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#24822 - 06/08/12 12:39 AM Unused Whitney Permits - 2012
Whitney Zone Offline
admin

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 107
Loc: WhitneyZone
Unused Whitney Permits for 2012            


This table shows the number of permits remaining for both overnight hikes and day hikes on the Main Mount Whitney Trail.  (and day hikes on the non-trail Mountaineers Route.)  During the summer hiking season, you can see what is currently available at the online permit website, Recreation.gov.

Check Recreation.gov for remaining permits (A=Avilable, R=all reserved).  If someone cancels a permit more than two days before, it will show up as Available on the start date of the permit returned. Here are the links for the available slots. Click "Update Availability" to see the 2-week display of available permits:
        Mt Whitney Trail Day Use availability         Mt Whitney Trail Overnight availability

If someone with a reserved permit becomes a no-show (they don't show up and don't phone in before the deadline, which is noon the day before for day hikes, and 10 AM on the entry date for overnight permits), then their permit becomes available to people walking into the Visitor Center and asking. The no-shows become available at 11 AM, (the day before for day hikes, and current day for overnighters).

The Unused columns below show the number of permits left over after all permit activity has completed for that date.  It is the difference between the permit quota and the count of permits issued for the day, and includes the cancelled and no-show permits that were not re-issued to walk-in people.

Relevant discussions:   How do I get a Whitney unused pass?     Unused whitney permits


Previous / Next unused permits pages:  Unused Whitney Permits - 2011  and  Unused Whitney Permits - 2013


Overnight Day Hike
Quotas: 60 100

Overnight Day Hike
May Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 T 53 94 <--Cottonwood Lakes snow depth guage hit 0 inches
2 W 58 96 (Elev. 10150 ft. Actually hit zero on Apr. 12.
3 T 60 99 due to the dry winter.)
4 F 21 98
5 S 21 63

6 S 56 81
7 M 57 96 <-- Tioga Pass road opened in Yosemite
8 T 57 98
9 W 54 93
10 T 43 98
11 F 26 90
12 S 16 77

13 S 43 88
14 M 52 95
15 T 53 98
16 W 52 97
17 T 30 99
18 F 16 85
19 S 20 59

20 S 26 80
21 M 32 99
22 T 18 93
23 W 33 99 <-- Switchbacks accessible, caution required at the cables.
24 T 26 85
25 F 13 89 <-- Storms predicted, Tioga Pass closed
26 S 8 40

27 S 25 4
28 M 32 50 <-- Memorial Day
29 T 34 83
30 W 39 90
31 T 26 81

Overnight Day Hike
June Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 F 26 48
2 S 15 11

3 S 10 38
4 M 15 50
5 T 25 82
6 W 38 76
7 T 18 72
8 F 10 38
9 S 14 13

10 S 23 10
11 M 23 23
12 T 15 12
13 W 33 18
14 T 12 37
15 F 13 28
16 S 21 2

17 S 19 22
18 M 25 33
19 T 20 24
20 W 8 29
21 T 10 17
22 F 6 18
23 S 5 7

24 S 22 25
25 M 7 33
26 T 16 15
27 W 18 40
28 T 13 19
29 F 17 23
30 S 3 8

Overnight Day Hike
July Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 S 8 15
2 M 20 28
3 T 13 15
4 W 14 2 <-- Independence Day.
5 T 17 14
6 F 3 27
7 S 0 5

8 S 13 10
9 M 7 2
10 T 17 5
11 W 13 17
12 T 0 24
13 F 2 2
14 S 4 3

15 S 13 0
16 M 7 38
17 T 18 21
18 W 7 22 <-- Badwater Ultramarathon ends
19 T 18 2
20 F 7 25
21 S 12 5

22 S 17 13
23 M 7 11
24 T 14 6
25 W 18 14
26 T 14 31
27 F 16 9
28 S 2 6

29 S 0 2
30 M 2 2
31 T 17 36

Overnight Day Hike
August Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 W 11 19
2 T 14 18
3 F 0 27
4 S 4 0

5 S 2 19
6 M 3 4
7 T 0 24
8 W 1 19
9 T 7 20
10 F 5 23
11 S 1 12

12 S 12 10
13 M 9 2
14 T 12 3
15 W 7 30
16 T 20 4
17 F 5 9
18 S 6 2

19 S 9 13
20 M 21 9
21 T 8 39
22 W 7 19
23 T 11 25
24 F 0 0
25 S 1 3

26 S 6 24
27 M 11 20
28 T 11 25
29 W 17 67
30 T 2 18
31 F 0 17

Overnight Day Hike
Sept Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 S 2 11

2 S 16 0
3 M 33 1 <-- Labor Day holiday
4 T C C |<-- Trail
5 W C C |<-- "
6 T C C |<-- "
7 F C C |<-- CLOSED
8 S 2 0

9 S . .
10 M C C |<-- for
11 T C C |<-- "
12 W C C |<-- "
13 T C C |<-- "
14 F 6 C |<-- repairs
15 S 3 0

16 S 21 6
17 M 5 11
18 T 16 21
19 W 22 33
20 T 23 28
21 F 12 13
22 S 15 1

23 S 10 30
24 M 34 36
25 T 22 18
26 W 4 15
27 T 14 32
28 F 2 38
29 S 0 4

30 S 23 0

Overnight Day Hike
October Unused Unused
==== ---- ----
1 M 27 33
2 T 7 44
3 W 14 25
4 T 20 34
5 F 14 21
6 S 22 12

7 S 30 5
8 M 31 12
9 T 38 82
10 W 34 86
11 T 28 88
12 F 5 43
13 S 20 12

14 S 26 28
15 M 38 74
16 T 26 82
17 W 38 96
18 T 17 84
19 F 9 69
20 S 32 15

21 S 28 59
22 M 34 91
23 T 45 91
24 W 48 92
25 T 23 97
26 F 38 89
27 S 19 57

28 S 47 82
29 M 55 93
30 T 58 94
31 W 56 95
Nov 1 T 50 100


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#24841 - 06/08/12 11:37 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Whitney Zone]
MichaelRyanSD Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 33
Loc: San Diego CA
Am I reading this correctly, the most recent numbers for the overnight permits in June show a dot, last years numbers show a zero where applicable.

Are the dots representative of saying all the permits were claimed, or does it mean that they don't have info yet for those dates?

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#24843 - 06/08/12 11:46 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
The dots mean "don't have info yet for those dates".

Last years numbers (on the prior years pages) show a zero where ALL the permits were taken by people walking in and registering.

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#25254 - 06/20/12 03:56 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Steve C]
MichaelRyanSD Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 33
Loc: San Diego CA
Where do I find more up to date info for unused permits?

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#25266 - 06/20/12 11:19 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
I collect and post the unused permits about once a month.

You can get an idea of what to expect on any particular day of the week and month if you look at the prior years' numbers. Above, you can get the link for 2011, and in the 2011 page, you can go to the 2010, and so on back to about 2007.

If you check the recreation.gov site multiple times a day, often a few permits will show up available in the week ahead of the current date. Here are the permits for July 1. Click previous 2 weeks to see this month:
  DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone           Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit

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#25268 - 06/21/12 12:15 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Steve C]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
You can get an idea of what to expect on any particular day of the week and month if you look at the prior years' numbers. Above, you can get the link for 2011, and in the 2011 page, you can go to the 2010, and so on back to about 2007.


Since it's been a dry winter, it looks like numbers are running about 2 weeks ahead of 2011. Your data indicates ~20 day use mid-week hikers around June 6. Corresponding 2011 numbers were 7 around June 8, 17 around June 15, 30 around June 22, and 65 around June 29.

And even that must be only because people don't realize how dry it was. Looking at last year's trip reports, there was more snow on the trail on July 20 (!) last year than there is right now.

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#25269 - 06/21/12 12:42 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Eugene K]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Eugene, yes, you are right. Last year, people were cancelling left and right due to all the snow on the switchbacks.

Last year, people could finally hike the switchbacks about July 9. This year, it was May 23. That's 46 days earlier than last year!

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#25920 - 07/13/12 03:11 PM unused whitney permits
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
What is the link for current (e.g. one day old) info on unused whitney permits?

Edit: This thread and discussion has been attached to the Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 thread.

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#25922 - 07/13/12 05:04 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
I get that info about once a month and post it, so it's not available. ....sorry.


Here's the link to the   Unused Whitney Permits 2012.

I'm curious: why do you ask? Sounds like you had an ...experience.

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#25955 - 07/15/12 09:50 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Curious to know unused permit availability on Mondays since we are flying from several hundred miles away. Three of us and need assurance that permits would be available since hanging around an extra day or two would be problematic.

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#25988 - 07/15/12 10:38 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
LarryD, if you go to the unused permits pages, each one has a link to the unused permits page for the prior year, so you can see the trends for yourself, back as far as 2007. Mondays are good, but my feeling is that Tuesdays are even better.

Also, please understand, the unused numbers are after ALL activity is completed at the end of that date. If you go in at 11 AM, your chances of getting a no-show or cancellation permit is even better than those unused numbers.

This year, if you go in at 8:30 or so, as people are coming in and picking up their permits, they often shed a few slots due to some party members dropping out. So THOSE permits become available immediately, even before the 11 AM time when no-shows become available.

The other thing to try is to watch the Recreation.gov site for the date you want, and keep checking several times each day. People do cancel their reservations, so those permits become available sometime within 24 hours after the cancellation.

...and you didn't say whether you are looking for day hike or overnight permits. The links to whichever permit you want are in the 2012 unused permits page.

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#25993 - 07/16/12 09:54 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1452
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Are they actually doing it this way this year?

Last year, when I went through the rigmarole, cancellations, no-shows and unused were all thrown into the daily lottery. I thought the public information was that cancellations would become available immediately, but the actual practice was to throw everything into the lottery. It might pay to call the IAVC directly and find out what they are actually doing, or ask when you go in.
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#25995 - 07/16/12 10:09 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Steve C: Thanks for your response. Good info, although I'm a little hazy on a couple of details.
First item: Second paragraph, about all activity is completed at end of date. I'm not sure what you mean. At 11 AM, the unused tickets for the next day are available - right?
Second item: I guess I don't know the differences between no-shows, cancellations and unused permits, and how they are handled.
Third item: At 8:30 or so, when slots are dropped, do you get those permits directly from the party dropping the permits, or do they get cycled through the office?
We are looking for day use permits.
Thanks
Larry

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#25996 - 07/16/12 10:38 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Good questions. Thanks for asking, maybe I can help clarify...

saltydog wrote:
> Are they actually doing it this way this year? Last year, when I went through the rigmarole, cancellations, no-shows and unused were all thrown into the daily lottery.
This year, because they are on a completely different system -- electronic lottery, AND in the Visitor Center, THAT system is different -- they have changed the process a bit. So starting this year, when hikers pick up a partial number of their reserved permits, those dropped from their reservation become available immediately. The clerks at the desk can see on their computer screen that some are available, and will issue those right away. No wait until 11 AM required. (Of course, this could change at any time, if lots of people start queuing up and asking for them.)

Larryd wrote:
> Second paragraph, about all activity is completed at end of date. I'm not sure what you mean. At 11 AM, the unused tickets for the next day are available - right?
The "all activity completed" part applies ONLY to the Unused Permits numbers posted in this forum. At 11 AM, all the no-shows for OVERNIGHT hikes starting the current day become available. Also at 11 AM, the no-shows for DAY Hikes starting the next day become available. (The day hike numbers are estimated, since day hikers have until noon before they are declared a no-show.)

> I guess I don't know the differences between no-shows, cancellations and unused permits
Yes, it is very confusing. And there is a difference between Day Hike permits and Overnight permits, too.

No-shows: Someone has a permit reservation, but does not show up to actually check-in and pick up the permit. They SHOULD go online and cancel so others can reserve it, but many don't. These people's permits become available to walk-ins at the Visitor Center at 11 AM (current day for overnighters, and day before for day hikers.)

Cancellations: Those are reserved permits where the good people log into recreation.gov and cancel their permits online. Their permits become available online to anyone else within 24 hours of their being cancelled. (And I THINK they become available during phone-in hours when Recreation.gov has operators working the phone lines. But this may be incorrect.)   With cancellations, they are no longer available online 48 hours before the trail entry date, and a "W" shows up for those dates on the permit availability display online.

Unused permits: Those are ones that were available to walk-in people at the Visitor Center, but were left over at the end of the day. It is these the show up in the count on the Unused Whitney Permits pages.

> At 8:30 or so, when slots are dropped, do you get those permits directly from the party dropping the permits, or do they get cycled through the office?
Not from the party. That would be a very confusing situation. Walk up to the counter in the Visitor Center and ask the person behind the computer screen.

> We are looking for day use permits.
Then your best time to pick up a Monday permit is Sunday at 11 AM, but some should be available Sunday morning as soon as those picking up reserved permits drop a slot or two.

Hope this helps!

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#26002 - 07/16/12 03:20 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Thanks again for the updated info. That brings me back to a party of 3 or 4 from out of state who want to fly in and climb on a specific date in August, and then depart on a specific date, scheduled around a Monday climb. A one day delay can cause complications and of course further expense, e.g. change of flights. And work issues.

One option is to roll the dice since last year there was only one Monday in August (I won't go into why it has to be August) where there were no unused permits. But that's a risk, especially where multiple permits are needed (all of nothing).

For various reasons we would need to make reservations very soon, thus eliminating the option of frequent website checks later on. I don't see that happening with no assurance that all of us would get permits.

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#26003 - 07/16/12 04:04 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Hello LarryD,
There's always the Plan B approach

If in your shoes, I would make the travel arrangements and do everything I could to get the whitney permits right up to the day of the hike. And if you can't get them, the Meysan Lake trail is right next door. In fact, you can park your car in the Whitney portal parking lot. It's a lot less traveled than the MMWT. In fact, in August of last year I only saw a total of 6 people in two days on the trail. Meysan Lake is very similar to Consultation and there are a number of peaks available to summit.

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#26023 - 07/16/12 11:23 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: tdtz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
I too would go with tdtz's recommendation -- make your trip reservations, and make all the plans. Only thing I might add if at all possible, is give yourselves one extra day of wiggle room -- plan on hiking either Monday or Tuesday. If you come down on a very short trip, you run the risk of having serious altitude issues anyway. If you didn't get your permits on Sunday for the Monday hike, come back again on Monday for a Tuesday hike.

And spend a day acclimating and enjoying the high altitude of Horseshoe Meadows or a similar spot in the Sierra.

If you cannot add the extra day, just have a Plan B. You could drive up to White Mountain and hike that, or you could day hike Mt Langley. Both are memorable and enjoyable Fourteeners.

But I am pretty sure you would be able to get the permits you want.

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#26030 - 07/17/12 08:32 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Both of you have good suggestions, and we would be wise to follow them. Our deal is that we recently summitted Shasta, and our desired next stop is Whitney. We would arrive very early and have almost one full day to get acclimated. As a group, the extra day is problematic.

I noticed that usage in June 2012 was heavier than in June 2011. Weather perhaps? If it is increased interest, hopefully the usage will level off to last year's pace.

Anyway, you folks have given us the lay of the land, which is very helpful. Thanks.

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#26031 - 07/17/12 08:42 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
There was still a lot of snow and ice on the trail in June 2011. I was actually practicing glissading at lone pine lake (10,000') at the end of June last year. This year the trail was clear no later than mid-June.

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#26033 - 07/17/12 11:14 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: tdtz]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Just so I'm clear, Steve:

I can actually show up around 10am and hope there are some walk-ins available immediately? I don't have to wait until 11am?

Thanks,
L
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#26041 - 07/17/12 09:44 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Laura, that's right. Bob R did it the Friday morning before Memorial weekend. And I got confirmation at the Visitor Center a week ago when I was there.

Larry D, over the past 5 years, the unused permits usage seems about level. Last year, the switchbacks weren't open until some time in July. This year it was late May. THAT is the cause of the change in numbers between the two years.

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#26073 - 07/19/12 08:25 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Steve:

Can one person check in at 8:30 am for available permits (whatever they are called) on behalf of a group arriving later? Or at what point in time can that occur, or can it occur at all?
Thanks
Larry

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#26076 - 07/19/12 10:31 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
The trip leader can pick up permits for everyone. Since you don't have a reservation, the person who walks in and asks for the available permits becomes the designated "trip leader".

The others in the group do not need to be there.

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#26082 - 07/19/12 01:23 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Thanks again for the great info. The only unavailable Monday last year was Aug. 7, which could be explained by the delayed opening of the switchbacks. I'm tempted to pull the trigger, but it's a group thing so we'll see. Again, thanks.

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#26092 - 07/19/12 10:47 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Stalin Offline


Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Steve is right as always. We secured 3 overnight permits by going around 10am on july 6th, Very lucky! However I was told that if I had been little later, their system would get locked and not able to issue permits until the 11am mini lottery.

Thanks Steve and others in this forum for sharing valuable information all along. It was very helpful for my preparation on my very first overnight backpacking experience and Whitney hike attempt.

Stalin

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#26094 - 07/20/12 12:25 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Stalin]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for that info, Stalin.

I should explain that the "11 AM mini lottery" is a drawing of numbers out of a bucket. Since the no-shows are released at 11 AM, there is usually a larger number of people at the Visitor Center at that time. So they hold the drawing, and process everyone in the order of the numbers drawn.

I was told this drawing and processing sequence includes EVERYONE there, even people picking up reserved permits (for next day entry, for example)

Edit: "even people picking up reserved permits" means those people wait in the same queue to pick up their reserved permits. Their reserved permits are NOT given to someone drawing a lower number.

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#26161 - 07/23/12 09:52 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1452
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Thanks for that info, Stalin.

I should explain that the "11 AM mini lottery" is a drawing of numbers out of a bucket. Since the no-shows are released at 11 AM, there is usually a larger number of people at the Visitor Center at that time. So they hold the drawing, and process everyone in the order of the numbers drawn.

I was told this drawing and processing sequence includes EVERYONE there, even people picking up reserved permits (for next day entry, for example)


Wait. What? Really? The reservations for the NEXT DAY are put in the daily mini-lottery? After entering the lottery in what February and making reservations and plane tickets and all that, you show up on time the day before to pick up your confirmed and paid permit and you are put in the daily lottery? And could be given to someone else?

That can't be what you mean to say. Why in the world would anyone with a confirmed reservation go in a daily lottery?

Every time I think I understand the Whitney permit system, something changes. When I was at the IAVC last year in mid July it was just nuts. The switches had just cleared from all that snow, and weeks of no-shows and cancellations suddenly turned into lines of walk-ins. I called ahead. No information, "you have to come in. Yes we have cancellations but you have to be here". I walked in. "Why didn't you just call ahead, we always have some cancellations, and could have held them for you?" I stood in line two days in a row. I talked to at least five different rangers from the 3 agencies -- BLM, NPS and NFS -- and I swear, no two people I talked to, including the 5 rangers and the best informed individuals on this board, had the same story on how it worked. I had just been backed off the HST on a permit with a Whitney exit, less than 24 hours off the trail, so I asked about the status of that permit: the SEKI Ranger said it was still good for anywhere on the permit, including the WZ, as long as I reentered within 24 hours reasonably along access to the HST, including WP. The INF Ranger at the next register said "I don't know about that, I'll check, called Mammoth and then said "no way".

In any event, after spending 48 hours on the ground wherever I go, I usually understand the rules pretty well. Except at the Lone Pine IAVC. Its still a mystery.

Is there something, somewhere in one document or one page that explains how it actually works?
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#26162 - 07/23/12 10:30 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: saltydog]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Wait. What? Really? The reservations for the NEXT DAY are put in the daily mini-lottery? After entering the lottery in what February and making reservations and plane tickets and all that, you show up on time the day before to pick up your confirmed and paid permit and you are put in the daily lottery? And could be given to someone else?


I can probably help here a little bit. Everyone picks a number, but the permits for the next day are not at risk. Instead, the lottery is to determine in which order everyone is to be served. It's weird how they do it, but there is no need to panic. (I just went through this on Saturday and they explained it then).

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#26163 - 07/23/12 11:10 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Is there something, somewhere in one document or one page that explains how it actually works?

Sorry, no. It is so complicated that Inyo can't train all the clerks in all the situations. So you get different answers every time you ask a different person. Also, there are so many different combinations (day hike, overnight, Trail crest exit, other trails, etc. etc) that both your questions and the answers people give are not usually understood perfectly. You could be asking about one type of permit, but the person answering mistakes it for another, so gives you answers that are off base.

That 24-hour rule is for people exiting to pick up supplies and then get back on the trail -- usually PCT hikers.

> "Why didn't you just call ahead, we always have some cancellations, and could have held them for you?"
That's bogus. Whoever gave you that remark did not understand your question or situation. Their answer applies to reserved permits. If you show up AFTER the deadline to pick up reserved permits they give them away to the walk-in people, since you were a "no-show". And so, if you had reserved permits, you could have called in and asked them to hold them for you.

Edit: To top it off, this year the system went to a new online lottery and the permit process in the V.C. changed as well. So what we knew last year has changed.

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#26171 - 07/24/12 12:59 PM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1452
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
That's what I thought on all counts, so thanks for making it clear.
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Wherever you go, there you are.
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#26341 - 07/30/12 08:39 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: saltydog]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
I just checked for July 31 for Whitney day use, nothing available. But then I hit date range, and it said W for July 31, meaning available at the permit office, no quantity stated.

I guessing the 2012 unused permits history will be updated shortly - ?

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#26342 - 07/30/12 08:51 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
The "W" only means you cannot reserve online. There is no guarantee that any are available.

However, experience has shown that there are always some available.

I'll update the unused numbers when Inyo sends the data. It depends on when staff gets "a round tuit". There is nothing automatic involved.

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#26414 - 08/01/12 11:23 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
OK. I'll keep a look out for the update. I'm guessing that the old link will work for the update.

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#26415 - 08/01/12 11:30 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
If day use permits are not available (I understand they usually are), can a person get an overnight permit and use it for a day hike? Kind of like a ham and cheese sandwich without the cheese. What are the permit charges?

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#26416 - 08/01/12 11:45 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Walk-in permits are free.

Without the cheese: Officially it is not allowed, but I doubt rangers on the trail would mind. Overnight hikes become day hikes due to AMS and other emergencies all the time. Day hike permits are generally more plentiful than overnight.

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#26686 - 08/08/12 10:08 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Larryd:   I moved your question about boots and tennis shoes to a new thread:   here.

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#26783 - 08/10/12 08:54 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Steve:

I remember seeing a comment I thought you posted that said that the lottery for day climbs was moved to 2:00 pm, like it used to be (?), but I can't find it on the thread. Is 2:00 pm the new time for day people?

While I think of it, can you tell me the approx size of the food lockers at the trail head?

Thanks

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#26785 - 08/10/12 10:16 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
> the lottery for day climbs was moved to 2:00 pm, like it used to be (?)

That is my understanding. I am waiting to hear back from Inyo regarding the July numbers, and I hope to get this all confirmed then. I am not sure there is a lottery at 2 PM, but I am more sure that the unused permits become available about then.

> can you tell me the approx size of the food lockers at the trail head?

They're actually closer to the parking spots than the trail head. And they're big. Big enough for several medium sized ice chests. But they are used by lots of people, so try to keep your stuff to a minimum -- grocery bag or some similar container. If you can remember, put a note on the container with your name and expected return date, so it can be removed if you forget to take it out.

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#26884 - 08/13/12 12:54 AM Re: unused whitney permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have updated the Wilderness Permit Options information to better explain the permit pickup process at the Visitor Center, since the process has changed this year. Please look at Step 6, which covers the Walk-in (No-Fee) Permit Options.

What I have tried to explain is this:

You can walk in and ask for an available permit before the no-shows are declared. There MAY be permits available due to possible cancellations, but more likely due to group size reductions -- people with reservations for a specific number, but some of their members dropped out of their hike.

My experience in May:   At 8 am, when I picked up an overnight reservation for one, I tried to add another friend who was going with me. There were NO slots available. But at 8:30, the friend walked in and got his permit, since some other group had dropped a slot after 8 am, but before 8:30.

The reserved permits for overnight hikers must be picked up by 10 am on the date of their hike. Groups who have not cancelled, and do not show up by the 10 am deadline become no-shows. Their permits are automatically cancelled by the Recreation.gov reservation software (email messages are sent). The software makes them available at 11 am to the clerks at the Visitor Center. So a significant number typically becomes available at that time.

For day hikers, the pick-up deadline is 1 pm the day BEFORE the hike. So between 1 and 2 pm, the no-shows are processed automatically, and then become available at 2 pm.

For people with reservations, their permits are held and not re-issued, if they have confirmed on-line, or called the Wilderness Permit office and asked that the permits be held.

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#26924 - 08/13/12 03:26 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Whitney Zone]
dsilvera Offline


Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Thanks for this excellent site and most helpful forum. I will be in Lone Pine the weekend of 8/25-26 for a bike race and am hoping to hike Whitney on the following Monday or Tuesday, but do not currently have a permit of course. Do I gather correctly that I should have a very good chance of securing a permit if I try on Monday and Tuesday if needed?

I assume the times given with regard to securing a permit are for the previous day, right? E.g. 11am on a Sunday to get a permit to hike on a Monday? Is this office open on Sunday and if so what hours?

Thanks much for any info.

On another note, one day of the bike race we'll be riding to Horseshoe Meadows and the other to Whitney Portal. Won't be spending a ton of time at altitude but will certainly be working hard, any thoughts as to how this might serve for acclimatization? I'm a very fit 29 y.o male who lives at sea level.

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#26926 - 08/13/12 03:58 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: dsilvera]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: dsilvera
Is this office open on Sunday and if so what hours?


Hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

source: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/about-forest/districts/?cid=stelprdb5136221
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

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#26929 - 08/13/12 05:10 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: dsilvera]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
This will definitely help acclimatization, particularly the HM part. You will spend a couple of hours above 10K.

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#26930 - 08/13/12 05:20 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: dsilvera]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I should have a very good chance of securing a permit if I try on Monday and Tuesday if needed?

Yes, very good chance. Not sure when your ride Sunday will be over, but you could go in before the 5 PM closing and inquire about a Monday permit. Some may still be available.

> I assume the times given with regard to securing a permit are for the previous day, right? E.g. 11am on a Sunday to get a permit to hike on a Monday?

I believe you intend to DAY hike, right? If that is the case, the no-shows become available at 2 pm, not 11 am. Note that I recently updated step 6 in Wilderness Permit Options to reflect the correct 2 pm time. Some permits come available before the no-show time, too.

> any thoughts as to how this might serve for acclimatization?

With the several hours spent climbing to HM and WP, you will have some acclimatization, but not likely enough. Being very fit is sometimes a disadvantage -- gets you higher faster so AMS can come on faster. If it were me, I'd get an Rx for Diamox (Acetazolamide), NOT the 250 or 500 mg, but 125 mg low-dose. I'd try one at home to make sure it doesn't bother you (if it does, try half the 125 mg). With that Rx, take one the night before, and one the morning of your hike. It may well help. ...or go without, be aware of headache and nausea symptoms, and turn around if they come on too strong. Make sure you drink lots so you are peeing every couple of hours, and snack a lot, especially lower down, in case you lose your appetite higher up.

Also, once you get your permit for next day, if you have time, drive back up to HM, and sit around and read a book for some hours. It will be time well-spent.

Good luck on the bike race!!

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#26953 - 08/14/12 11:02 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Steve C]
dsilvera Offline


Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Thanks so much! Extremely helpful. I'm going to hang out in HM for a while on Friday as well, so hopefully that will help. Excited for the adventure and very grateful for all this info.

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#27218 - 08/25/12 09:01 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
Steve:

Just a note that we climbed and summitted on Monday, using day use permits. I wanted to thank you for your help with info. FYI, although I know the odds were very good about unused permits being available on a walk in basis, with the distance involved in our case and expensive flight changes (change fee plus increased fare, about $200 per person, plus the uncertainty of when the next available flight might be), I wanted to hedge our bets. I kept checking the website, and all I could get in advance was one day use and one overnight permit (you will recall the ham and cheese without the cheese). Upon arrival, the rangers did not like that since it might deprive someone of getting on the mtn, but they had a day use permit available (about 1:00 pm), so they converted (or whatever) the overnight to a day use. All the same to me.
It was a long brutal day, but we got up and down and it was great. So thanks again for your help and info.
Larry

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#27240 - 08/25/12 10:09 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Larryd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Way to go, Larry. Thanks for the update.

Now... What shoes did you hike in?

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#27249 - 08/26/12 10:13 AM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Steve C]
Larryd Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Oregon
My boots. Glad I did. On the descent, I was tiring, and there were a couple of times when I stepped on an uneven surface and my ankle rolled. No injury, but the fatigue makes you a little less vigilant and probably susceptible to injury since your body parts are strained beyond normal. Limping down, or worse, the mtn would not have been much fun at that point.

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#27742 - 09/13/12 10:02 PM Re: Unused Whitney Permits - 2012 [Re: Whitney Zone]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6792
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bump. I've updated the numbers through Sept 8.

edit:
Here are the 2013 Unused Permits numbers


Edited by Steve C (08/13/13 02:54 PM)

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