I got out yesterday for the entire day, something unusual for me. I took a new-second from the AMC ice climbing program out. we did Smear, and then Pegasus. Smear was in reasonable but a bit slushy & Pegasus wasn't too bad, but slightly hollow.
when we walked around we met a party who had just finished Hobbit. they said it was in good conditions & since I'd been wanting to do it for a long time I decided to give it a shot. the gully "approach" was really neat and I would easily reccomend it to anyoe who leads in the 3-3+ range. you can get off left to the Pegasus rock finish belay & rap if so desired.
Hobbit itself was very very cool. you can protect under the curtain and then you hang under & work your way out and up onto the curtain itself. you just have to take it a move at a time & not get psyched out about it. there are nubbins out on the rock right for your feet, monopoints are definitely recommended. when I got on the column & up about 3 feet I got in a screw & then it was just 15 more feet of vertical ice to the top. absolutely, totally great fun. I'd say it was in the 4+ range, in spite of the ice being very plastic. I've seconded grade 6 ice & M7 mixed stuff as well as led my share of 5's but this was the hardest technical thing I think I've done. I'm still pretty psyched about it. <grin>
many thanks to the English climber and his partner as well as guide Art Mooney for the encouragment. it was well worth the effort.