Went off route almost immediately, following grade 5 climber approach trails to base of Ebersbacher Ledges. Beware of misleading cairns, there are many.
Followed base of ledges looking for the switchback, stuck in willows and along base of ledges.
Spotted westound hikers on other side of river, went to follow. They too were off route.
Found proper trail and ledges. Once you are there, the ledge route is obvious. Lost at least an hour in the willows and backtracking.
Up to Lower Boy Scout Lake, plenty of running water but small accumulation of ice in shaded pools. No snow on trail until you begin the ascent to Upper Boy Scout Lake.
Small snow packed on trail and between talus on the way to Upper. Donned microspikes for walking over the wetrock slab. This section would have been tremendously difficult without spikes or crampons. Many hikers have tried to skirt around the edges with the vegetation but there were plenty of obvious slip/fall marks.
Took spikes off for remainder of trip to Upper BSL. Plenty of water and little ice due to high winds. Snow spray was whipping around a little bit during gusts, but not so much actual snowfall.
Continued up on the way to Iceberg Lake and met two climbers who were heading down after a few days attempting a summit.
Snow started to fall and the cloud descended to the talus fields below the base of the windows. Snow became deep between rocks, sometimes resulting is serious hip-depth postholing.
Do not believe snowshoes would have helped much over the rocky terrain. Gaiters were very helpful however.
Trail became difficult to follow with the snow covering and cairns being next to useless.
Ended up retreating at approx 6:00pm on the south ridge of Iceberg Lake due to impending storm, soft snowcover, and lack of routefinding ability.
Snow back down to UBSL was notably deeper. Found a few entirely new sets of cairns.
Way back was easy but soon became wet after LBSL with rain. Ledges were slick but easy to navigate. returned to Portal approx 10:30pm
Hope to return soon with better gear, packed snowcover, and the route knowledge gained from this trip.
Short video of the ledges
Above Ledges, looking West toward Whitney.
View of Lower Boy Scout Lake from part way up towards UBSL.
Looking up from same vantage point. Beginning of slick rocks.
Beautiful Upper Boy Scout Lake
Starting out on the way to Iceberg. Cloud ceiling obstructing view of the windows.
Met an awesome pair of fellow mountaineers.
Looking North from the south ridge opposite Iceberg.