Sporadic snow at base of the cog to the Gem Pool. Above the Gem, everything snow-covered with icy sections, but nothing too daunting. Around the stream crossings, the trail became significantly icy nearly all the way to Lakes Hut. Above the hut, toward Monroe or Washington, the snow was wind-blown with a few thigh-deep drifts, and lots of rime ice on the rocks.

Could be done in bare boots and poles if careful. It's that time of year when you face a little of everything. Some traction is recommended - stabilicers would be best. I brought crampons, but they would have been more cumbersome than useful. Full-on winter temps and wind, so all necessary clothing to keep warm.

Gorgeous day to be up high!