Had a fantastic day summiting with my son via the switchbacks! We started from the Portal at 3:15am and made Trail Camp by 6am. The rocks and streams are icy in the pre-dawn hours so don't assume a rock is wet, it may be icy. I nearly fell into the stream below Outpost Camp and then did fall into a small stream below Trail Camp and douse my gloves due to icy rocks and carelessness.
Lucky my gloves dried fast in the morning sun as we took a break at Trail Camp. The orange morning sun started to wash over the needle spires of Whitney and it was amazing! We had planned to to go up the chute, but we saw a few people going up the switchbacks and a few going up the chute, and the switchbacks looked much faster so we decided to do the same.
We actually climbed the whole way without needing our cramp-ons or ice axe but we knew on the decent we would need them in a few areas. The areas that are still most sketchy are: the traverse at the cables just above Trail Camp, and the short traverse at the top of the 99 switchbacks just before Trail Crest. The cables section was very icy, while the traverse was just a very narrow monorail with a very long slide to the bottom of the chute if you mis-stepped. There are about 5-6 other areas where snow is still on the switchbacks but they are melting fast and we did not see them as problems.
Early in the morning some sections of the switchbacks are very icy from the prior day's melt but by afternoon they are nearly dry.
From Trail Crest on up the conditions are great! We saw a very curious marmot at the junction with the JMT and my son took a selfie with it. :-)
We gained the summit by 10am and the conditions on the summit were windy and quite chilly, but the views and experience were awesome!
On the decent we decided not to try to glissade down the chute. There are a lot of exposed rocks and the route through them is narrow so we decided the switchbacks are now more safe. The ranger at the visitor's center also said they have been doing daily rescues for people getting injured in the chute from hitting rocks.
Arrived back at the Portal around 4:30pm after a nice rest at Trail Camp to take in the views one last time!
One point that really, REALLY ticked me off... I saw numerous used WAG bags left along the trail. Don't be a dope and leave yours up there, carry it down like the rest of us do! This is a fragile ecosystem, enjoy it and help preserve it for everyone else.