So I just got home from an attempt at the Gib Ledges last night, jumping on the awesome winter inversion window (we hiked to Muir basically shirtless). Summit night started in just a windbreaker!
LSS, we were nearly unprepared for bullet-steeled ice on the route, and as a triad, were only carrying two screws and a couple pickets. Each had one standard axe. I feel really weird about this trip. It seemed everything would line up perfectly. We were eventually shut down below the crossover from the upper triangle of Cowlitz glacier to the Ledges by (1) time loss to routefinding and (2) eventually encountered 1 ft of snow on top of gloss ice. We could not place effective screws for a running belay here due to what felt like two layers of ice equating to wobbly, garbage protection. Although, between intermittent picket and ice screw placements we were able to manage. Ran out of time though, like I said.
Any of y'all put in their share of route time on the Ledges route to comment on what they carried? I felt like we should have definitely had a ice tool paired with our axes, as well as some more screws. and time, should've waken up earlier . I feel that with a paired tool, there may have been less of a need to rope up and put in running belays.
Also, is it advisable to descend the Ledges? Or go down the DC or something? I remember the DC during summer having plenty of crevasse crossings just above it that could be hidden by shite snow bridges in winter. Going to try for the next window on GL, weather allowing in February-ish.