I love that place in winter.
Of course the exact way to pick around this ridge always depends on conditions and personal attitudes, but just in case - this photo shows two of the three tricky choice spots we faced.
One is the rock I'm standing on - actually backtracking 'cuz I didn't like the other side, and bypassed it through the crawlspace on the left instead.
The other is a cube-shaped boulder just to the right of my head. Tried bypassing it on the left (Bells) side too, but the exit back to the ridge was a slab with some water ice, and I didn't feel like passing that one even lower on the left. Instead, we chose an easy squeeze through the crack separating this boulder on the right. You can see this crack very clearly on this nice picture.
Great shot! I have always wanted to climb this peak in the winter but never have. Great to finally see some winter shots - I liked them all. I particularly wondered about this section in the snow. Did you need crampons for this section? Also, how'd the snowshoes work for you on the steeper parts of the trail?
With soft and relatively fluffy snow from the previous day, crampons were not needed, and if anything probably would have been more of a hindrance.
We kept snowshoes on all the way to within the final ±100 yards to the summit before ditching them. There were a number of places where they weren't really necessary, but more trouble to take them off than just continue with them on.
In the more wind-scoured snow conditions, traversing the cirque-facing slope under the North Shoulder (just before the knife-edge section) in the snowshoes becomes kind of iffy, but most of the time the crust should remain manageable for booting without crampons.
What about Skinning up.. Could you skin most of the way?
Should be the same with skinning up, good until the last 100 yards if the snow conditions right, less if hard-crusted. The East Face cutes aren't really starting from the summit proper anyway, if that's what you think of skiing.