Hey Hikers Association: I went up Whitney on 5/28, and left a TR on the Portal Store Forums, which I'm placing below after a request. Sorry for the double post in case any of you monitor both forums!
I've also got a link at the bottom of my TR to my blog which does contain photos of the cable conditions as of 5/28/12. Take care on the trail everyone, and have a good time!
I went up from the Portal on Monday morning. Spent the night Sunday at the portal hikers campground which was full; most of the campers, however, were just hanging out - good for them! Trail was clear of snow and other debris all the way past Trail Camp - there were a couple of minor obstacles (trees, etc) that were down, but from what I heard, a trail crew was working on them later in the day. None of them were anything to worry about at the time.
I arrived at Trail Camp ~8am, surveyed the chute and the snow conditions in it, and decided that due to its molasses-like consistency, I would be better off on the switchbacks. The only real obstacle I found on the switchbacks was at the cables which had snow and ice up to the cables themselves. This was causing a lot of consternation among some hikers; however, I and several other people bypassed the obstacle carefully and were fine. Even though I had an ice axe/crampons, I did not put them on for that obstacle. When I returned after summitting, the area had melted out some; but I imagine it will still be there for another 10 days or so before it disappears for the season.
From Trail Crest to the summit, the route was mostly clear, aside from two icy obstacles of ~3 feet or so in width near the windows. The snowfield directly below the summit is still there, although it is quite slushy. Due to the issue at the cables, and a small breeze (~10-15mph), I didn't see more than 12 people on the final section of trail or on the summit, which was surprising, since it was Memorial Day, and a great sunny one at that. I also can't believe how little snow is up there as compared to the last two years!
For pictures (couldn't figure out how to post them) and a more in-depth TR, check out my blog here: http://lastadventurer.com/last-adventure...l-may-2012.html
Good times, as always!