thanks for the advice guys.
I'm back from the thanskgiving day trip - the hike was great, needless to say we had the entire Great Gulf wilderness to ourselves, as everyone was home eating turkey and getting drunk
The crampons and axe did in fact come in very handy, esp. on the Sphinx trail and the upper part of the Great Gulf trail, above 3,000 foot elevation. It was quite icy up there, and the sphinx trail is very steep in some parts. We hit Clay from the Sphinx col and then headed back to the wilderness parking lot - a really long and rough thrash, more than half of it in the dark with headlamps...
Actually above treeline the crampons were not required for the most part - conditions were either snow or rocks.