I posted a while ago looking for info on whether hikers with no experience of snow, like ourselves, would be able to tackle Mt Whitney. Thought I would share our experience for anyone in the same position.
We went up on Sun/Mon and it was a great experience. We made it to Trail Camp in good time on the first day. One of us was suffering a little from altitude. We had a restless night trying to sleep with the altitude. I slept for a while, but my two friends couldn't sleep at all. We started tackling the chute at 5am, after watching the sunrise (one of the most beautiful things I have seen, don't miss it!).
It was all going good on the chute until my friend got dizzy and sick near the top of the chute, altitude sickness. He couldn't go on so we decided we should all descend with him, he was really sick until we got back to Lone Pine. We were lucky it was a hot day and the snow was soft early so we glissaded down which was really cool! We were worried about it as we had not done it before (and people warn against it), but as long as you are careful and sensible you will be fine going down, it's a rush! Try to practice stopping a little and then go for it! We had ice axes and crampons (definitely necessary if you are going past trail camp and going up the chute). Snow is soft and slippery so expect a slip or two at some point and to posthole! You can go off trail sometimes as it is not always clear where to go, but not too difficult to get back on track!
All in all, it is a grand hike, as long as you are physically fit and sensible enough... If it wasn't for the altitude sickness we definitely would have made it to the top, so I am sure if you are inexperienced like us, you can make it too!
Thanks to the people who responded to our questions on this forum, it really helped us!
It was a great adventure, even if we didn't make it to the top!