Trip report from 8/7 - 8/11 starting from Horseshoe Meadows over New Army Pass to Guitar Lake, up to Mt Whitney and down to the Portal with a group of 8.
8/7: Drive from LA area to Lone Pine. Both cars of 4 met up at Horseshoe Meadows hiker campground next to the cottonwood lakes trailhead. Did a car drop-off to leave one car at Whitney Portal that evening. Mosquitos were a bit bad from when we arrived at ~6pm until it got dark and colder, around 9pm.
8/8: 13 miles. Started the next morning on the cottonwood lakes trail hiking towards New Army Pass. No trouble getting to the pass, mosquitoes weren't so bad while we were moving. All steam crossings were feet dry using rocks/logs. Climbed the switchbacks to crest New Army Pass. There was about ~10-15 feet of snow covering the last two switchbacks to the top of the pass. We were easily able to scramble up the rocks and snow to the right of the trail, as shown in the photo.
We continued hiking down the pass, passed Soldier Lake, and camped next to the bear box right past the unnamed lake (at least on our Tom Harrison map) between Soldier and Rock Creek. One stream crossing that most of our party used water shoes, a few made it by rockhopping without getting wet. Lots of mosquitoes there, had to hide in the tents until about 10pm before they went away.
8/9: 14 miles. Hiked from our camp through Rock Creek. Again, some crossed the creek by the trail, others backtracked a couple minutes to cross a well-used log and avoid getting wet. Went over Guyot pass. At the beginning of Crabtree meadow, again some used water shoes and some used a log to cross ther river. Hiked through the Crabtree campground and ended at Guitar Lake to camp that night.
8/10: 11 miles. Hiked from Guitar Lake up to the Whitney switchbacks. No snow left on the trail or switchbacks below trail crest. Reached high camp and left most of our gear and took daypacks from here. Ridge trail was clear of snow up until the final switchbacks to the summit. Main trail had snow for a couple hundred feet. Easily climbed up the snow without the use or need for axe/crampons/spikes, just using boots and hiking poles. picture upload websites
Make it to the peak, clear weather and great conditions. Returned back the way we came to high camp, grabbed our gear, then hiked the short ascent to trail crest. Hiked down the front side switchbacks, no snow crossings down the rest of the way to Trail Camp.
8/11: 6 miles. Left Trail Camp and hiked down to the Portal. Were able to cross all streams without getting wet.Made it to the portal at last, where we each enjoyed a burger.
Great conditions and no problems with snow/water crossing. Only minus on our trip was some mosquitoes at the lower elevations.
Let me know if you have any questions about conditions etc on our route!