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How much snow and ice was on the trails?
Snow from 2500 ft, summits above the treeline like Marcy were largely clear and south west faces were ok or soft so we could get traction.. Lots of very hard ice on the ledges on the climbs of LWJ, UWJ and Armstrong were the hardest bits..
Great job! We're looking to do an overnight backpacking trip doing the same "reverse" route you did. Thanks for the trip report! Some buddies and I did this 2 years ago from the Garden to Marcy, Little Haystack and Haystack but had to wrap up after 2 days as there was a ton of snow in Feb 2015.
Yeah I was up around then, last year was very different up there. The hardest bit was the ice on some of the ladders. There's also not much water up there so you'll need to plan for that.