3AM departure, Beautiful dawn, warm & sunny day. some wind 10-20, Devil's Kitchen area. Early on, good consolidated, firm snow pack from Timberline to base of Crater Rock. Snow pack deep & loose on the East side of Crater Rock slowed progress to a crawl. Hogback was in good shape however loose snow pack just below & above Pearly Gates. Zero wind on the summit. Several "climbers" w/o crampons turned away on the Hogsback. Spent nearly an hour on the summit.
Very loose snow to posthole through on lower slopes for the afternoon return if your were not in the snow cat track. My MSR's would have been the ticket if they were not left in the truck.
Spoke to two parties that ascended via Reed Headwall and Leuthold Coulior. Reported some ice, requiring pro, buckshot and baseball size chunks.
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