We got to the winter trailhead just before 0800 to find a couple inches of fresh powder coverng a good layer of hard packed snow. At first it seems driveable, but as we snowshoed up we found a lot more snow. About a mile up the road is a mini slide zone which would be completely impossible to drive, and is a pain to walk on, snowshoes or not... very steep slant and somewhat unstable with icy patches unpredicatably scattered under the snow. The road is doable without snowshoes, but we were glad we had them, and the only other hiker on the trail was not happy he opted to leave his in the car. The postholing for him wasn't terrible, but I would reccomend snowshoes. As for the trail up Gray's from the summer TH, snowshoes are definitely going to come in handy until you hit the ridge... there is some very deep snow up there and the trail was nonexistant on Thursday. Throughout the day Thursday we witnessed at least 5 inches of fresh snow, and heavy wind completely covered our trail as we went, making the way down a bit interesting due to coming down too high up and having to tumble/snowshoe our way down a steep chute to the bridge. IMHO, it's only going to get worse as March goes on. PS, if you're reading this and wondering where my TR is, I'll have it posted up sometime this afternoon (3/4/11), but I'm lying in bed with sore legs awake from a random dream, and it's time to sleep.
Photos (click for slideshow):