To check out snow conditions before packing in to camp, I cruised over Kearsarge Pass to Mount Bago, a minor talus pile behind Charlotte Lake. I had originally planned to return via Glen Pass, Painted Lady, Mount Rixford, and Mount Gould (down to Kearsarge), but after feeling strangely lethargic on Bago, I returned to Onion Valley, had some fish, and took a nap in the car.
Then, feeling pathetic, I loaded up my overnight pack with fish, couscous, granola bars, and peanut-butter-filled pretzels, and suffered back over Kearsarge to Charlotte Lake, retracing most of the route I had taken that morning with my day pack.
As expected, there is still a lot of snow up high, but it is warm enough that you can kick steps with running shoes by mid-morning. I had an axe and crampons on this trip, but didn’t use either. Unless you are doing a steep snow route, snow gear is probably unnecessary for general Sierra travel.