A few highlights for those planning for an upcoming day hike:
Acclimatized at horsehoe meadow two nights before permit. There were plenty of walk-in sites around noon, but all the sites filled by 3 pm or so. No problem after that though as many just plopped their tents down on any flat area. It was a bit breezy which helped, as there were NO mosquitoes.
Did some good trout fishing the day of camping and the following day before hike; trout in Turtle creek and Lone Pine creek. Didn't have to hike in to cottonwood lakes to enjoy the fishing
Slept in hotel at Lone Pine night before. Parked at whitney portal at 4 am; parking was full near store but on the opposite side near old trail there were plenty of spots. I used the old trail so I didn't have to change shoes so early as creeks still flowing fast and boots would get soaked. Old Trail is a little tricky to find behind big rock so check out trailhead in daylight if not familiar with it.
Standard stuff to Lone Pine Lake. There is still a 20 yard portion or so of trail under a foot of water upon entering Outpost camp. I changed into water shoes to navigate. Change well before going down into Outpost as the mosquitoes will tear you up if you stop. I had DEET on and was bite through long sleeve shirt. Anyway, I recommend taking a break upon entering Whitney Zone and zip through OutPost area. Stream crossings all doable without water shoes. In fact while coming back, the 20 yard area in Outpost can be navigated in the stones and wood logs if you have good balance, so you really don't need to bring water shoes or need to take off boots/shoes if you are careful.
As mentioned in earlier reports there is rushing water on the stone steps coming out of mirror lake, simply use alternate to the right of trail and you'll be fine.
Trailside meadow area still has a lot of snow and a few people took tracks in snow toward consultation lake. I wouldn't recommend that as the snow is melting fast and who knows if the snow bridges will hold. Followed trail up to one of the few snow bridges left above trailside meadow. Not that dicey of about 20 yards, but wouldn't want to fall. No crampons or micros needed. Pretty clear rest of way to trail camp.
Start of switchbacks all clear. A few minor snow areas but easily crossed and one longer snow field around SB 85 or so. No issue if careful. I do recommend filling up with at least 3 L of water on Switchbacks or earlier. I had 3+ and ran out on the way back at Muir trail.
The last obstacle is the snowfield as you approach the summit. This is going to be there a while and after slogging the last few miles you have to follow a fairly step set of cairns to the east as you head up toward hut. Just follow the markings and be prepared for a good workout before hitting the original trail
I only saw 4 wagbags, so someone must have cleaned up and it was a pleasant surprise after reading some of the accounts here.
Of course met great people and scenery was fantastic
A few takeaways:
-No need for water shoes if use old trail and have a little agility for water crossings.
- Don't stop in Outpost area as Mosquitoes were really bad
- Start light with water, but fill up with at least 3 L before the final grind from TC
Snow shouldn't be an issue, but I'd guess the snow field near summit will be there til September, so the detour will be needed
Good Luck and Be Safe!