I've done HD when they've had the cables up and when they haven't. They have a bunch of gloves at the base that you can put on, or you can bring your own. I personally don't think the gloves are necessary. If you're in decent to good shape, you'll be fine. But just don't look down when you're 60% up Just keep moving forward...
i hate when people bring up old threads...but how hard was it to hike up there with your 30D, and lens...did you have it in a bag, and just bust it out when you needed it?...i imagine you didn't have it hanging around your neck the whole time...i'm thinking of going next week during the week...right now i'm planning on bringing my 40D, w/10-20mm on it...and then possibly the 28-135mm for any type of shots of people on the top
edit: also i've heard a lot about the cables section...did you have a harness when you did it?...i know you need gloves, but wondering if i need to get a harness of sorts