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#49161 - 02/01/17 10:56 PM Mt Whitney Lottery 2017
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Mt Whitney Lottery 2017                    

Update May 3:  There were quite a few day hike permits available. (Possibly the day use permits weren't released until May 2.) Overnight permits have mostly been taken.

Also note: The administrative fee charged by the Recreation.gov website has gone up from $6 to $10. You can see a notice to this effect on the Recreation.gov page for Inyo National Forest.

Update April 3:  The "mini-on-sale" option on April 1 has passed. Any permits not reserved in the lottery were available at 7 AM April 1.
Next important date is May 1: All unclaimed lottery dates are canceled and released for web reservations (space is released within 24 hours at a random time).
Here are links to check what is available:   DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone and Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit

Update March 24:  The lottery has been run, people have been sent an email informing them of their individual results.

        Post-Lottery statistics  (Inyo N.F. PDF is here)
Quote:
                            2017 Lottery Results
15,397  applications submitted (13% more than 2016),   69,125 hikers.
    35%  of Group Leaders were Awarded a Date of their Choice
  3,285  won their first choice date.
  2,110  won an alternate choice.
    65%  of Applications were Unsuccessful
  9,414  unsuccessful: the dates requested were full when the application processed.
     499  Applications withdrawn -- leader already won a date in this year's lottery.
      89  Applications withdrawn by the group leader.


New this year (2017): If your permit qualifies for night box service you can also pre-arrange for express pickup during open hours. (Overnight trips into Sequoia N.P. do not qualify -- face-to-face pickup is required.)

Lottery applications: Inyo N.F. asks that you only make a single application. They actively look for multiple entries and delete them.

Inyo National Forest's lottery information web page:  Mount Whitney Lottery - Permit Reservations

Here is the link to enter the lottery.

Good luck everyone!
Scroll down to see more info on the Whitney Portal Road rock slide and considerations regarding early dates in the lottery.


Lottery Progress Report: As of March 8   12,000 applications, 54,000 hikers
Lottery results will be posted after March 24th
Inyo N.F. has posted a pdf page showing stats as March 8, link is on their Mount Whitney Lottery page.
11,852 applications submitted, (53,938 hikers)
As of March 1: 9,800 applications, 44,800 hikers.
As of Feb 22: 1,500 more than last year.
Click here to see the report.

Numbers:   When you consider all alternate choices on applications, more than 4,200 people want to day hike on August 12, and more than 5,000 people want Mt. Whitney Trail overnight permits for September 2.



2016 lottery thread is here.

From the 2016 lottery:

2016 Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Results

13,638 applications submitted
5,010 (36%) were successful

3,134 won first choice date (34% were day use,66% overnight)
1,876 won alternate choices.


Edited by Steve C (05/03/17 02:53 PM)

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#49162 - 02/01/17 11:00 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 79
Loc: CT
Does anyone know if the lottery allows entering one request for any day in a two week period or do they still require entering every single date (with all the attendant information) individually?

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#49163 - 02/01/17 11:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Marty]
walt Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Nashville, TN
You need to do a request for each date. There is no opportunity to request a date range. You can request up to ten dates per entry.

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#49164 - 02/01/17 11:02 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: walt]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 79
Loc: CT
Thanks Walt.

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#49165 - 02/01/17 11:03 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Marty]
Kumar12 Offline


Registered: 02/01/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Hi,
Can one person submit multiple applications either for the same dates or different dates?

And what about co leader? Can co-leader submit separate application for same/different dates?

Thanks

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#49166 - 02/01/17 11:10 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Kumar12]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Kumar, Inyo removes multiple applications. If a leader or alternate leader is named on two different applications, that would probably be removed, too.

There are other ways to ensure you get a slot, such as the Apri1 1 date to pick up any spaces remaining open. And on May 1 all unclaimed winning slots are released back to Recreation.gov.

And finally, there are unused permits available every day at the Visitor Center.

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#49167 - 02/01/17 11:22 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Marty]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Marty
Does anyone know if the lottery allows entering one request for any day in a two week period or do they still require entering every single date (with all the attendant information) individually?


Recreation.gov people are supposedly "working on" allowing date ranges. But that has been requested for years.

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#49180 - 02/03/17 12:07 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Indie Offline


Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 7
Loc: California
My first post here. Very excited have a group of 7 trying to get into the lottery late September. We did Half Dome a few years ago and now ready to Try Mt Whitney. So a question if we wanted to increase our chances to get a weekend late September should all of us individually apply and add leaders and participants thereby increasing our chances to snag that date. OR should we do just ONE application for the group and hope for the best? When we followed the multiple application strategy for HD we got one application sucessfully approved only. Perhaps Rec.Gov did delete all the rest. But wanted to know if anyone has any opinion on this.
Thank you and looking forward to contributing on the discussion forums
Very excited


Edited by Indie (02/03/17 01:11 PM)

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#49182 - 02/03/17 01:31 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Indie]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Inyo will delete multiple applications from the same group.

Good luck!!!


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#49186 - 02/04/17 09:26 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
87preludea20a3 Offline


Registered: 02/04/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Missouri, St Louis
I am new to these forums, I applied for a permit late August 30-31 with an alternate date of August 16-17. I just asked for a two person permit for an overnight hike. I'm pretty excited for this trip and have started training for what will likely be the most intense hike of my life. Anyway, I'll be keeping an eye on these forums for info and advice.

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#49198 - 02/07/17 01:32 PM multiple-night overnight permits [Re: Steve C]
SueB54 Offline


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Washington
We (party of 3) want to apply for a 2-night permit on Whitney Trail. ie, exit date 2 days after entry date.

Will this reduce our chances of being selected in the lottery? Or do you "win" first, then get placed into one of your 15 requested trip dates?

Related to this: it looks as though, from reading the Inyo NF website, that camping at Lone Pine Lake, if you do that, counts as one of your overnight nights on your Whitney Trail application. Is that correct?

Thanks for any info on this!

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#49226 - 02/13/17 12:25 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Brent N Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 278
Loc: Orange County, CA
thanks for the info, Steve. Deleting multiple applications is new, isn't it?

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#49230 - 02/13/17 10:43 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: walt]
Carry on Offline


Registered: 02/13/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Oakland, CA
Actually, recreation.gov allows up to 15 alternative choices, aka dates.

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#49231 - 02/13/17 11:00 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Indie]
Carry on Offline


Registered: 02/13/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Oakland, CA
Originally Posted By: Indie
My first post here. Very excited have a group of 7 trying to get into the lottery late September. We did Half Dome a few years ago and now ready to Try Mt Whitney. So a question if we wanted to increase our chances to get a weekend late September should all of us individually apply and add leaders and participants thereby increasing our chances to snag that date. OR should we do just ONE application for the group and hope for the best? When we followed the multiple application strategy for HD we got one application sucessfully approved only. Perhaps Rec.Gov did delete all the rest. But wanted to know if anyone has any opinion on this.
Thank you and looking forward to contributing on the discussion forums
Very excited



I know Inyo NF asks groups to submit just one application per group, but I cannot imagine how they can enforce it. For example, if Ernie and Bert want to hike Mt. Whitney and both apply for a 2-person permit without identifying the other as an alternate group leader, how would Inyo NF possibly know the two applications were for the same group? I suppose if Ernie and Bert had the exact same 15 alternate dates and applied on the same day, that might be a hint. But Ernie and Bert can mix up there date choices a bit and apply a week apart from each other. I just cannot see how Inyo NF could possibly know they are the same group. Same holds true for larger groups as long as no name is used twice as applicant or alternate leader. Right? What am I missing?

Maybe a couple might get caught if they use the same mailing address or phone number.

And if Ernie and Bert got caught submitting 2 applications, it's not clear to me what the consequence is. Are both applications deleted, or just one?

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#49233 - 02/14/17 08:34 AM Re: multiple-night overnight permits [Re: SueB54]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: SueB54
We (party of 3) want to apply for a 2-night permit on Whitney Trail. ie, exit date 2 days after entry date.

Will this reduce our chances of being selected in the lottery? Or do you "win" first, then get placed into one of your 15 requested trip dates?

Related to this: it looks as though, from reading the Inyo NF website, that camping at Lone Pine Lake, if you do that, counts as one of your overnight nights on your Whitney Trail application. Is that correct?

Thanks for any info on this!

SueB, sorry nobody answered this question. With most trail permits, and these are in that category, the length of your trip has no effect on your chances of a "win". Entry date is the only criteria used in the lottery. Being on the trail additional days does not affect anyone else's chances, either. For the 60 overnight hikers accepted for each date, it is expected that they will be on the trail two to four days. There is no control over the number of days people stay, and in fact, staying longer or exiting earlier than your original plan is perfectly ok.

The only exception is the Trail Crest Exit permit, which is required for people starting on other Inyo N.F. trails, and wanting to exit via the Main Mt. Whitney Trail. In their situation, the length of their trip, and therefore their exit date, affects what Exit Permit date they get. But this situation and these trips are NOT part of the Whitney Lottery.

Originally Posted By: Brent N
thanks for the info, Steve. Deleting multiple applications is new, isn't it?
Hi Brent. It was new last year, I think.

Originally Posted By: Carry on
I know Inyo NF asks groups to submit just one application per group, but I cannot imagine how they can enforce it. For example....
Carry On: I think what you wrote is pretty much the case. I think they will delete all but one duplicate, but I'm not sure.
      In the past, the same person could submit multiple entries -- same login, same credit card, same group leader, etc etc. Those are definitely deleted now. Just be aware, with many groups and many trips planned months in advance like this, people drop out of a group at the last minute. If your "group leader" who won the permit drops out, nobody else can walk in and pick up his permit. ...and permits that are cancelled online are made available on the 'net "at a random time in the next 24 hours".

Lottery Progress Report: As of Feb 8
Inyo N.F. has posted a pdf page showing stats as February 8, link is on their Mount Whitney Lottery page. Applications are more than 1000 ahead of the first week last year.
Click here to see the report.

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#49240 - 02/15/17 03:56 PM Re: multiple-night overnight permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Inyo National Forest reports on their Facebook Page:

Quote:
U.S. Forest Service - Inyo National Forest
The lottery for Mt. Whitney permits is currently underway. For those who are entering the lottery and looking at the early season, please plan for the rockfall/road repair along the Whitney Portal Road and the substantial snow on the trail when you consider the dates you select. With the #EpicCAWinter we have been seeing, hikers in May, and perhaps June, should have technical skills. They should be prepared for avalanche conditions, be able to traverse steep snow and ice fields, have winter navigation skills, and be skilled in the use of ice ax, crampons, etc. BTW, more snow is in the forecast for this week.
Photo: Road crews assess the rockfall area, which is still unstable--rocks continue to fall.

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#49268 - 02/22/17 06:43 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Bruce G. Offline


Registered: 02/22/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Portland, OR
I notice that in the lottery request for overnight permit they ask for your itinerary (where you're camping). Does anyone know if you are locked into this choice? Also, does your camping choice affect your chances in the lottery? Thanks.

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#49272 - 02/22/17 08:09 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Bruce G.]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
this is not a Whitney Dayhike lottery question

but a Trail Crest exit permit for cross country or JMT'ers.

when you apply online (6 months in advance) does a new day start at midnight Pacific, or 8am or other?

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#49273 - 02/22/17 08:13 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Bruce G.]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Those things have no effect on your chances.

The only thing that does is number of hikers, and that is only if, when your entry is processed, if that particular day's quota is nearly full, if your number of hikers is greater than the available slots, you don't get the slots.

The camping locations are only used in the rare situations when a party is reported missing or overdue, the camping locations are a possible place to send a search party. They should really collect that info only after you win the slots, when you pay for them.

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#49274 - 02/22/17 04:43 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Bruce G. Offline


Registered: 02/22/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Portland, OR
Thanks Steve.

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