In fact, there were many people carrying skis up, to ski down those chutes, and there was fresh snow in the morning. Some people had really short skis, others had telemarking gear, a few strong people had downhill skis and boots.
About the avalanche hazard, I realize now some of the noise I thought was rolling thunder at night during the thunderstorms was infact small avalanches in the night. After seeing one the next day, and hearing it; I could place the sound. They were all well away from the mountain hut and tent-city.
Miguel, the BD tent simply did its job keeping water and wind and spindrift off us. At less than 3 lbs including stakes it really is my go to tent now. However, if I am just walking to a 'camping' site, and not hiking all day; I would bring a heavier REI Quarter dome for its vestibules. Thats one thing I missed on the HiLight. In fact I own the vestibule, but it is awkward and floppy due to its tube shape.
I believe if I was ready for a three person backpacking tent, I would again consider BD, and its larger epic tents.
About the 'rest of the story' pushing the 50F rated bag down to 25F; there is no secret.. I wore micropuff pants and a thermawrap top, with a wool-1 base layer. My head was a little cool, but I didn't bother putting on my hat since I could sleep. Cinching the hood right around my nose and mouth, and letting the bag loft fully allowed the inner baffles of the MB superstrech system to squeeze out most the extra air. Thus, there was little 'pumping' of hot air in and out of the bag as I breathed, because there WAS NO extra air, the bag was hugging my body loosely. I dont know if any other bag without the SS system could do this.
And by the way, the outside temp was 25, but inside the zipped up HiLights microclimate it was certainly a few degrees warmer. Still, I am very happy witht the MB superstretch + HiLight system. Its nice to know I can carry a 1 lb down bag for all conceivable trips I would take.
It seems there is truth to the idea that females sleep 'cooler', my GF was wearing my MB light alpine down jacket, and sleeping in a MB #3 down, and was STILL cool!
A note about sleeping pads; I had a 1/8" open cell foam tent mat which, combined with my MB UL mat was enough insulation to sleep on the snow. I did not need my GossamerGear Thinlight 1/8 pad at all; so next time it will stay at home. I was really worried about sleeping on snow, but turns out an insulation factor of R2.5 is enough for me.
The SnowClaw snow shovel worked great. It can really move huge volumes of snow just as quickly as a shovel of comparable size, and I used it to level the tent foundation, and then as a snow anchor for one corner of the tent. Also used it as a seat. Great product which I will always strap to my pack for snow trips.
The Stubai Universal crampons were great in the snow and loose ice. Climbing a few feeet of vertical ice though, the torque on the front points separates the rear of the crampon from the shoe. I would really have to tighten the strap down to keep it in place; but thats not what they are designed for; it was just an experiment..
About the BD Raven pro; I bought the 65cm, but should have bought the 70cm. I had to stoop quite a bit during piolet canne. It will be replaced. (Im 5' 9.5")
Kevin, if you read this, what length do you use?