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#52678 - 03/02/18 09:32 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: al_novice]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: al_novice
Yeah, I pretty much wrote that $20 off. Oh, well...

Thanks!

Inyo staff tells me that if you call and ask to have an application withdrawn, you get the $10 refunded. So call that number!!

760-873-2483

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#52699 - 03/06/18 02:32 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bglolli Offline


Registered: 03/06/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
Hey fellow packers. As the date draws close and everyone gets anxious to see if they are one of the fortunate few to be selected for a Whitney pack date, I wanted to remind new and old Whit trippers alike of something I discovered years back.
While I'm sure it has no doubt been posted somewhere here before, I'd like to remind everyone to keep in mind that there are almost always day and over night permits available each day at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center, ie the Lone Pine Ranger Station, where everyone picks up their permits.
Each time I've visited there, the staff have told me they have quite a few last minute no shows and cancellations that become available to those in line on a first come basis.
So for those whose hopes are lost in the lottery, consider dropping in to the office bright and early(well before they open) the day of your intended departure and hopefully procure your golden Whitney permit that way.
Worst case, you may not get it, at which point you ask one of the wonderful rangers there for recommendations to alternative trips in the amazing Sierras, such as equally beautiful and challenging Mt Langley.
I imagine you can contact the Visitor Center to confirm if this is still a good alternative option.
Happy Trails. smile

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#52700 - 03/06/18 08:38 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: bglolli]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Welcome, bglolli, and thanks for that.

Along those lines, I just posted the Unused Whitney Permits numbers for 2017. It shows how many permits were left each day last year AFTER all the walk-in requests were fulfilled. You can see there are many days with unused permits.

One correction to your post: There is no advantage to arriving at the Visitor Center early, as they have all the people at the door take a number, and then the lowest numbers get first chance asking for any available permits.

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#52701 - 03/07/18 07:24 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 52
Loc: San Diego, CA

We had an overnight permit for 2 hikers on the Mt Whitney main trail last year for Oct 18/19. We needed an extra permit for another hiker, so we showed up at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center on Oct 17.

About ~10-15 mins before the walk-in lottery, a rep from the USFS will announce the daily morning lottery (I think it was at 10am). He/she will then ask one person from each party to step forward to pick a number out of a tin can (and also politely ask for 'no double dipping').

As it turned out for us, we were the only party waiting for a permit, so it was a single person lottery. We were issued an additional permit for our third hiker (for free). The USFS rep said that there were only a few extra overnight permits available, which came as a surprise to him mid-Oct.

The numbers on that list show many more, so I'm thinking that they did not include no-shows in the permits that they were issuing for the walk-in lottery. The number of overnight hikers encountered on the trail was more consistent with that list (not many on the trail... not even close to 60).

I made 3 trips to the Whitney Zone last year and the people at the visitor center were always very helpful. They will offer up alternative hikes and even offer a permit for more nights than you originally requested.

They also rent bear canisters for $2.50/day and have a drop-off location at the center.

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#52704 - 03/07/18 08:38 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the info, futbol. Your surprise comparing what was available for you versus the unused list is understandable. You were there the day before, so what was available was only the permits returned by the few good people who go to the trouble to go online and actually cancel their reservation. The overnight permit no-shows are only declared the date of the entry, at 10 AM.

If you had asked how many were available that morning for starting THAT day, the numbers would have been quite a bit higher.

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#52709 - 03/07/18 10:53 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: al_novice]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 10
Loc: Alabama
Just as an FYI, I withdrew my two lottery applications and WAS refunded the $20. Just for future reference.

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#52711 - 03/07/18 11:12 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bglolli Offline


Registered: 03/06/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
Thanks for the correction on unused permit distribution.
This is probably a stupid question, but was wondering anyway.
If I apply for a permit for say 3 to 4 hikers or even the max of 15, should the number I request not be available, will the program award a permit on one of my requested dates for a smaller size party up to my max or just automatically kick me out as unable to fill?

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#52713 - 03/08/18 12:18 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: bglolli]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: bglolli
If I apply for a permit for say 3 to 4 hikers or even the max of 15, should the number I request not be available, will the program award a permit on one of my requested dates for a smaller size party up to my max or just automatically kick me out as unable to fill?

It does not award partial group permits. It then moves on to your second, then third choices, etc, looking for the first date where your whole group will fit. Once all dates are tried, and if none is available, you are out of the game.

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#52717 - 03/08/18 10:40 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 351
Loc: Reno, Nevada
On the other hand, the SEKI permit form (not for Whitney) asks for the preferred group size AND the minimum group size. They donít say whether they try a different date or a smaller group if they canít give your first choice. Steve and I are waiting to see what we get for our SEKI application. I listed alternate dates and a smaller group size to be sure we get something.


Edited by bobpickering (03/08/18 10:48 AM)

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#52722 - 03/12/18 02:45 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bglolli Offline


Registered: 03/06/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
HELLO AGAIN,
SOMEHOW I'M CONFUSED ON THIS WHITNEY PERMIT RESERVATION LAYOUT. USUALLY MY BROTHER DOES THIS.
I CAN'T SEEM TO IDENTIFY WHAT START TRAIL TO PROVIDE FOR AN OVER NIGHT FROM THE PORTAL. I SEE NOTHING FOR WHITNEY PORTAL, WHITNEY TRAIL, ETC.
I WOULD USUALLY JUST PICK UP A PERMIT IN LONE PINE, BUT FIGURED I'D GIVE THE OLD LOTTERY A TRY.
THANKS

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#52723 - 03/12/18 08:37 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: bglolli]
JimC Offline


Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 57
Loc: SoCal

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#52724 - 03/12/18 08:48 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: bglolli]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
The "Preferred Choice" entry field gives you two options:
Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit, and
DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone.

Both those permits are for starting at Whitney Portal. There are no other trail head starting points available in the lottery. Whitney Portal is the only starting point in the lottery.

The link provided by JimC takes you to the available dates page, and if you click the "Apply Now" button, it takes you to the page I referred to, with the "Preferred Choice" field.

Good luck!


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#52728 - 03/13/18 06:37 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bglolli Offline


Registered: 03/06/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
Great thanks.
I discovered the problem with why I couldn't figure out establishing my Whitney permit request. From the Inyo National Forest website as well as your information here at the Zone it explains to type "INYO NATIONAL FOREST - WILDERNESS PERMITS" in the Recreation.gov search field.
Perhaps you've noticed that doing so gets you to this link-
https://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72203
The Whitney Permit most people want is not linked here anywhere.

There's a drop down with 6 differnet options, 4 of which have Whitney options to visit, exit, cross country, over night.
then it asks for an entry trail. I'm thinking "Where the heck is Whitney trail as an option?"
so I was sitting here for quite a while trying to get it to work.
The link Jim sent me gets to the right place. Also searching for just 'Whitney Permit' on the rec.gov site gets me here.


On the Inyo website main page, the www.recreation.gov links goes to two different places. One to the main rec.gov site and the other to the Inyo Natl Forest area of the rec.gov site.

So finally, after I saw Jim's post I also tried just typing in Whitney Permit and got there.
This all may just sound kinda silly. Your saying to yourself, "Why didn't he just type in Whitney in the first place."
I was just going with what your site here and Inyo linked me to.
Now, if I'm missing something or am just wrong somewhere, please forgive me.
It does appear to me there's an error here which may have caused trouble for others.
I think just telling people to type Whitney Permit on the Rec.gov site seems best cuz it certainly doesn't work as it is now.
sorry for carrying on and thanks for getting me there Jim.

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#52731 - 03/13/18 11:27 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
bglolli Offline


Registered: 03/06/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
Correction. Just type Mount Whitney on the recreation.gov main page and this takes me directly to whats needed to start the permit process.

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#52746 - 03/22/18 05:14 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: bglolli]
JimC Offline


Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 57
Loc: SoCal
Your welcome. Good luck on your lottery request. grin

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#52752 - 03/23/18 10:44 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: JimC]
Deke Offline


Registered: 03/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Results were just posted and I was unsuccessful in getting permits. Applied for 3 hikers for weekday dates in aug and early sept and got none of them.

We are looking for best options at this point. Any tips from the pros on this forum?

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#52754 - 03/24/18 12:10 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Deke]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
I posted the slots still available as a followup to the Unused Permits 2017 post.

Deke: Welcome. Your options: snag a permit from the available slots Apr 1 at 7 AM (Pacific) from those still left.

Also, if anyone declines their slots before Apr 1 (not sure if they can), those will come available on Apr 1, but at random times.

During all of April, if anyone declines their slots, they will show up randomly in the next 24 hours.

On May 1, slots that winners have not paid for will show up as available, again at a random time, throughout the day.

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#52755 - 03/24/18 05:17 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 85
Loc: CT
Unsuccessful again (as I have been every year since the Lottery began!) So starting April 1 it's back to trying to snag a date that pops up on the available list...it's a little like playing 'whack a mole'.

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#52757 - 03/24/18 07:08 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Marty]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 93
Loc: Novato, CA
Got my first choice Monday 9/10. grin In 10-15 years (or ever since the lottery system began), I've only been unsuccessful one time. But then Mondays in mid-September (which I've applied for the last 10 years) aren't among the most sought-after dates.

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#52758 - 03/24/18 09:14 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Marty]
Deke Offline


Registered: 03/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Have you been successful in snagging a spot during the "open enrollment" period most years? Just trying to gauge my chances here.

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