Definitely winter conditions. It snowed about 2-4 inches from the evening before my climb and throughout my climb. There was obviously snow on the entire trail. From the trailhead it quickly developed into sections with occasional 1 ft. deep drifts. Above 12,500 ft, where I put on my snowshoes, the drifts were averaging between 1.5 to 2 feet deep and then become constant closer to the peak. There are still lots of rocks poking thru on and off the trail. On my way to the trailhead I met a cross country skier who had forgotten his snow tires and was skiing down to his car. He said he had been up by the peak and was able to ski, but I never did figure out where he would have gone because it was so rocky. The new snow had covered any traces of the 4 people who hiked the trail the day before my hike. Very low exposure and the snow was soft powder, so no need for crampons. I took it fairly easy and made the trip in 7 hours with a 30 minute break on the top – 4.25 hours up, 30 on top and 2.25 hours down.
Road to Trail Head
Looking back to trailhead, which is in the dark forest below
Deep enough for snow shoes now at 12,500
The trail was faint and narrow just below this ridge, starting around 12,800
Looking back to the trail head, which is in the dark forest below. Trail winds down towards the left.
After this a storm set in for the remainder of the trip so not many more ops for pictures besides a whiteout