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#49174 - 02/02/17 10:35 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Snacking Bear]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 36
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear


For the whole section from Whitney to Russell I'd most recommend dropping your pack at the Russell Carillon Col, climbing the E. Ridge of Russell, returning, and then take the easy sand slope to UBSL. You can get from the 13,200 to the 11,200 UBSL in 1-2 hours. The sand makes the descent quick, easy, and fun.

From UBSL, dayhike up the MR and then pack out.


That's more or less how I was going to handle that section between Russell and Whitney this past September.

I had planned to go with the same high points plus a few others and come up Shepherds Pass. The route was to be Shepherds, Tyndall, Willi, then go XC south from Willi and tag Trojan and Barnard, into the Wallace/Wales/Tulainyo area, and finally up the Russell-Carillion Col and then going on as stated above. My hiking buddy decided he had bitten off more than he could chew when we camped the first evening at Mahogany Flat so we ended up base camping next to the big rocks near the Tyndall Polychrome Saddle and hiking Polycrome the second day after making the pass and heading up the north rib of Tyndall and down the south side to the Wright Lakes Basin. Not a decent I'd recommend btw - nasty, steep, nasty, loose talus and scree; then it gets cliffy about 500' from the bottom.

here's my TR over on HST: http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15119


Edited by psykokid (02/02/17 11:01 PM)

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#49178 - 02/03/17 10:27 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Snacking Bear]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 393
Loc: Saugus, CA
Reading psykokid's great TR, he has this photo descending from Polychrome looking at Tyndall. Even at a low-snow year you can see the tarn at the TP Col is there.

Big. Flat. Sandy.

As long as it ain't too windy it could make for some good camping RIGHT at the foot of the North Rib no less!



Thanks psyko!
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#49293 - 02/26/17 03:13 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: WanderingJim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 112
Loc: California
Okay, so I've been having fun trying to line up permits and have a couple quick questions:

What is the possibility of the reverse direction working out? So I'd start with Whitney, get it out of the way then head north to Russel and Williamson. Have the option to exit via Shepherds Pass as well.
While the Whitney to Russel trek looks a bit more daunting in that direction, the rest seems pretty similar to coming down from the north.

Granted, I'd have to get lucky with the lottery, but trying to get entry and exit permits available at the same time has been fun. smile Did snag a 7 day permit in mid August, but might be useful to have a backup plan.

What is the difference between and "Overnight Permit" and a "Cross Country Permit"?
Rec.gov mentions "Cross Country permit type for Sphinx Creek and Brewer Range, Sixty Lakes and Gardner Basin areas)".
But as far as I can see, the availability for the two types is the same and my route doesn't hit those areas anyway.


Edited by WanderingJim (02/26/17 03:15 PM)

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#49294 - 02/26/17 06:11 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6782
Loc: Fresno, CA
Overnight permit: Up to 15 people. Cross Country: National Parks only allow group size of 8. That's the only difference.

Are you trying to get a Trail Crest exit permit? They disappear in seconds every morning at 7 AM.

But... If you're doing Whitney from the north, you can exit via the MR, and you don't need the TC exit permit.

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#49295 - 02/26/17 09:39 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 112
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C

But... If you're doing Whitney from the north, you can exit via the MR, and you don't need the TC exit permit.


Interesting, I didn't really consider a difference between the MR and Whitney Trail exits as far as the permit goes.

But looking closer, it does have a 'visiting Whitney' item.

That could simplify things. smile

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#49296 - 02/27/17 08:41 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: WanderingJim]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 393
Loc: Saugus, CA
Cross Country
I think in terms of restrictions, Steve is right, the only restrictive diff is the number of people allowed in a single party.

Well, to state what is probably already apparent to you, in terms of SAR info, since you will be heading off-trail for significant stretches, having every bit of info as accurate as possible on your permit would be advisable in case of emergency. Therefore I would select cross-country so SAR personnel would know (with out too much mental footwork needed) to look for you in non-trailed areas first.

Visiting Whitney
As far as "visiting Whitney" that permit designation is only for people who aren't entering/exiting via the Portal and by extent the Whitney Zone.

Namely, that designation is primarily for people hiking CP to OV, or PCT hikers who will just tag Whitney's summit and return to Guitar Lake. Those hikers technically only pass into the WZ for a cumulative 0.25-0.5 miles of trail length.

So... If you wanted to start your trek from Cottonwood, Meysan Lakes, or Cleaver Col, you could theoretically use a permit as such without fear of repercussions.
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#49297 - 02/27/17 10:32 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Snacking Bear]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 112
Loc: California
Okay... now I'm confused again. Steve was saying that exiting via the MR wouldn't need the exiting via Whitney permit (via Trail Crest), but you seem to be saying exiting via the Portal would require that (and of course the MR exits via the Portal).

So who's right?

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#49298 - 02/27/17 01:05 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: WanderingJim]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 393
Loc: Saugus, CA
To my knowledge, (and I will state my case, but defer to Steve absolutely), the issue with exiting the Whitney region isn't specifically travelling over TC, but passing through the WZ to the Portal.

Both the MWMT and MR pass, inescapably, through the WZ. Further complicating factor: IIRC the N. Fork of Lone Pine Creek (MR) has an even tighter limit on permits (day and overnight).

Although the number of people hoping to exit via the MR is low... but IIRC the same TC Exit Quota applies to anyone exiting through the WZ to the Portal.

Though I might be wrong, here is what doesn't make sense to me: The whole purpose with the quota system is to minimize adverse affect of too many people passing through the WZ. It doesn't make sense (IMHO) that simply opting to exit via a rougher route. in the same zone would escape the stringent quotas.

Again, Steve will probably know better but I had to push back a little if something didn't seem to match up with the 13+ different times I've gotten permits in/out/passing through the Whitney Zone.


Edited by Snacking Bear (02/27/17 01:11 PM)
Edit Reason: spellign
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#49299 - 02/27/17 03:04 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Snacking Bear]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1449
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I have to call this one for Steve.

The MR and all of North Fork route is indeed in the Whitney Zone, so you are still in the Whitney Zone most of the way down North Fork. But"Exiting" means "Exiting wilderness", and that happens on the North Fork well before you reach the Main Trail, and on the Main Trail just before you reach the North Fork. SO the question becomes whether the so called "Whitney Exit" applies to the Whitney Zone or only to the Main Trail. It has long been referrred to as the "Trail Crest" quota, and genreally referred to as "Exiting Whitney" or Exiting WHitney Portal. But by any definition, "exiting WHitney Portal" doesn'e mean anything, because at Whitney Portal you are not exiting anything. ANyone ending at the Portal has already exited both Wilderness and the Zone by a mile or more.

SO you would have to look at exactly how the quota is described. IF it says exiting through WHitney Zone, then yes, that would apply to the MR and North Fork. IF it says Exiting by MW Main Trail, or trail Crest then no.

So guess what. Here is what the INyo web site actually says:

"Look for a permit type with “Visiting Mt. Whitney” if you will visit the Mt. Whitney Zone, but are not exiting via the Mt Whitney trail to Whitney Portal.
Look for a permit type with “Exit Mt. Whitney” for trips that will finish at Whitney Portal via Mt. Whitney (Trail Crest Exit).* An additional quota will apply for your exit date."


Based on this, I would say that it is crystal clear that the quota does not apply to the MR/North Fork route, becuse it does not exit Wilderness, or anything else, by Trail Crest or the Main Trail. QED.

Note, however, that you still need the "Visiting Mt Whitney" permit, but there is only an extra charge for this, not a quota.


Edited by saltydog (02/27/17 03:19 PM)
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#49300 - 02/27/17 03:15 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1449
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
OK, for bonus points and your graduate degree in MT Whitney permitting issues, here's the kicker. You do not need the Visiting Whitney permit to summit from the west under any circumstances, only to descend east of the Crest, as at Trail Crest or the MR notch, or to fling yourself off the summit to the east.

The simple reason for this - pay attention; this will be on the final - is that Mt. Whitney summit is not in the Whitney Zone. That's right, Mt WHitney is not in the Whitney Zone, nor is any of the trail between Trail Crest and the Summit. And yes, I know what the maps look like, and yes I know what some rangers at the Visitors Center will say (until pressed) but the Summit and the entire trail from trail Crest and from Guitar Lake, to the Summit, are in SEKI and under their jurisdiction. Even on an Inyo Wilderness permit, you do not need the VW permit to, well VW.

Truth.

Trail Crest Exit Quota


Edited by saltydog (02/27/17 04:06 PM)
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#49301 - 02/27/17 03:18 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1449
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
PS, the only thing on this site more fun than saying Whitney is not in the Whitney zone is saying that use of WagBags is not required. But I digress.
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#49302 - 02/27/17 03:54 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 112
Loc: California
Didn't know there was going to be a test on all this. smile

So by the letter of the rules, it looks like I'd be okay with just a "Visiting Mt Whitney" permit.

But ironically when I did my first summit of Whitney, the only time I got asked for my permit was just when I was reaching the end of the trail at the Whitney Portal. smile If that happens this time, I'd probably have to show the ranger pictures of me on the MR to prove I didn't come down the Whitney trail. smile

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#49303 - 02/27/17 03:54 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 393
Loc: Saugus, CA
Originally Posted By: saltydog
That's right, Mt WHitney is not in the Whitney Zone, nor is any of the trail between Trail Crest and the Summit. And yes, I know what the maps look like, and yes I know what some rangers at the Visitors Center will say (until pressed) but the Summit and the entire trail from trail Crest and from Guitar Lake, to the Summit, are in SEKI and under their jurisdiction.


Well isn't that confusing (I've only looked at the maps)!!

Haha. Fair enough, thanks for clarifying!

Of all the times I've been stopped for a permit check, I've never been checked when on the MR (I haven't seen the ranger).
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#49305 - 02/27/17 04:20 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: WanderingJim]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1449
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Yeah there's a test, where do you think you are some FB page?

Not just the letter of the rules: a lot of explanation, elaboration and 8x10 color glossy photagraphs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back explainin what each one was.

And actually yeah it would not hurt to have a couple of color glossies of your own.


Edited by saltydog (02/27/17 04:21 PM)
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#49306 - 02/27/17 10:36 PM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6782
Loc: Fresno, CA
SaltyDog is right on just about everything in this thread. There have been long discussions regarding the "visiting Mt Whitney" rules. I think Inyo N.F. has finally stopped hinting that people coming up from the west side need to have that designation. Inga Aksamit on the JMT and Altitude Acclimatization FB pages made some inquiries and discussions with Inyo staff, and pretty well cleared things up.

As for showing your permit to an Inyo ranger... I would think that if you were to be asked to show your permit once you were on the trail below the North Fork Lone Pine Creek (where the MR joins the main trail), your permit's itinerary would make it pretty obvious that you weren't exiting via Trail Crest.

On another topic: I was away today, looking for a backpack with camera that fell of a snowmobile Sunday. Unfortunately NOAA's predicted 1" of snow was actually almost a foot. So there's a nice old Panasonic Lumix buried somewhere in the snow northwest of Huntington Lk. That's what I get for entrusting someone else with my pack and camera.

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#49307 - 02/28/17 05:58 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 922
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I think Inyo N.F. has finally stopped hinting that people coming up from the west side need to have that designation.

I talked to Lone Pine station yesterday and specifically asked if I needed a Whitney Zone permit to "visit" Whitney if approaching from the west and returning to the west. They said yes I do.

Maybe I should call back today and ask a different person.

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#49309 - 02/28/17 07:42 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 378
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Steve C


On another topic: I was away today, looking for a backpack with camera that fell of a snowmobile Sunday. Unfortunately NOAA's predicted 1" of snow was actually almost a foot. So there's a nice old Panasonic Lumix buried somewhere in the snow northwest of Huntington Lk. That's what I get for entrusting someone else with my pack and camera.


Steve, you are generous to a fault.At the very least I would replace any gear lost that you loaned me.

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#49310 - 02/28/17 08:17 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6782
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I think Inyo N.F. has finally stopped hinting that people coming up from the west side need to have that designation.

I talked to Lone Pine station yesterday and specifically asked if I needed a Whitney Zone permit to "visit" Whitney if approaching from the west and returning to the west. They said yes I do.

Maybe I should call back today and ask a different person.

If you called the Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, that would explain it. People there don't have the last word. Call the Wilderness Permit office in Bishop. Cindy there is the authority.

...reading the quote below again, I can see that they still prefer that you select the VMW option -- for the waste management issues.

Here is the Jan 19, 2017, post from Inga Aksamit in the JMT facebook group:
Quote:
Inyo Permit: Overnight vs Overnight Visiting Whitney. There have been a number of threads discussing the type of permit you need if approaching from the west (e.g. Crabtree/Guitar Lake) and returning to the trail (e.g. to exit at Horseshoe Meadows or Kearsarge Pass). Jennifer Swann was given info from an Inyo NF representative that didn't sound right so she kept pursuing it, finally getting a call back from a ranger who provided a lengthy explanation. I'm not sure it's that satisfying but Jennifer and I thought this should be shared. Bottom line, either type of permit is OK.

"Had a great conversation with Cindy Gervasoni at Inyo NF today. She explained everything beautifully. She said that there are actually two different Whitney zones. There is a Whitney Waste Management Zone and a Whitney Permit Management Zone. The Whitney Permit Management Zone does not include the summit when accessed from the west. The Whitney Waste Management Zone includes the summit and all of the mountain, plus adjacent areas (including Guitar Lake, but not Crabtree). So, if you summit from the West, you could legitimately argue that you are not in the Whitney Permit Management Zone...but you are in the the Whitney Waste Management Zone. The whole purpose of the extra $10 is waste management, therefore, the ethical thing to do would be to select Overnight Visiting Whitney for your permit, since you are indeed visiting the Whitney Waste Management Zone. Also, (as you and I already know) they provide the waste disposal kits and suggest you carry one (regardless of how you get to the top), since you may need to use it between Guitar Lake and the summit. She also made it clear that you do not have to select Overnight Visiting Whitney, as they cannot, by law, force you to pack out your waste. She compared the concept to LNT practices. Not enforceable, but hopefully practiced. She also said that by selecting Overnight Visiting Whitney, it is a method of education and outreach. When a person picks up an Overnight Visiting Whitney permit, they are issued a different set of rules and recommendations regarding waste management procedures in the Whitney Zone. You do not receive this if you do not select Visiting Whitney, as a different set of rules/recommendations apply. So, if an uninformed JMT hiker does not select Visiting Whitney, and summits Whitney, they may be unaware of the waste management expectations/recommendations should they need to "go" between Guitar Lake and the Summit. Cindy was clear that ultimately, either permit option is acceptable, however, they encourage Overnight Visiting Whitney, as it allows them to continue to educate, manage, and enhance the waste management program. So, this simply means that it is up to each of us as an individual to select the option that feels right to us."


The above quote in the JMT group was followed by a number of posts and discussion. Unfortunately, you have to be a FB member, and then request acceptance to the JMT (closed) group to be able to read what is written there.

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#49311 - 02/28/17 09:23 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: Harvey Lankford]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1449
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I think Inyo N.F. has finally stopped hinting that people coming up from the west side need to have that designation.

I talked to Lone Pine station yesterday and specifically asked if I needed a Whitney Zone permit to "visit" Whitney if approaching from the west and returning to the west. They said yes I do.

Maybe I should call back today and ask a different person.


As I said: I know what some rangers at the Visitors Center will tell you.

cool
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#49312 - 02/28/17 10:40 AM Re: Mt Williamson and Mt Whitney hike next year [Re: saltydog]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 102
Loc: The OC
Ow, my head hurts. But yes, if only visiting/returning from the west, you neither enter the WZ, nor do you need a wag bag.

As for the original hike being planned, IMO the n->s route is preferable. Going down Carillon, up MR and down Discovery is better than the reverse.

Also, taking your time going up Shepherd helps acclimatize for the rest of the trip. It's also one of the more scenic trails - the canyon is immense.

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