hope everyone is safe out there.
Summit Attempt, Day Hike, Started Monday 7/8/2019 00:40 from Trailhead. Overall I would say I did not see as many people as I expected. Unfortunately I had to turn around a few switchbacks from the traverses. The tank was just empty at this point. More about personal fitness this year than trail conditions. The highlights below. Hope they help you plan for a successful summit attempt.
Second river crossing. doable but you might get water on your laces or above. My Asolo hiking boots turned out to not be 100% waterproof, resulting in very cold big toes and having to change socks by trail camp.
Prior to resting above outpost camp no real reason to use crampons/spikes.
Cresting outpost camp: crampons useful in the snow fields. I mostly encountered snow all the way to trail camp. You end up switching them on/off a couple times (annoying!!).
Must hike thru the snow slope to reach the switchbacks. The lower switchbacks are COVERED in snow.
THE CABLES: BEWARE, there is a nasty spot where you have to get off the trail and hop off/on to pass the snow/ice accumulation. very risky. i slipped and landed chest first on the middle bent pole. dangerous spot. you can land on a granite slab, slide down a couple hundred feet, then land on a bunch of rocks. to the lady that assisted me, forever grateful. hope to hear from you and send you a token of my appreciation (hint: your are from AL).
Past the cables: and below the traverses: 3-4 spots where you need to hike thru/around the snow banks on the trail. not too bad.
came own same way, same observations about the chains.
Going down SNOW FIELDS: must be careful not to end up on the creek/waterfall. continue steering to the left to and on trail.
SNOW is very soft and slushy. i saw some people managed to slide down.
i did not try it. would've started it at about 7:30am - too late. looks doable if you are feeling strong and fully committed to finish. Doesn't look like there is a turning around point. coming down on it? LOOKS like a very bad choice if you ask me.
Lone Pine musings:
Whitney Portal Hostel: always good, good staff. I recommend it.
Pizza place in town, second year in a row they overcharge me!!!!! ARG!!
Alabama hills cafe. A must for me the morning after my hike
the smokehouse, VERY GOOD. pricey but very good brisquet. check it out.
Cheers, safe hiking y'all!