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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: 6972
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: 6972
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: 6972
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: 6972
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: 6972
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: 1479
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: 6972
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: 6972
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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