Yeah, I agree, I'd use the new trail too, particularly since I haven't been on it yet. I'm working on a route for this summer that might involve the old crossing though, so I appreciate your insight that the ropes aren't required to get up that stretch. I think that would be the better way to go and I thought that was probably the case as you suggest.
Use this forum to report and discuss trails in need of maintenance. This will help organizations like TKO and agencies like the Forest Service get the most recent on-the-ground trail conditions.