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#49277 - 02/22/17 11:20 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
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?

Harvey, those exit permits come available at 7 AM PST, 10 AM EST. Unfortunately, only people with the fastest fingers and mouse are able to get them -- they disappear in the first second they become available.


Edited by Steve C (02/23/17 08:32 AM)
Edit Reason: added link

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#49342 - 03/08/17 06:22 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
kowalofjericho Offline


Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Chicago, IL
I had a question on the lottery process, hopefully someone here might have some insight. How does requesting alternate dates work?

I chose Sept 14 as my primary date so I feel pretty confident I'll get my permits. But am I only competing against all others that chose Sept 14 as their primary or does that include those that chose that date as an alternative as well? I probably shouldn't be too worried, but I'm just anxious to get back to the top for the first time since 2012.

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#49344 - 03/08/17 09:08 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: kowalofjericho]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Actually, most dates, except some in May and some in October completely fill up in the lottery. But lots of people drop out -- first by not paying for the slots they win, or by not showing up on the date to pick up their paid for permits.

If you are looking at the count of "first choice" people, that really isn't a good thing to trust. People put in lots of alternate dates, so the count gets much higher for your date.

Note that the Lottery Progress Report page states: "This data is from the first choice only. When alternate choices are considered the number of people requesting a date is greatly increased." What that means is that the entries processed earliest in the lottery may grab your date. If an entry's first choice is not available, the process then tries the second choice, then the third, until all choices are tried, or one of the choices is successfully satisfied.

However, if you look at our "Unused Permits page", you can see that for every Thursday in September, there have always been plenty of unused permits available. If you didn't even enter the lottery, you could show up in September on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and always pick up (for free!) a permit for the next day. Unfortunately, most people don't like to gamble on that, so therefore we have lots of permits going unused.

...edit: I just looked back through the past 5 years of Unused Permits numbers, and there is Not One Thursday where there weren't unused permits available! (Too many negatives in that sentence. It means that on any Thursday, there are always permits available.)


Edited by Steve C (03/08/17 09:21 AM)

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#49345 - 03/08/17 11:48 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
kowalofjericho Offline


Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Chicago, IL
Ohh I see what you mean. That makes sense. So I think I'll feel comfortable taking a flight out to grab a permit either way.

Worst case, I'll still be spending the rest of my weekend in the Sierra Nevadas and take a trip over to Yosemite. Thanks for the info.

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#49346 - 03/08/17 02:25 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: kowalofjericho]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes, you should really come out. If Plan A doesn't work, there are plenty of options for Plan B. But you should expect to get a walk-in permit for Whitney.

Options for other places to see (and day hike):

Mt Langley (just S of Whitney)
White Mountain (NE of Whitney in the Inyo/White mountains)
Mt Dana in Yosemite starting from Tioga Pass
Clouds Rest in Yosemite, starting near Tenaya Lake.

Others can give you plenty more options.

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#49348 - 03/08/17 05:03 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Steve C


Options for other places to see (and day hike):



Steve did not mention all the touristy destinations in Yosemite Valley - Vernal Falls, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Panorama Trail, etc

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#49372 - 03/12/17 01:47 PM Re: multiple-night overnight permits [Re: SueB54]
SueB54 Offline


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Washington
Thank you so much, Steve C, for answering this! and Bruce G's question about declaring campsite had also been weighing on our minds... good to know. Thanks for all the great input on this forum.
Keeping fingers crossed... we applied for 15 weekday-only spots, June-Sept, so hoping it works.

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#49385 - 03/14/17 09:22 AM Re: multiple-night overnight permits [Re: SueB54]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Tomorrow, March 15, is the last day to enter the lottery to hike Mt Whitney.

Here's the link:     Mt Whitney Lottery 2017

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#49430 - 03/23/17 10:35 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
Indie Offline


Registered: 02/03/17
Posts: 7
Loc: California
Made it .. Sun Sept 24 first choice.. 7 of us.. Lots of things need to go right from now on but the critical first step is was this!
Shout out to Steve C for reaching out to me.
Good luck and God Speed to you all..
See you on the summit.

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#49431 - 03/24/17 06:20 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Indie]
kowalofjericho Offline


Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Chicago, IL
Congrats. I got mine for September 14, so I can officially start planning. Good luck getting your group together!

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#49432 - 03/24/17 06:22 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
87preludea20a3 Offline


Registered: 02/04/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Missouri, St Louis
Disappointing, how is it a two person overnight hike at the end of August in the middle of the week gets denied? I don't understand this...

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#49434 - 03/24/17 07:15 AM Re: multiple-night overnight permits [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
I got my first choice. Looks like I and an unknown other will be headed up the North Fork Wed 8-16. It appears I can't confirm, accept, or pay till April 1.

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#49435 - 03/24/17 07:27 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
HappyHolidays Offline


Registered: 03/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: USA
Wow. I got denied. I had 15 dates selected, throughout end of july/early august for 2 people for a day hike and I didn't get any of them. I am very disappointed.

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#49436 - 03/24/17 07:34 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: HappyHolidays]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: HappyHolidays
Wow. I got denied. I had 15 dates selected, throughout end of july/early august for 2 people for a day hike and I didn't get any of them. I am very disappointed.



Don't be discouraged. You can get walk-in permits. Steve has info on this forum about the abundance of permits available.

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#49437 - 03/24/17 07:52 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: RenoFrank]
jor_in_the_north Offline


Registered: 03/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Illinois, USA
Approved for Tuesday, June 27th overnight. Not sure if we'll be able to make it to the top this time with all the snow, but we'll still make a run.

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#49438 - 03/24/17 08:03 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: jor_in_the_north]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Congratulations to those who got their reservations!!

For those who didn't, here's the Unused Permits 2016 page. It has a link to the prior year, and each one goes back to the prior -- all the way to 2007.  If you look through those numbers, you can see that you can pretty easily walk-in the day before, especially mid-week, and pick up a free permit.

As for hiking in June, with this year's snow levels, the switchbacks may not be passable until mid-July. So people will instead be climbing the steep snow-slope just west of the switchbacks. Most people use crampons to do that, since it gives you a lot surer footing, and an ice axe is a good idea in case you slip, especially in late afternoons when the snow turns to ice on the descent.

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#49439 - 03/24/17 08:21 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Steve C]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
Got my first choice, Monday 9/11. Already reserved my campsite at the Portal too. smile

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#49440 - 03/24/17 08:45 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: bruce]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
I've updated the stats on the first page of this thread.

In the lottery, 35% of the applications won a slot. 65% got nothing. Of the winning apps, 21% won their first choice.
There were 15,397 applications, 69,125 hikers!

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#49441 - 03/24/17 09:40 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: HappyHolidays]
jeff6845 Offline


Registered: 03/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: HappyHolidays
Wow. I got denied. I had 15 dates selected, throughout end of july/early august for 2 people for a day hike and I didn't get any of them. I am very disappointed.


About the same date range as mine, but for 6 people. Same results though. frown

I have all six people lined up, not reserving with hikers to be named latter, or reserving a table without all the diners.

I think it's probably better to have all six hikers enter the lottery independent, and maybe have some with unique names (not family members) apply for two people.

Learning the gamemanship for the lottery by asking around... however after I entered the lottery listing the others.


Edited by jeff6845 (03/24/17 10:03 AM)

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#49445 - 03/24/17 12:22 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: jeff6845]
Halfdomer Homer Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Sat Sept 9th for 2 hikers, first choice! Yow!

Cya up there!

-Dan

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