Climbed as many of the pinnacles as I could in big boots (skipped a few in the first half), bivied in the last nice flat notch halfway up, finished by going around the west side of Misery Hill (more technical, great view of Whitney Gl.) and up. Bivied again on descent (for more acclimatization before teaching friends on the north side). Absolutely gorgeous, and not another soul on the ridge.
end of winter on Casaval Date Climbed: Mar 19, 2004
I made a one day blitz of Casaval on the 19th of March. Conditions were near perfect--clear skies, good snow, no crowds. The route is pretty staightforward, with lots of traversing moderate slopes (30 degrees) and some icy spots. The underlying difficulty is the length and elev gain. The winds picked up tremendously on the summit plateau--gusts strong enough to make me lose my balance a couple times (70+ mph). There were some lenticular clouds to verify this.
Overall it was a tremendous day, and a test of will power to fight through the wind.