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#1227 - 12/10/09 12:09 AM Whitney Lottery Application 2010
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
 
January, 2012:  The 2012 Whitney Permit lottery is Online only. Links:
    Mt Whitney Permit Reservations 2012
    2012 Whitney Permit Lottery information now available

Edit Dec 3, 2010:  The 2011 Lottery information is here:  Whitney Lottery Application 2011

Edit June 6:  You can see the numbers of unused permits for 2010 and prior years here.

Edit April 26:  you can see what is currently available from the Inyo National Forest Mt. Whitney Trail Reservation Availability web pages:Spots available May through July were available as of Wednesday, April 21.  August and later are available for phone-in requests as of Wednesday, April 28.  Phone number is 760-873-2483

Edit April 10:  The lottery application period ended Feb 28, and Inyo National Forest staff have completed processing the 7,370 applications they received.  You can see the posts about the lottery progress here. (Last updated Wednesday April 7.)




Inyo National Forest staff have posted the 2010 Mt. Whitney Lottery Application forms.

Just remember, forms must NOT be mailed until February 1, 2010.

The Inyo web page with the applications is here:    Recreational Activities - Mt. Whitney Lottery

Here are the links to the application forms. You have to print one, fill it out, then mail it.
And just to provide a backup location (in case the N.F. web site has any trouble), the same docs can be found here:

Edit:   For planning purposes, you can look at the Unused Whitney Permits - 2009 information. It has a column to show the permits available on 4/1 (immediately after all lottery apps were processed), as well as the number unused after the actual date.  Based on the numbers there, NOBODY should be entering the lottery for a May hike except maybe overnighters on the Memorial weekend.  The same goes for most days in October.


Edited by Steve C (01/20/12 09:24 PM)

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#1264 - 12/11/09 01:55 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
VersatileFred Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 130
Loc: SoCal
Ah yes. Time to update the WP Options thread.

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#1814 - 01/22/10 06:27 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Sean Offline


Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 1
Loc: California
We are trying to put together a large group (12-15) and are trying to get a feel for the chances of a particular weekend in August being awarded in the lottery process. Does anyone know the statistics from previous years? particularly how many applications were received and how many were tossed out OR how many 1st choices were issued, 2nd choice etc OR possibly how many applications had Aug 1st as 1st choice, Aug 2nd as 1st choice, etc.

Any advice would be welcome.

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#1817 - 01/22/10 09:15 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Sean]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sean, here's what the Inyo N.F. people sent me last year:

Quote:
YES, finally, at 10:00 am today, March 27, we reached the bottom of the lottery box.

6023 applications were sent to the 2009 Mt Whitney lottery
3638 reservations / 2043 unsuccessful
The charging of credit cards, and successful mail will begin this next week.

Lots of people have been calling with concerns about charge cards that had to be canceled. We will not disqualify someone for a declined charge card transaction. When we find a card number that is declined, we will call the person and ask for updated charge card information.

It will take more than a week to get all the letters out. I will write again when the last of the mail is sent.

The calendar with dates that have space still available should be updated in early April.

Cheers

So your chances of getting a permit are fair. However, with a group size of 12-15, unless your app is processed early, your chances are much lower. It would also help if you chose more days, and mid-week always fills more slowly than weekends.

You didn't say, are you looking for a day hike or overnight permit? The overnights fill even quicker than the day hike permits.

Look at the Unused Whitney Permits - 2009 too. It has a column to show the permits available on 4/1 (immediately after all lottery apps were processed), as well as the number unused after the actual date.

From watching the forums and knowing how large groups work, especially for a major hike like Whitney, if you do get a permit for the large number, you will probably find people drop out when it comes to within a few days of your hike. So if I were getting permits, I would write someplace on the application something like: "If a smaller number of permits is available, we will accept a reservation for anywhere between 8 and 15 people."

And IF you have a permit for fewer than actually do go, call the permit office two or three days before and ask about adding what you need. And there are always walk-in permits available on the actual day before the hike due to no-shows.

Good Luck!

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#1921 - 01/28/10 02:02 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's another query I found:
Quote:
My group and I will apply for our permit next week .It looks like we will have 8-9 people in the group. We will put in for an overnight permit and give several days that we will be available.

Just wondering if larger groups like this are affected at all by the lottery.

If your application gets in before the 15th, do you have a greater chance of being drawn, as opposed to getting the app in the END of Feb

Last, have any of you guys NOT got a permit that you applied for?


1. Are larger groups affected...
Yes. As slots fill up and there are only a few open for a given start date, people looking for one or two permits can fill the last open slots within the quota.

2. If your application gets in before the 15th, do you have a greater chance of being drawn?
Definitely! Application processing begins this year on Feb 16 (the 15th is a holiday). So if your application is already in, it might be pulled and processed. Between the 16th and 28th, as more applications are received in the mail each day, they are added to the barrel and get shuffled into the unprocessed ones.

3. have any of you guys NOT got a permit that you applied for?
Last year, 3638 out of 6023 applications received (60%) were successful. Due to the small groups filling the remaining slots in nearly full days, larger groups have a lower success rate.

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#1960 - 01/30/10 08:11 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Strategic question here for the multi-year vets. I snagged a 2 nighter last year beginning on a Wednesday and exiting on a Friday. Ultimately I wound up trading that in for a dayhike, but that's a story in itself. In selecting dates for this year's lottery, I was wondering if there was a feel out there for when the least demanded entry and exit days are for multi-nighters. I'm targeting the latter half of July for a group of 6, two-nighter, and am completely open to any days/dates.

So, is a Sunday entry more likely to find an open space than say a Tuesday entry? I would suspect that Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the most sought after entry days, but is there any real difference in your selection chances with the other days?

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#1967 - 01/30/10 03:20 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Bulldog34]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
I checked the unused permits numbers, and if they are any indication, Tuesday and Wednesday start dates appear to be in least demand of any week days. And the two weeks after the July 4th week / weekend are less in demand than the last two weeks of July or the first two of August. Available numbers seem to pick some later in August -- probably due to school starting in mid August for some.

It is likely that Monday through Thursday start days are in less demand than Friday - Sunday.

And you don't need to worry about exit dates or number of days on the trail. Permits ask about planned number of days, but the actual permit limits are only based on the entry date.

But you should put down your first choices on the lottery form, with mid-week or earlier in July as lower choices. If your app gets pulled early, you get the primo slots!

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#1974 - 01/31/10 05:24 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks Steve. I didn't know that about the exit dates - I just assumed that the 100 person overnight cap was managed on a cumulative basis, not just the entry date. Good info.

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#1988 - 01/31/10 10:33 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I'm not big on the lottery for MMWT, especially day hike permits. It's a rare day something isn't available.

Every year, folks end up with permits in June or July, which they can't use because of conditions. An example of this was 4th of July weekend 2005. My friends and I utilized WP to acclimatize before heading up to Bishop Lake, the place was a ghost town because it was still winter up high...and the permits were sold out. Be careful what you request, you may end up with it.

BTW, tomorrow is the first day you can request a trip from another trailhead to Whitney Portal for August 1. Just call, no lottery. My geezer friends and I have done Horseshoe Meadow to WP in 3 days and OV in 4, if a bunch of 50+ geezers can do it...

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#1992 - 02/01/10 11:56 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: wbtravis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
To everyone entering the lottery this year: This week is the optimum time to mail your permit reservation requests, so they are received before Feb 16, when Inyo N.F. people start processing the requests.

Good Luck to all!



Originally Posted By: wbtravis
BTW, tomorrow is the first day you can request a trip from another trailhead to Whitney Portal for August 1. Just call, no lottery. My geezer friends and I have done Horseshoe Meadow to WP in 3 days and OV in 4, if a bunch of 50+ geezers can do it...

Wbtravis is referring to the Trail Crest Exit permits. There is a quota of 25 per day allowed, and 15 are reservable up to six months in advance. If you plan to hike to Mt. Whitney from another Inyo N.F. trailhead, such as Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass or Horseshoe Meadows, and exit via the Main Mt. Whitney Trail, then a Trail Crest Exit Permit is required.

However, if you are coming from the west side (Sequoia N.P.), you do not need the exit permit.

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#2004 - 02/02/10 11:00 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Uncle Kermie Offline


Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Are the applications prioritized in order of postmark? Or does the USDA Forest Service collect all applications that have arrived by 2/16 and treat them equally (in random order, whatever they open first from the stack gets priority)?

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#2005 - 02/02/10 11:36 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Uncle Kermie]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: Uncle Kermie
Are the applications prioritized in order of postmark? Or does the USDA Forest Service collect all applications that have arrived by 2/16 and treat them equally (in random order, whatever they open first from the stack gets priority)?


All apps are NOT prioritized in order of postmark.

I have in the past submitted 4 pages of dates on my application. I think there were 12 dates of preference per page on previous apps, but now there are 10 per page. Still, 40 is a lot of dates.

Here is what I did:

Kept group size small. 4 have a better chance than 8 or 15. So choose your friends WISELY!

I chose dates in August and September. My first preferences were dates with a FULL MOON or WANING GIBBOUS. I chose dates that fell on a Tues, Wed or Thurs, then listed Mon and Fri.

I listed weekends LAST since many choose those dates first.

I did not list the Labor Day weekend.

Made sure I double-checked everything. DON'T FORGET TO SIGN if paying with a credit/debit card!

Good luck everyone!

Have fun.
_________________________
Journey well...

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#2006 - 02/02/10 11:41 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Uncle Kermie]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Quote:
Or does the USDA Forest Service collect all applications that have arrived by 2/16 and treat them equally (in random order, whatever they open first from the stack gets priority)?

Yes.
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#2007 - 02/02/10 05:02 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Rosabella Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 16
Loc: Washington State
Originally Posted By: Steve C
..... So if I were getting permits, I would write someplace on the application something like: "If a smaller number of permits is available, we will accept a reservation for anywhere between 8 and 15 people."


Very good advice!!!

Last year I had applied for a large group (15 people), and I included four pages of date options. I found out later that when my application was drawn, there was space available for 12 people...but not 15. If I would have put a note on my application like Steve suggested, we would have got our permits issued.

As it turns out, we were able to pick up walk-in permits for an "overnight" for 6 people. But we were lucky - there were more people hoping to pick up the walk-in permits than what was available, so there was a mini-lottery for the available permits.... my sister picked number 1! A few more family members picked up one-day permits the following day.

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#2008 - 02/02/10 07:13 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: + @ti2d]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Hi + @ti2d ..... I like your method. I think I'm going to do the walk in though. Less money, less disappointment (at least in the mail.) The two times I went last year, there were walk ins avalable, for as many as 80+ early in October. October's a risk though.

Also, "WANING GIBBOUS".....I like that. I had to look it up. Tell me more:-)

p.s. after people get their dates, let us know what they are!
_________________________
"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

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#2167 - 02/08/10 01:13 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: quillansculpture]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
..Also, "WANING GIBBOUS".....I like that. I had to look it up. Tell me more:-)


A full moon usually rises just as the sun sets. The waning gibbous rises later in the evening sky. All of my hikes started around midnight.

Sun/Moon Rise/Set

For August 2010, the full moon is the 24th. My "hypo" submission would be:

24 (first choice)
25 waning gibbous
26 waning gibbous
27 waning gibbous
23 waxing gibbous
30 waning gibbous
31 waning gibbous
28 Sat waning gibbous
29 Sun waning gibbous
22 Sun waxing gibbous

If I keep my group small (2-4 people) I stand a good chance of getting my first choice. In the event I don't, I hope to secure dates for the 25th, 26th, or 27th since those are weekdays.

As I stated earlier, I have submitted four pages.
_________________________
Journey well...

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#2269 - 02/12/10 08:52 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Swan Offline


Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 1
Loc: Earth
Hi All,

I'm trying to reserve an overnight spot for the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek and I realize that I don't have to enter the lottery. However, I want to enter the lottery too just as a back-up in case I get shut-out of the Mountaineer's Route.

Am I going to get in trouble with the Forest Service for this? I'm concerned that they're going to get wise to my plans and slap me for trying to double-dip on the reservations.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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#2274 - 02/12/10 09:39 AM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Swan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
Getting the overnight permit for the MR is just a matter of calling the Wilderness Permit number (760-873-2483) and asking (Check the "Wilderness Permit Options" link in the Feature Topics box above on the left.) They become available 6 months in advance.

There are also a few (4) available to walk-in requests the day before your date of entry at 11 AM at any Inyo National Forest station.

> Am I going to get in trouble with the Forest Service for this? I'm concerned that they're going to get wise to my plans and slap me for trying to double-dip on the reservations.
Absolutely not. But the lottery is for something else -- either a dayhike to the summit of Whitney, either via the main trail or the mountaineer's route, OR an overnight hike on the main trail only.

You can enter the lottery multiple times (they don't like that), but if several of your requests gets in, you will be charged multiple times, and it is NOT refundable. Don't even ask for one.

So make the phone call first, and see what you can get.

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#2407 - 02/22/10 01:10 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
Mt. Whitney Lottery Progress Reports are posted in this thread:

Whitney_Lottery_Progress_2010

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#2408 - 02/22/10 01:16 PM Re: Whitney Lottery Application 2010 [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7882
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a question posted elsewhere:
Quote:
When I mailed in the application I had the Forest Service website open and I selected the dates according to the ones listed as still available. Does anyone know if their website is accurate and updated ?

The numbers posted currently on the Mt. Whitney Trail Reservation Availability page are what was available AFTER the 2009 lottery processing was completed. So if you selected the dates that were open, you are highly likely to get a permit reservation this year.

In fact, looking at those numbers, it is completely unnecessary to apply for a May permit, except for Memorial weekend. And likewise for day use and most overnights in October.

Edit Dec 15, 2010:  I see lots of people hitting this message looking for lottery information, so making a note here...
Scroll to the top (or click the following link) to see the 2011 Lottery information post:    Whitney Lottery Application 2011


Edited by Steve C (12/15/10 09:45 AM)

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