OK, all you Eastside Experts, I need some advice. In July my wife, 11 YO daughter, myself, and Joe Q (quillansculpture) plan to do a 3-day/2-night backpack of Whitney. Given my wife's history with dramatically bad AMS, and the fact that neither she nor my daughter have done any hiking much over 11K', I figured this would be the best way to get them up and down successfully. They'll have 5 prior nights sleeping at 8K', with several dayhikes to 11,500' or so.

The problem is that we do not have permits. I've scheduled our start for a Wednesday, 7/20, feeling pretty confident that we should be able to secure 4 walk-in permits near mid-day that day, leaving us plenty of time to get up to Consultation Lake for the first night. Summit and back to CL the second day, then back down the third. I'd be remiss, however, if I didn't have a Plan B ready to roll if we should find ourselves at the IA center at mid-day on the 20th, packs loaded and ready to go, but not in possession of overnight WZ permits.

Should that happen, what options would you suggest? Obviously, any other start would need to be close by, as the day would already be half gone. My first inclination would be to head up to Meysan Lake (assuming we could snag overnight wilderness permits at the IA), spend the 2nd day trying to tag some combination of Irvine, Mallory, or LeConte, then back down the 3rd day. My wife has her heart set on summitting something of consequence, and has pretty decent cross-country skills. In researching these peaks I'm not coming up with a lot of detail, but they appear to be pretty straightforward class 2 hikes, albeit with scree-ski, with maybe some minor class 3 near the summit. If that's the case, it's doable for both my girls.

The second option appears to be to Cottonwood Lakes the first night, and possibly Langley the next day. I've gone as far as Cottonwood Lakes, and the Pass, before, but not beyond.

Help your Bulldog Brother out!