Here's an update from Inyo SAR FB page. https://www.facebook.com/inyosar
Current conditions on Mount Whitney are still snowy. Yes, it is melting and getting a little less every day, but a lot of snow is remaining, especially in the dangerous sections around the 99 Switchbacks of the Main Trail as well as the Chute on the Mountaineers’ Route. Both those sections are at high altitude and do not get much direct sunlight, so the snowmelt here takes a long time.
The 99 Switchbacks are almost free of snow, HOWEVER 4 steep traverses are still snow covered and will require crampons and ice axe, as well as solid mountaineering skills, to navigate in a safe manner. That includes the infamous cables section.
We have seen multiples rescues of people who slid uncontrollably down a snowy slope, and have heard even more reports of slides with minor injuries that allowed people to self-rescue.
These pictures were taken last week and show one of these traverses. If you or one of your group members are not comfortable crossing this, don’t push it. Your summit photo is not worth injuries and a rescue, let alone months or years of recovery. The mountain will always be there for another attempt.
Inyo SAR is an all-volunteer and unpaid, professional non-profit 501(c)3 organization in cooperation with and under the authority of the Inyo County Sheriff's Office. Providing search and rescue services to Inyo County and its visitors is only possible thanks to donations.