Amazing to see the upper mountain changing so much. The new variation is slightly steeper and more exposed than the Pearly gates version. The catwalk along the summit ridge also makes it a bit more spicy. I did encounter a moderate amount of ice coming from the cliffs above the traverse. One softball size chunk missed by a foot or so. Attention to time of day/ temperature/ sun exposure should be considered when calculating time for the route. Go earlier than would be normal for the Pearly gates.
Originally had aimed on doing Leuthold Couloir but there was a definite temperature inversion and high winds so we opted for the South Side. 19 degrees in Government Camp at 1 am, 29 at Timberline at 1:10 am and probably 40 degrees at the Silcox Hut about 2:45 am. Very windy (about 60 mph) but by the time we got to about 9500 feet, it was sunny, windless and warm. Think we made the right decision though as Leuthold would have been a rain of ice.
My partner had been up since the morning before so we actually napped for half an hour or so at Triangle Moraine. When we got to the Hogsback, it was odd how much further left it was from even the month before. The standard route at least right now is the Old Chute Variation. Was a nice change with a bit more exposure. Had the summit with one other climber but the hordes were coming behind us. Lots of climbers once we were back down to the Hogsback. Back home by mid-afternoon.