We went last June and needed crampons and and an ice axe. We had to go up the chute, switchbacks weren't open. This year I've heard and seen pictures and were not even bringing them.
were hiking the same day. I think we are starting about midnight or 1. I don't like hiking the switchbacks so i would rather do it in the dark, its not scary its just boring. We left last year that early and ended up at the top of the switchbacks at sunrise, that was neat. We'll maybe well see you on the trail. Another tidbit, the first time I went up i loaded up on power bars cliff bars, dried fruit and PB and J. By the time I reached trail crest I hated anything with peanuts or granola, I think it was the altitude changed my taste buds. Now I get a subway sandwich the night before and have them quarter it without tomatoes or anything that might make it soggy. Subway has way more taste than all that other stuff. I hate cliff bars now after the first time. Like I said it's all preference. I heard about the subway trick from a local. Have fun. Take deep breaths regularly when you start I think it helps.
Have fun be safe, don't forget to look at the scenery,