I am a coward. I put my crampons on at the seismometer, 5,700'. Then the rest of the climb felt casual despite encountering an icy step here or there. I thought that the terrain was hardest from 6,200' to 7,200'. The steps pounded in for the last 1,000' were pretty secure.
I often climb this alone. However, you will always find others on the route on the weekends. Mid week can be a little lonely. There was about 40 - 60 people on the mountain Saturday. If the wind was not blowing, it would have been a fast ascent. The wind made me consider turning around, but I could brace against it without falling over.
The route is a crappy ski right now. There is very little loose snow. There is an ice layer just below a smattering of snow. Even though it was warm on Saturday, the snow never got soft except below Chocolate Falls. Glissading was a bad idea for most of the route this weekend. We need some fresh snow.
So it definitely took longer than normal on Saturday fighting the wind and needing to ski very carefully or walk out. SOme folks were reported overdue on Sunday. My guess is that they expected to be home before the SuperBowl and didn't expect conditions to be as firm as they were.
Normally the route is 4 - 5 hours up and the descent time depends on your mode of transportation. Count on 3 hours walking, 2 hours with a lot of glissading, faster time if you are a good skier/rider with great conditions. Most people leave Marble between 7 - 8, depending on conditions. With no worries about avvy right now, you can leave 8 - 9 and still be back well before dark. Never hurts to take a headlamp! The route is well pounded in, though it goes up the last bowl quite a ways before cutting left to Monitor Ridge.