I entered the lottery for Whitney last March and managed to secure one for this past weekend. We drove up Friday night and camped at Horseshoe Meadows at 10,000 ft. It's higher than the Whitney Portal, cheaper, and quieter.
The next morning we drove down to Lone Pine to pick up our permit (a bit of a hassle, but we arrived after the visitor center was closed on Friday). Here's Whitney way off in the distance:
As we ascended to Trail Camp (about 6.5 miles and 3,300 ft. of vertical), we stopped at Lone Pine Lake:
There were a few beautiful meadows that we passed by as well. The scale of everything here is just a little larger than the rest of the Sierras.
This is what Trail Camp looks like. We were lucky enough to find two protected sites for tents, as it was fairly cold and windy (some light rain and thunder as well). For whatever reason, the number of campers our night didn't seem that large.
The lake next to Trail Camp got glassy enough around sunset for some pictures:
We got an early start up the 97 switchbacks the following morning (hoping to summit early to avoid any potential thunderstorms) and were treated to a beautiful sunrise:
While one member of our group had altitude issues, I was surprisingly fine all the way to the top--I've never been higher than 13,000 ft. before and this is 14,500. I'll attribute that to sleeping at 10,000 and 12,000 ft. the previous 2 nights.
The summit was in the clouds for us, but we still tried to take a few pictures:
The scenery behind Whitney (to the east) is beautiful as well:
The hike itself is not difficult. We took 2 days since we wanted to enjoy it, but I could have easily done the ~22 miles in ~8 hours with a day pack. I was expecting huge crowds, but I think we timed things right and never experienced crowded trails. The permit process makes planning the trip a bit of a process, but it's completely worth it.