day hiked to the summit from whitney portal. pretty much broke all the rules and started late in the morning (5am), and used no poles/spikes/ice axe. I was banking on the snow softening up in the morning. Worked out well. I managed to summit in 5 and a half hours and did not feel the need for any spikes or poles. Although this would have been much more challenging if the snow was not as soft. Took the switchbacks. They are safe to use in my opinion, the only sketchy area still is the cables. I had to step down and wiggle my way on a narrow ledge for about 5 feet with snow being in the way, but is manageable if care and caution is used. plenty of water to fill up at trail camp too. I figure one would need minimum 3 liters from trail camp to the summit and back to trail camp. From trail crest all the way to the summit, essentially no snow with the exception of a short area just below the summit. Nice and warm all day, light jacket good to have on the summit with light pants as well. Totally manageable in a day, but if not speed hiking and packing light, I would still recommend starting the typical 2am and bring poles and microspikes as the snow will be hard and icy until about 8am. It is melting very fast, should all be entirely gone maybe by end of the month.