I'm planning on heading up the West Slabs this week. Anyone done it in the winter before? Know what I should expect? I'm heading up with snowshoes, crampons, and ice tools. Does enough ice form to make the tools helpful or will I just be carting around extra weight? Anyone want to join me? I'm planning on soloing it but would happily simul-solo or even rope up if anyone didn't feel comfortable.
I climbed it years ago in winter conditions over T-Day. Probably the last time I have fallen on 5.5 climbing. It was veri-glass and I was not wear crampons so I guess I have some excuse. I think the biggest issue is that you are climbing snow/ice covered slabs which can be problematic. That is one can skate off pretty easily with a misstep. Which is what happened to me - but I was roped up and landed on a ledge in the snow. If roped there are enough trees to catch a fall. Soloing would add an interesting dimension as one is going to be moving from snow to ice to rock. Though right now I would suspect that it is mostly snow.
Also as mentioned, things are warming up so the face and couloir are prime for sliding.