We decided to hike these peaks after seeing Karvitk's post. We left the parking lot at 10 am and made the ascent to Elk Summit by 11:30. It was a gorgeous day, blue sky and warm. Climb was as gruelling as we'd heard. After a brief break at the summit, we continued toward Thurston Summit. The path was entirely clear of snow until just before the cairn. At that point we used our microspikes and gators and were glad we had them as it was quite slippery, snow was really soft by noon and we were sinking about 4-10 inches. We were a bit confused as to where the actual summit as we initially thought it was the lookout after the cairn. We kept following old footprints, going through lots of snow, by now, all the way to the true summit.(confirmed by gps by 2pm. Spectacular views of peaks all around. Had lunch in a beautiful spot and then headed down. Made it down from Thurston in 2 hours. Snowshoes might have helped us a little bit, but really were not necessary.