One researching technical routes in the region would find that there are several classic traditional routes up the faces of the needles. If that is what you are looking for, The Ranger's station in Lone Pine has all the information you would need.
Red TapePermits must be acquired for anyone venturing beyond the Ranger's checkpoint on the Mount Whitney trail. They are date and duration specific, so you must plan in advance to climb anywhere in the Mount Whitney area. It is one of the most popular climbs in the nation, and is thus regulated. Permits are $30, and are often booked months in advance. If you know when you are going to be climbing, call the Inyo National Forest Ranger station (760-876-6200) and ask about availability. If you are climbing with a large party, the earlier you get your application to them, the better, as they utilize a lottery system to decide who gets to go, and when. Good luck!
CampingVarious campsites are located along the main Whitney trail. The most popular ones seem to be the camp located at the base of the talus slope on which the "99 switchbacks" are found, and another located about 3 miles into the hike. Once again, camping activities are heavily regulated and subject to permit, so make sure you let the rangers know exactly what you want to be doing there and for how long- to avoid disappointment or penalties.
Etymology"This is the second needle south of Mount Whitney. It was formerly known as 'Day Needle,' but it has been officially named after Hilda Crooks, who hiked up Mount Whitney every year from her mid-60s to her early 90s. She rode in a helicopter to the summit of her eponymous mountain in 1995."
-R. J. Secor, The High Sierra, Peaks, Passes, and Trails (Second Edition)
"William Cathcart Day (1857-1905) of Johns Hopkins University, later professor of chemistry at Swarthmore College. Day was with Langley's scientific expedition to the sumit of Mount Whitney in 1881. The name is not on USGS or USFS maps, yet it was named at the same time and in the same way as 'Keeler Needle,' which is on the maps. 'Day' is the pinnacle immediately south of 'Keeler.'"
- Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada
More online: Hulda Crooks 1896-1997
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