The weather turned out to be great. We camped at 7200' even though you could easily hike the mountain in a day, but from the Portland area that's a long day. We lost the Mt Thielsen trail somewhere around 6500' due to snow, so then we just headed towards the summit. This put us just below the West ridge, which we gained once we realized we were just below it. The snow was really hard first thing in the morning since it froze. And on the path we took, an ice ax was a must and crampons wouldn't hurt, on the ridge it was about 1/2 rock and 1/2 snow, so crampons wouldn't be needed. Following the ridge a little more closely would have helped, (but our route was pretty direct and fast). There was basically no snow above 8000', just lots of steep, loose rock.
As another report mentioned, the top 80' isn't really obvoius, but it's pretty much the only way you can go. If you try to go the wrong way it soon becomes relatively impassible.