Hiked up the Main Trail yesterday October 5.
Had followed the weather and forecasts for several days and Oct 5 looked like the best opportunity.
Fortunate to get a walk in permit in the lottery at the Visitor Center 2 PM on Oct 4, as some did not.
The weather yesterday was superb: cool (but not cold), very little wind, clear skies with splendid visibility.
The Key Observation: From about the 35th switchback to the summit there was near complete coverage of the trail by snow. The snow was not deep and was nicely packed by the previous foot traffic. I hiked up easily without traction devices, but used micro spikes on the descent until below the Cables (which are a non-issue). Hike poles were very helpful.
The dusting of snow (mostly to the west and south) made for a very dramatic presentation of the physical features of the terrain. The remnants of the Old Trail up to Whitney Pass were visible from Trail Camp.
The spring at the 23rd switchback is done for the season, but the spring in Bighorn Park is flowing briskly.
Water levels are low at all creek crossings.
There are some very nice Fall Colors below Lone Pine Lake.
Unfortunately, I returned to Whitney Portal too late to order my double cheeseburger, as the Portal Stores hours shorten as the Season winds down. Wishing the Portal Store Crew a pleasant Winter and look forward to seeing them next Spring.