Saturday night was clear and cold with the temp hovering around -15. We awoke at 6am to calm conditions and thin incoming clouds. We ascended the glacier on a packed track breaking left and breaking trail onto steeper ground well before reaching the gap between Parkhurst and Wedge.
The glacier is in great shape. Pickets may render useless if needed, because the 20-30 cm of snow covering the hard snow/ice is very light and sugary and may not even hold in a T slot; however I would recommend bring them for the burgschrund and the ridge. A couple of ice screws are your best bet for the glacier.
Crossing the schrund at the foot of the steep slope leading up to the ridge posed the biggest problem to this point. We were able to cross at a point on the far right. Even at that point the snow-bridge was thin and caution is advised.
The slope leading to the ridge and the ridge proper are in fine shape. Snow leads to hard neve part way up the slope. Screws are recommended for this section and possibly a second tool. The final head wall off of the ridge to the summit is in superb shape with icy sections on the upper slopes.
We descended the West couloir (55 degrees) kicking ourselves the whole way that we didn't bring skis.
Round trip from hut to hut took 9 hrs. 6 hrs to summit and 3 down. Be careful descending from the hut at night, the trail is very treacherous when the ground is... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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