I am wondering if anyone has some winter experience in the great gulf. I'm planning a trip for sometime in December or January, and I'm looking for something pretty challenging but not technical. I've been in there once in winter (up buttress trail), and been up the most of the presis in winter, and feel comfortable with all aspects of winter alpine travel except making completely independent assessments of snow stability. The aspects of some of these areas are pretty similar to some of the tucks and huntington gullies, but don't seem quite as steep so would probably load differently.
So, I'm wondering if anyone has been up the sphinx trail, the six husbands trail (is this technical in winter? is there water ice or just very steep snow?), or the buttress trail when there's a decent amount of snow. Do any of these cross known avalanche paths?
Particular areas of concern: Buttress trail-The traverse next to star lake on looks like it might be on or around a start zone, but it seems like I could just stay to the ridge to get up adams and not come across the shoulder.
Six Husbands: The lower part, right when you come out of treeline, looks like it might be something. Then you get on the ridgeline, which is quite steep and exposed, but seems pretty avy safe.
Edmonds Cutoff area: seems to go above a start zone, but looks like it might be safer to go up a contour line or two and then cut across.
The Sphinx Trail: The bottom part is real steep, but pretty narrow, in the trees and looks alright. as you come out above treeline, it looks like it might cross a slide path, but might actually be in a relatively safe spot. I might be misreading the map though, and would be quite cautious because it is in a ravine.
I'm looking for a few day trip, either setting up a base camp in around the six husbands/buttress intersection or doing a bivy on our way up to the perch.
I would really appreciate any info that anyone has; I've spent a lot of time in this area in the summer and fall, but not enough in winter and am itching to get in there. I know conditions will vary greatly from day to day, but I'm looking for a baseline to go from.