The best route to the summit of Mailbox in these conditions is the Old Trail. But we thought we'd give the New Trail a try. We needed micro spikes for the first 2.5 miles -- this was thanks to another party from a few days ago who put on snowshoes at about 2 miles and had stomped down the trail enough so we could delay the snowshoes. There were probably two dozen trees down across the trail in the first 3.5 miles. At about 3-3.5 miles, at the point in the trail when it crosses an open gully (see photo), the snow was about 4-5 feet deep and it appears that a massive blow down completely hid the trail. Other parties appear to have turned back at this point. We switched to showshoes and spent about 20 minutes trying to find the trail without luck. We trudged up through really deep snow for about 30 minutes, knowing that if we traversed south, we would eventually cross the old trail. Sure enough, after about 45-60 minutes of slow going in deep snow over steep terrain we met the old trail, not quite a mile from the summit. From there it was a direct climb to the summit. Essential gear: microspikes, snow shoes, poles, gators. It took us 4.5 hours to summit. We descended the old trail in about 1.5 hours.
Trails for everyone, forever