MemberDecember 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm
I've been to Whitney about 4 times so I'm not an expert or anything but my first advice is for you to check out the “Whitney Zone” website as it has a lot of useful information about the trail conditions, permits, etc. You can always ask questions there too, where hikers are pretty good about responding back to you.
Second, to get the pesky permit, try to be open on going on different dates to increase your chances of winning. Mid-week is better than weekends. Apply broadly and hope for the best. I believe the lottery opens up from Feb through March so you have until March 15th to apply. In terms of which month is the best month to go, obviously May will be the easiest one to book as there are far less people interested on going, but of course the caveat is you have to be pretty experienced mountaineer to feel comfortable hiking in the snow with ice axe and crampons. My personal recommendation is to apply for permit in late-July to late August as there should be no snow on the trail by then. September tends to be a good month too as most people are back in school or no longer on the summer holidays so trail tends to be less busy at that time.
If all else fails and you don't win a permit via a lottery, just ask on Facebook group “Whitney” if you can tag along with somebody who got permits for your dates. Sometimes I noticed people have extra permits and don't mind sharing them.
Best of luck.