I do not have the route maps in front of me, but I though that the American team in 1984 did a similar route? And they used some the ropes that were put there just before by the Australians, though that was not mentioned too often in public.
But right now I am sitting next to Lincoln Hall who told me, and he should know as he put them there
Basically the shortcut route is not too hard, just as long as there is snow, but the problem is that when there is snow, the avalance risk is huge, so you do not need the technical skills of Messner, but rather his climbing speed, insight and luck...
Cheers from Down Under,