We were able to skin at the start but the first 1-1.5 miles was quite rocky and we had to pick our way along the trail. Thankfully the snow was falling and made the conditions a little bit better. Trail was extremely icy and very slippery in parts. Several other individuals coming down recommended we take off our skis and hike around the ice, but we were able to keep our skis on the entire trek. There was a small portion that was all rock/dirt with no snow but we cut off to the right and skinned through the trees to rejoin the trail past the rocky/dirt area.
Once we got to the top and out of the trees into the open area we had the most amazing views. Sun was shining, but wind was definitely blowing. Following the blue diamonds we saw another sign (green) USGS and a little further ahead was a blue sign that said "10th Mtn Hut Parking". If you are standing near this blue sign, you've passed Jackal Hut and should look off your right shoulder and down a bit.
We had an amazing stay - great people, delicious food, sunshine, blue skies, phenomenal views. Woke up Friday morning and decided to trek towards the trees to the north of the Hut. Think we were probably just west of the creek. Found some powder knee to waist deep. A few awesome tree runs before packing up to head back out. Sad we could only stay one day.
The trek out took us 1hr and 30 minutes. We were able to ski about half way down. A few patches of ice - and some slush actually due to the sunshine and warmer temperatures. The trail had definitely lost much of its snow cover since yesterday. We ended up having to hike down the last 2 miles or so. Trail was pretty slushy and muddy - couldn't believe the lack of snow - such a change from the day before even. All in all a great trip.
Pray for snow!!!! =)