Put together a checklist for gear
Trekking poles make a world of difference - they aren't just for old people
every main piece of gear you need can be rented from rei or a-16
things like bug spray and sunscreen are crucial
Put together an itinerary
Are you arriving the night before to camp and leave super early day of?
If you are taking a large group and multiple vehicles, get a set of directions out to all the drivers
what else do you need? too bad I didn't get invited... :/
I have advice...invite Toby. He's sorted on this stuff.
That actually made me think about Google Earth and how helpful I have found that free application to be for route scouting in the past. There is an option that will highlight national park and forest boundaries as well as roads so you can get a birds-eye-view of your entire drive and your hike. Its a very helpful way to take a look at the area and notice any landmarks to help you keep pace during your expedition. Give it a shot
I bought my first set of trekking poles from REI last night, everyone has been raving about how much they help.
Check out my packing list for the trip - am I missing anything? Should I leave anything at home? I decided to bring along a very heavy SLR digital camera... hopefully I don't end up regretting the extra weight!
do the mountaineers route. the main trail is crowded and overused, step it up and take the direct route. you will feel better about yourself and not be another tourist hiker.
Although the main trail is overused I caution against the mountaineers route unless you and all of your group are highly experienced. It can be pretty dangerous. Definitely talk to park staff before heading up that route.
I know this is too late now, but here is some advice for others.
The mountaineer’s route is certainly not as heavily used as the main trial, for a reason. Be sure you and your party have mountaineering experience before tackling it. Helmets are a minimum, as falling debris can be a problem.
I was talking to my Children’s Doctor the other day about summating Whitney (he completed his 18th summit this summer) and he recommended the you hyper-ventilate when you are approaching the summit to get more oxygen in your system. I asked about passing out, and he said that there is not enough oxygen in the air to make you pass out (I am still not so sure about this, so I would do more research before my trek up Whitney). He also told me he takes a small dose of caffeine to dilate blood vessels so a cup of coffee in the morning is beneficial.
The Whitney Portal Store has a great site with lots of valuable information.