my son and I left at 5:15, I'm 58 he's 26. 6:23 to the top, 25 min. at the summit, then down - done at 5:45, overall time 12.5 hours. first time for both of us (we're beginner hikers), I trained long on the weekends doing San Gorgonio, Baldy, San Bernardino Peak etc... 5-6 months prior and also doing 2 leg workouts during the week typically 6 mile local hike and stairmaster... I felt reasonably fit. my son did baldy twice and nothing else for at least six months prior, good to be young I guess. I didn't want to spend too many hours on the mountain or spend too much time in the dark so we hit a pretty good pace (for me) to the top. it was cold and windy, similar to a day skiing in the mid 20's and 30's. There was maybe three places where there was ice or snow on the trail, pretty easy to navigate though.
We got into town Sunday and did the hike Thursday, we wanted to acclimate at altitude (a little conservative by most standards but I did not want to get altitude sickness). so no altitude sickness (I think). I was tired and wobbly and a bit fuzzy, but no headache, nausea, etc...
I heard lots about the trek prior to accent, things like:
Oh it's your first time, it will take you 17 to 18 hours.
oh my buddy did it in 9 hours, he just walked fast.
that's a bad time of year it's super dangerous you should not go.
it's not too bad, most people just walk up and walk down, you just never know about the altitude.
oh the windows are super scary I crawled across those.
so I took all info in and tried not to be stupid... prior to the hike I hydrated a lot, carb's a lot, then for the hike took 3.5 liters of water with electrolytes and calories (tail wind and nuuns), cliff bars, trail mix, peanut butter and jelly sandwich....
I ate a bar on the way up, then some trail mix, a sandwich at the top and some trail mix on the way down. the water amount was just right. I had purifying tablets just in case but didn't need them.
so the hike: it was 3 mile to lone pine lake plus or minus, the trail is great with about three small stream crossings, so beautiful and no rocks or tree roots or gnarly steps. it was chilly but once your moving your not cold, we continued on to the switchbacks, for us at times it was difficult to figure the trail out, so we detoured about 2 or 3 times (just slightly - nothing too seriously but it wasn't super clear to us). I thought the trail got harder....(duh)
I'd read about the switch backs being super gnarly so my expectations were that it was going to be "super gnarly", but it wasn't to bad at all, sure it was long and dangerous, but not terrible.
... then after getting to trail crest I heard it wasn't supposed to be so bad and only 1.9 miles left...you're practically there.... nope you are not practically there and for me it was quite difficlult as the trail is super rocky (IMO)... it doesn't go straight up like the switchbacks, but it's mostly up after the first down hill.. to me this was the hardest part, then I felt like we just kept walking but not really getting any closer, after the third person coming down said "you're almost there " you stop believing them. then I saw the little hut, I was so happy. so we made it, signed in, ate and drank a little, it was windy and cold. we headed back down trying to be safe, fairly uneventful, but the weather got warmer for a while which was nice.
a truly beautiful hike.... very grateful to have been able to do it and do it safely.
good luck to all!