I was just there on Saturday 2/4. My buddy and I began at the Garden, hiked over Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, then walked out to Lake Colden and down to the ADK Loj. It was as busy on the peaks as I've ever seen it in winter, so the trails will all be very well broken out if you get there soon. I'm not sure about the route from Panther Gorge, though. We used snowshoes and microspikes.