This new route on Colfax Peak went up on April 20th by locals Andrew Fabian and Dana Bellows. Their trip report made it look like another fun ice route on what is now a very familiar NW face and it was an easy decision for Dale and I to head back up there after great success on the Polish Route the weekend before.
Dale's primary desire was to ski Baker while mine was to climb ice, so we compromised. Our plan was to climb Ford's Theatre with skis on our backs, descend to the Colfax-Baker saddle and then skin up the Roman Wall to the Baker summit before skiing all the way down.
We left Seattle at 4:30am on Saturday morning and were hiking up the trail by around 7:30am. As we were skinning up to the route, we saw a party of three low on the Polish Route and a pair of two guys bailing from the Cosley-Houston, mentioning that the ice was pretty rotten. Nevertheless, we finished up the approach to see what was in store for us up there. Skis were quite handy as a bunch of new snow had fallen since last weekend.
Dale headed up on our 70m lead line at about noon and found the ice in better condition than it looked from afar. Things had thinned up since the FA and there was a bit of 'spring cleaning' to be done near the crux to enable safe passage to the upper steps, but it went smoothly for a full rope length to the couloir above. I had to move the belay pretty far away from the route to get out of the line of fire of some big chunks. Once I met him at the belay, Dale suggested that I move quickly as the three screws he'd placed were fully in the sun. I'd been thoroughly showered by running water on my way up and didn't need any more motivation, knowing it was only getting warmer.
After a bit of low-angle ice, the couloir turned to steep snow with secure steps, but little in the way of protection. After making it over a knife-edge ridge, I traversed to the Cosley-Houston exit and we finished simul-climbing to the summit at about 2pm.
After downing lunch on the summit, we descended to the saddle, left our technical gear, and skinned to the summit of Baker at around 4:30pm. It was incredibly warm with no breeze and felt like being on a beach. Dale enjoyed himself thoroughly on the ski down while I successfully survival skied through the sloppy snow. Good times and a great linkup for those inclined.