Well packed trail into JBL. Phelps trail continued to be well consolidated up to the Marcy/Haystack junction. Heading towards Haystack we could see that the 2+ ft of new snow was freshly broken. Tried for Haystack (crampons needed), but too windy and cold so we turned around on Little Haystack. Headed to Basin and broke trail in 2+ ft snow. The ladder was completely covered and we were able to climb up that slope in snowshoes. As we neared the top, we were treated to incredible views, it was a super clear day, could see all the way to the Green Mtns in VT. Quite spectacular! As expected, it was very windy at the top of Basin. Headed towards Saddleback. It was slow going, lots of snow and we had trouble finding the route. We realized that the speed we were travelling at would put us at the cliffs at dark which we were not interested in attempting. We turned around and went back over Basin, down to Shorey Shortcut which was broken by a group that morning.