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Trail Report: Made it up to 5,200 ft, just kissing the edge of the ridge. Brought along gaiters and microspikes and wouldn't attempt going past the 4,500 ft line without them. Once the snow started it got deep quick, typically knee to waist deep postholing with the occasional sink in to chest level. If I had to do it over again today I'd (grudgingly) bring along a pair of snowshoes. They would have definitely sped up the ascent.
That it was a bluebird day easily made up for the extra work plowing.
Hit the trail as early as you can...started up at 7 am and it was already starting to get warm. By 8 am you'd be burning through your water.
Here's background information on the Icicle Ridge Trail: WTA.