nonetheless not topping out, stopped by a huge cornice.
Some debate ensued as to what properly constitutes a FA. After discussion with a few respected locals, a consensus seemed to emerge that waterfall FAs do not have to top out, while to claim an alpine FA one must top out on the mountain (Although certain prominent FA claims do not follow this rule). This, at least, is what some of us eager for the fame of FAs have agreed upon.
A good day was had by all on the route, marked by Dana-rope gunning all of the vertical ice, plus a bivy at 10,500' on the descent, thus bucking the trend to do routes in a rush.
Ian Welsted, Canada