I drove up to the "Whitney Portal" trailhead on the evening of May 19 and camped near the parking lot. The next morning, at 2:46 am, I awoke to my watch alarm, stuffed a few pieces of bread into my mouth, drank a liter of coke, and downed a handful of instant coffee crystals (caffeine is currently my drug of choice). I grabbed my pack and began hiking at exactly 3:00 am. The first few miles were uneventful, but at about mile 4 the trail became very unclear. There were footprints in the snow leading in seemingly every direction. In the dark it was very difficult to tell which way the real trail went, so I just headed uphill and somehow got to "Trail Camp" (~12,000 ft) without really getting lost. Above Trail Camp, I put on my crampons and hiked up the 35 degree snow slope to the right of the switchbacks. From there, I followed path along the "back" (west) side of Mt Muir and up to the summit of Mt Whitney. I arrived on top at 7:32 am. After 20 minutes on top, I got bored, so I started the trek down. I got back to my car at 10:49 am. I didn't see another person the entire time.