You are indeed correct. The peaks today were lovely. Virtually no one about. I saw a handful of walkers and only two other 'friendlies' all day.
I was definitely 'breaking trail' for the first few miles as I was cracking through the ice on the puddles.
The first part of potato alley was interesting just after midday. Started off at a reasonable, but conservative pace only to arrive on the first steepish bit to find ICE! Didn't clock it until I was already committed, but it wasn't a complete icy sheet, so got away with it. It hadn't occurred to me that this was the only descent that is north-facing and in the open.
Lockerbrook was also interesting in one spot as the mud and leaves have disguised all the gaps and rocks in one spot, again too late I adopted a 'point and hope' approach. Again, got away with it.
All in all a nice day out, the lack of other people meant I didn't absolutely gun it downhill, just in case, but the general scenery, weather etc more than made up for it. I got back to the car just as the wind and rain really picked up, so got lucky there too.
I can confirm, however, that 1x10 is not currently flattering me on the steeper climbs
Still, I made it up some steep bits with a combination of determination and brute force.