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#3773 - 04/26/10 09:57 PM Second chance permit question
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7718
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on another forum:

Forgive me, as I'm still pretty new to this process. My permit application was rejected last month, and now I see some attractive week day dates that are still available. They are accepting new applications beginning the 28th (Wed) for those left over permits. Is the process the same, as in, do you send in the same form? Is it still ok to add alternate dates in case your first choice is full? Thanks in advance.

The dates available page published by Inyo National Forest is here:  Mt. Whitney Trail Reservation Availability  Note that the page has not been updated since April 1, and May, June and July slots have been available for call-in since last week. August and later can be obtained starting Wednesday, 4/28. Be sure to call early!

Unused slots can be obtained by phoning the Wilderness Permit office at 760-873-2483, M-F, 8-4:30.

Alternately, you could fax your request to the office at 760-873-2484, but then you have to wait to find out whether you got the dates you asked for. The lottery permit form would probably be ok: It can be found here.  The general application forms can be found on this page.

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#3779 - 04/26/10 10:38 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: Steve C]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
Than you, Steve. I'm going to wear out my dialing fingers Wednesday morning.

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#3796 - 04/27/10 07:02 AM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Now a voice for semi-dark side...just go and save the $15 per. There are usually more than enough permits available to walk-in and get one.

Worse comes to worst and you don't get one...you end up seeing a part of the Sierra you haven't seen before.

I've never missed at Mt. Whitney walking in but I have at other Eastern Sierra trailheads. Its always been a very rewarding experience.

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#3838 - 04/27/10 04:49 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: wbtravis]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
That's my backup plan to get to the summit this year for sure. However, my main hope was to be able to go with about 3-4 friends through the Horseshoe Meadows area, flyfish for a couple days as we make our way to the Whitney Zone, and then finish it off at the summit. Most of them are working for "the man", as it were, and vacation time is not easy to come by. If I can't pre plan something I'll do a walk up on short notice with whoever can get off work and go with me.

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#3893 - 04/29/10 08:48 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
Got my permits, but we have to enter and exit via Cottonwood Pass. Still, it should be a lot of fun. Thanks for the links and help.

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#3894 - 04/29/10 11:14 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7718
Loc: Fresno, CA
Glad you got them Jeff. Not sure you would want to alter plans at the last minute, but once you're in Lone Pine to check in at the Visitor Center, you might just ask about the availability of Main Trail permits.

There is a good chance you still might snag a Main Trail permit due to the no-shows.

But the Cottonwood Pass loop would be a rewarding and enjoyable way to see Mt W!

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#3895 - 04/29/10 11:39 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: Steve C]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
Yes, I was also told that I could inquire about the main trail permits when we got to the VC. That is a definite possibility, and something I'd consider altering our plans for.

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#3905 - 04/30/10 08:19 AM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
The key in the not so ubiquitous Exit Permit...and believe it or not there are work around that flirt with being legal, if you can't get one on walk-in.

Personally, I just request an available permit on a day closest to my exit date. This avoids the hassle of explaining why a trip you planned to do in 3 days morphs into a 6 day trip in the matter of minutes.

My belief is the forest doesn't give a rat's rear end when I exit any other trail, why should the give a rat's rear end when I leave the MMWT...yeah, I know being the one extra person on the MMWT I am ruining ~200 people's wilderness experience.

With that said, my guess is if you really want to use the MMWT the whole trip, there will be a permit for when you walk in to the ESIVC, come early and be prepared to walk on the trail the same day.

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#3915 - 04/30/10 08:03 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: wbtravis]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
Hmmm, interesting idea if I get the gist of what you're saying about the walk-in. I'm beginning to wonder what kind of a "Whitney" experience this is really going to be, seeing as I'm really getting none of the same trail we did last year- except for the last leg. I've also thought about getting walk-ins for 3 days later, do the Crabtree Meadows thing, and return for a same MMWT summit through the Portal. That's a lot of hiking! I'm also wondering if 4 days is enough to really enjoy a trip to Whitney via Cottonwood Pass. That's an average of 15 miles a day, in terrain I'm not sure of as far as how difficult it is. I'd love to hear some thoughts on that.

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#3917 - 04/30/10 10:10 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Jeff, very doable, and very enjoyable.

Last time I did it, we took 5, but we hiked in the first evening to Chickenspring Lake. That may have been a mistake for some in my party, who got altitude illness.

The next day to Rock creek was relatively short, as it was level/downhill, after climbing out of the Lake, and could easily been combined.

Next day to Guitar Lake Tarns seemed long, but was just a matter of walking gradually uphill.

We camped at Trail Camp after summitting, but could have walked out that day, also. That would have made it 3 days.

I think your mileage is off, though, as I don't think it is 60 miles, more like 36.

http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=BGS121-028

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#3918 - 04/30/10 10:20 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: Ken]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
I sure do hope my mileage is off, but keep in mind that we're leaving Horseshoe Meadows, taking all the trails you named, up to Whitney and back down the way we came. On my map I have it at 29 miles and change one way. Peter Croft has it the same in his book on Whitney. I hope you're correct, though. I have no doubt we will see some great scenery, catch a few fish, and generally have a great time. But I don't want to bum anyone out by making it more work than they signed up for.



Edited by jeff evans (04/30/10 10:21 PM)

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#3921 - 05/01/10 09:51 AM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Oh, Sorry Jeff. I missed that you were going to have to come back out through Cottonwood Pass. Yeah, that would be about 60 miles.

However, I'm pretty sure that you could end up getting an exit permit for the Whitney Zone.

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#3922 - 05/01/10 05:46 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I've done in 3 days...and yes it was enjoyable.

The key is getting to Lower Rock Creek Crossing. We crossed NAP, which I prefer, and from there it was all down hill...literally. The following day we ended up at he Tarns above Guitar Lake very early in the day afternoon and kick backed and relaxed. Day 3 started at 12:30 AM and we were on the summit before sunrise and showering at the Portal Store by 2 PM...a shower that no longer exists.

It's was enjoyable because I was in great shape. This itinerary is not for a couch potato with a heavy pack.

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#3923 - 05/01/10 06:37 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: wbtravis]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
The 3 day trip was what I was planning on. I figured two days to Crabtree and then up to Whitney early in the morning on day three, exiting Trail Crest. I was going to line up a shuttle to pick us up at the Portal and take us to Horseshoe- thus leaving our car where we'd be in the end. Then, when I was on the phone with the permit office, and found out that we weren't getting the Trail Crest exit permit, I scrambled and added a day to our trip. But then I realized the hike in was much further than from Crabtree to the Portal, so that difference might put some of my friends off of this trip.

When we get to the VC I am definitely going to try to get permits as a walk up. Plan B is to get the permits for the MWT on the fourth day of our trip. We goof around for 3 days in the General vicinity of where we were already going (Rock Creek, etc.), and then we can come down and do the MWT early in the morning on the fourth day. Ahh, the best laid plans of...;-)

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#3925 - 05/01/10 11:28 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: jeff evans]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7718
Loc: Fresno, CA
> We goof around for 3 days in the General vicinity of where we were already going

Jeff, you got skunked all the way around -- no Whitney permits AND no Trail Crest exit. frown frown

Unfortunately walk-in permits for overnighters are only available the day OF the hike, unless someone phones in and releases some on a reservation.

However, if you have three days to hang around Lone Pine / Whitney Portal / Horseshoe Meadows, there is no way you would NOT get a walk-in permit to do an overnight on the main trail. Look at the Unused Whitney Permits for 2009. There is only one Friday-Saturday pair in August when ALL the permits were used both days. If you're there two days in a row mid-week at the 11 AM time when the drawing is taken for the no-shows, you will get your permits. If you miss out the first day, go up to Horseshoe Meadows and day hike, or day hike to Meysan Lakes, and come back the next day.

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#3926 - 05/01/10 11:51 PM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Steve,

That's what I've always said, if you want to hike Mt. Whitney and you are flexible you will reach the summit. The more skills, fitness and gear you possess the better your chances.

I have never played the Whitney Lottery and never will.

I have found the more rules someone makes, the more someone is going to look for ways around those rules.

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#3927 - 05/02/10 09:35 AM Re: Second chance permit question [Re: Steve C]
jeff evans Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Venice, CA
The good news is, our trip starts Monday 8-30, and goes until Thursday 9-2. I totally discounted weekends, figuring there was zero chance I'd get a permit at all. Perhaps we'll get lucky and find a cancellation on 8-30 when we go to the VC. If my group is adventurous enough we'll just come down from HM and try to get walk-in permits for Thursday. I'm good with that, and the gamble of driving all that way and getting skunked, but I need to see how they feel about it. I'm beginning to see the benefit of soloing this deal.;)

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