Left the parking with Mathew at 5:00, giving us the benefit of checking out the look of the routes by daylight. Easy navigation to the base of the route as very few slots even showing. Easy cone crossing of the schrund led to half-boot snow steps on the left side of the main Skyladder gully. We did 4 short (40m) pitches on 10 cms of firm snow, from the top of the rock buttress on the left side of the upper gully to the ridge, using two tools. Firm footing to the summit at noon, with a shade temperature of -2 degrees. Traversing the south side to the col looked slightly concerning with mid-day sun, but the slopes proved to be firm with minimal crampon balling. One rap after downclimbing from the rock ridge above the AA col, then another rap on skiers left of the AA col led to face-out heel plunging to an easy schrund crossing. The only postholing of the day came on the glacier below, until we gained a more traveled descent track from Athabasca.
On a side note, there is lots of futuristic ice hanging around the area of the A-Strain.
Apprentice Alpine Guide