Hello. I am returning to Mount Sill in 2 weeks. I failed to summit in August. We took the route through Scimitar Pass. My partner injured his knee and we turned back. I do not want to repeat the hike from hell again. I have been reading about more direct routes on the East Couloir and Glacier Gap. First, crampons and ice axe are discussed in most of the write-ups. But is it necessary this year? I was up there in late August and did not see a lot of snow. I want to travel light and avoid bringing metal things that I just will not use. Second, is there a preference on these routes? I am comfortable on class 4 and brief lower class 5 pitches. Thanks.
The most likely place you'd need them is on the Palisade Glacier below Glacier Pass (Gap). It would probably take a few more dry years for it to melt out. I'd bring axe and crampons, and if you find you don't need them, leave them at the base of the route and pick them up on the way back. If you don't need them and can circumvent the glacier, you certainly won't need them in the L couloir. That will be melted out. It's an easy class 4 route up Sill that way, and much more enjoyable than slogging around to the back side.
Yes the L couloir is melted out. A few weeks ago we went up Glacier Pass skirting the Palisade Glacier and we didn't take or need axe or crampons. For a very short distance we were actually on some ice but it is so dirty and covered with rocks and sand that any gear isn't needed. The harder bit was just a few feet of loose dirt in the steepest part of the chute just above that.