Conditions were finally good enough to give this climb an attempt for my abilities. Dan and Jeff invited me along to give this classic a shot. We had heard that the ice on the Diamond of Longs Peak was the fattest it has been in several seasons and thought this would be our best opportunity. We had to take an alternative route to the Longs Peak Trailhead, but eventually got there around 3:45. We were hiking up the familiar trail by 4:00 and made reasonable time to Chasm Lake in two hours. We took a break in the cold and waited for the sun to begin revealing the Diamond. We weren't sure about hiking on the ice-covered lake, so we ended up scrambling and traversing through the rocks on the north side of Chasm Lake. We geared up at the base of Lambs Slide and continued hearing voices behind us, but never saw anyone.
There was a good boot pack in the snow to the base of the climb. We climbed the route a bit differently than described online. Instead of hiking past the base of the climb and traversing back right to the start of the ice, we stopped right at the bottom of the route below a cliff band blocking easy access. Jeff took the first lead and did a good job mixed-climbing through the blocky band of rock and up some snow and ice to a steeper ribbon of frozen water. He couldn't reach the standard first fixed anchor because we started lower, but found a large flake to sling and bring us up on.
I was actually glad and excited about our nonstandard start, because this gave me the opportunity to lead something more difficult than the snow pitch that I was anticipating. None of us had been out yet this season, so I ended up sewing up the short ribbon of ice I got to lead. After pulling the lip, I continued up much easier ground past the first fixed anchor towards the chock stone. I wasn't able to reach the second fixed anchor under the chock stone, so I built an ice screw anchor in solid ice after running out of rope. After bringing Dan and Jeff to my position, we moved the belay to the fixed anchor in order to take pictures and not have as much rope in the system while Dan led the crux.
The crux had some descent ice in it and we were confident we could complete the route through this pitch. Dan placed a screw in good ice below the chock stone. He then clipped a fixed nut a bit higher up and was able to place a .75 piece of gear too. He then moved left on the face above the crux and got another short ice screw in along with another nut higher up and then reached the fixed anchor above. Jeff and I followed and were reunited with Dan at the belay. We decided to forego the fourth pitch to Broadway and were able to get all the way back to our backpacks at the base of the route in two rope-stretching rappels.
On our way down Lambs Slide, we were able to watch a party on Smear of Fears before having a celebratory shot of Crown Royal while gearing down. The hike out was uneventful and we completed the route car-to-car in 10 hours and 30 minutes. We didn't think this too bad for our first ice/mixed climb of the year.