Mike Keegan leading the Chockstone pitch September...
Start up Lamb's Slide until beneath obvious chimney, which starts up above you. Broken rock leads to start of ice, near start of chimney, belay here. A long pitch of mostly ice leads to a fixed belay on the left. Way fun with a steep section or two. Next pitch is easy, set a belay under giant chockstone. Ice and mixed (M4) terrain leads under chockstone and up more ice above, another fun pitch. Three options to lead to Broadway according to guidebook. Going right is listed as easiest, but loose. We rapped from the end of the ice. Great setting, great views and fun climbing. Hard persons would undoubtably continue up, perhaps linking to summit route. Note: Beware rockfall in Lamb's Slide.
2 ropes if rapping. Light rock rack to 3.5 Friend, ice screws including short. Pins not needed on my ascent.
You can traverse off to Lamb's Slide (left) if you reach Broadway.
There are many rappel options. 1) You can rap from up & L of the route on Broadway. It's 200' to 5). 2) There is a rappel station 40' below Broadway off & R of the chimney itself (may be buried in ice/snow). 3) In the chimney, there is a rap station about 40' below Broadway (slightly L). Note, this is 215' from 6). 4) There is another rap station about 30' above the chockstone (slightly L). 5) There is a less-than-inspiring rap station just below the chockstone (1 ring). 6) There a rap station on the R (slings, I-pin, 2 wires) 200' off Lamb's Slide. 7) There is another rap station about 140' above Lamb's Slide.
There is a huge death block on the traverse right above the ice. Be careful. Make sure your belayer is not below it. It's been yarded on probably for years. Also, you can go straight up instead of the traverse right. It's hard.
Getting to Broadway at the top of this route is not obvious, I think we went right past the death block. It was a memorable pitch, I was leading this as the sun was setting with a full pack of bivy gear. Grab loose block, notice loose block., try to avoid grabbing loose block, almost made it, fall 20'. It's dark, climb back up, grab loose block, loose block shifts, crampons scratching for purchase, make it to Broadway! We then endured a horrible snowy bivy on Broadway, didn't sleep a wink, but got an incredible view of comet Hale-Bopp as the sky cleared just before sunrise.
Sorry for the rambling, this is an excellent winter route! Threading behind the chockstone is wild!
Did Alexander's one year ago yesterday (10/30/02)...Great route! Definitely beware of the "death block" on the right traverse to Broadway. Yes, it has probably been tugged at for years, but it IS loose, BIG, and scary. The rest of the route is excellent, although pitch 1 was very thin when we did it.
[Alexander's] was still in as of last [Friday] but appeared to be thinner than a month ago. Went up the first 2 pitches and decided to bail rather than swim through snow to get under the block after the second pitch. By the time we walked out most of the snow above treeline had blown away so walking was easier. Smear was still in and fat, but has not grown since Oct.
Climbed Alexander's Chimney on 12-08-02. Had the entire route to ourselves. Ice is getting thin but still an enjoyable climb. Stubbies help, no pins were needed. Snow on Lamb's Slide was consolidated or had sections of loose powder. Wind slab conditions may exist in spots. First couple of pitches on the Smear look thin and desperate.
Climbed on 1/22/2005, a perfect day, one party in front of us using good style was the only other party we encountered. Ice is still in good condition, though a couple of thin sections on the first pitch (initial slabs), the third pitch (heading out above chockstone) and getting to the final rap anchor above. There was no ice on the Direct Finish, so we finished in two more pitches around right by traversing across questionable ice to a difficult maneuver onto a rock ledge with crappy pro, which Christa led. The final pitch went further right, then straight up snow to more rock and a traverse left along a snow ramp to the top rap anchor. We brought double 60m ropes and did three raps back to the Lamb's Slide. Great climb! Pro: 8 screws, a few stoppers and cams from blue Alien to #2 Camalot. Oh, and don't forget to get off trail in the dark and post-hole in waist-deep snow for two hours along Larkspur Creek to find the trail again.
I climbed Alexander's in late November, my 3rd or 4th time on it. It was in the thinnest shape I have seen. A small runnel of ice on the first pitch, and practically no ice getting around the chockstone, no climbable ice after that as well. I would presume that it has not grown since then. Maybe next year....
It was very thin above the chockstone, so we had to rap from there. Can't wait to go back and finish to Broadway and maybe another route to summit.
Double ropes would be very nice, but it can be rapped with a single. We had a 60m and did a little down-climbing on the second pitch. It was 5 raps for us. A 70m would have been fantastic (might still be a little bit of snow down-climbing to get to the top of the first pitch).