Conditions: In a word lousy. The area got fresh snow last weekend and it is far from consolidating. There is fresh snow in drifts over 2 feet deep over hard ice. Some area the fresh snow easily slides off the ice, in others, it holds a bit better. In fact, the snow is more suitable for skiing than climbing as was evident by fresh skiing marks in the snow. The bergschrund was wide open at the bottom of the couloir, but there was an easy bridge on the left
Protections: Pickets were marginally useful, mainly in the left and center part of the couloir. The right side took nothing but ice screws once I removed the fresh powder from the ice. I placed some pros, mainly cams, in the rock too.
Climbing Technique: Except for a short way on the bridge over the bergschrund, there was no way to front point. There was simply too much powder over the ice. We climb using the standard side stepping technique
Length of climb: It took 8 pitches with my 65 meter rope to get to the top. We simul-climb the last 2 pitches as they were easy and we were running out of time.
Getting Down: Once at the top of the couloir we thought we save ourselves the climb to the summit by traversing around the mountain. DON'T DO THAT. Dana is a pile of rubble, but it is a big pile of rubble. It is a long way around the mountain, and it is all talus and loose rocks.