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#52762 - 03/24/18 02:08 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Deke]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Deke
Originally Posted By: bruce
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.

Have you been successful in snagging a spot during the "open enrollment" period most years? Just trying to gauge my chances here.

Bruce's date, Monday, Sept 2, was one of those dates that did not fill the quota for day hikers. There are still 2 available for the Apr 1 "mini-on-sale" stampede.

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#52765 - 03/24/18 04:46 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 44
Loc: LA, CA
I was unsuccessful for an overnight this year (but am pretty sure I will find something come May 1), however one of the dates I had put down was for 2 people starting Sept 2. I see that there are still 8 available spots for that date so I am baffled as to how I didn't get one. Anyone know why this might be? Thanks!


Edited by Barbara (03/24/18 04:46 PM)

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#52766 - 03/24/18 05:38 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
VertC Offline


Registered: 04/08/16
Posts: 4
Loc: Iowa
I received an email confirming I was successful.

Congratulations! Your application to Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 was successful


Application #:6-3599968

For: Mt. WHITNEY

Entry Date: Sun Jun 03 2018


Since, I applied for both a day and overnight permit for June 3rd, how do I know which one I got?

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#52767 - 03/24/18 08:37 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Barbara]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Barbara
I was unsuccessful for an overnight this year (but am pretty sure I will find something come May 1), however one of the dates I had put down was for 2 people starting Sept 2. I see that there are still 8 available spots for that date so I am baffled as to how I didn't get one. Anyone know why this might be? Thanks!

Barbara, I'll call and ask on Monday. It is possible that people who won logged in and canceled their reservations right away. That's the only explanation I have right now. I'll make sure on Monday. The other possibility is that Inyo staff noticed some duplicate winners and cancelled their won reservations.

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#52769 - 03/25/18 05:17 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Deke]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 85
Loc: CT
Yes, I have found some dates open up but they disappear very quickly so you need both persistence and luck.

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#52770 - 03/25/18 09:11 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 44
Loc: LA, CA
Thanks Steve.

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#52772 - 03/25/18 09:38 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Jack C Offline


Registered: 03/25/18
Posts: 6
Loc: California
I managed to win a day-hike pass, but my group would much rather take in the sights and do an over night hike. Is it possible to try and get in on the "mini-sale" while keeping my day pass an option. I fear I do not have the finger speed and do not wish to relinquish my day in-case I fail!

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#52773 - 03/25/18 10:52 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
LoisW Offline


Registered: 06/20/16
Posts: 4
Loc: California
There are overnight dates available in August and September right now on Recreation.gov.

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#52774 - 03/25/18 11:53 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Jack C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Jack C, you can load up on multiple trips. It's only in the lottery that you're only allowed one entry.

As for finger speed... remember that throughout April, and especially on May 1, declined and un-paid-for slots will show up. If you set up a bookmark for the overnight permits in the date range you want, and keep checking, you can probably get a permit.

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#52775 - 03/25/18 10:03 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Jack C, you can load up on multiple trips. It's only in the lottery that you're only allowed one entry.


Actually, I've had issues with having multiple reservations for the same date where it wouldn't let me book the second permit until I cancelled the first one.

So if you can't finish the booking, you may have to quickly cancel the conflicting reservation.
_________________________

http://wandering.earth

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#52776 - 03/26/18 02:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: Barbara
I was unsuccessful for an overnight this year (but am pretty sure I will find something come May 1), however one of the dates I had put down was for 2 people starting Sept 2. I see that there are still 8 available spots for that date so I am baffled as to how I didn't get one. Anyone know why this might be? Thanks!

Barbara, I'll call and ask on Monday. It is possible that people who won logged in and canceled their reservations right away. That's the only explanation I have right now. I'll make sure on Monday. The other possibility is that Inyo staff noticed some duplicate winners and cancelled their won reservations.


Ok, HERE is the reason why a few open slots are open where someone had a valid request for that particular date:
The lottery process is run soon after the application period closes on March 15. If someone calls the recreation.gov number or the Wilderness Permit office and asks that their application be rescinded, staff removes their application, and if they won a slot, those slots show up on March 23 as open.

All Overnight dates were completely filled in the lottery process between 6/1 and 10/8, (and day use 6/21-9/27) but you can see here, that there are already some open slots in that date range.

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#52777 - 03/26/18 02:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: WanderingJim]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 85
Loc: CT
Something I don't understand: I requested the date 9/17 but was unsuccessful. However, the rec.gov website shows the number "3" with an 'X' for that very same date. Does anyone know what gives? Edit...just saw Steve's post.


Edited by Marty (03/26/18 02:02 PM)

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#52778 - 03/26/18 03:49 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 44
Loc: LA, CA
Thanks Steve!

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#52780 - 03/26/18 08:28 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Tarrytown Offline


Registered: 03/26/18
Posts: 4
Loc: New York
Hi, I'm new to the forum and happy to have found it. I've already had a bunch if questions answered, but here's one more:

I was fortunate enough to be successful in the lottery for an overnight permit for two campers, but I'm thinking about expanding our party to four. It seems like that's possible starting April 1, but I'm not sure how it works. Is it just a free for all, or do existing permit holders have priority (maybe that's just wishful thinking)? What time do I have to log on if I want a chance?
_________________________
35/50

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#52783 - 03/26/18 10:49 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Tarrytown]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hi Tarrytown, welcome! On 4/1, those slots you see with the X and a number will become available at 10 AM Eastern Time. And it's a free-for-all. The only way to get any of those is to be really fast:

Be logged in and ready. Keep refreshing the screen until the X changes to A (available) click the 'A', then click Book Permit, as fast as you can, because you could be racing dozens of others doing the same thing. If you are successful, the screen will jump to the cart, and you have 15 minutes to pay.

Now... I'm not sure how the system works for someone like you who already has several slots, so you're adding to an existing trip. I hope the system is smooth enough for it to work out for you.

Now... If there aren't any slots currently available to add on your date, it's a pretty slim chance any will show up by 4/1. Throughout April, if anyone logs in and declines slots they won, then those will pop up "at a random time in the next 24 hours".

On May 1, if anyone won slots for your same date, but they just did not pay, then their slots will be released by the system on May 1, and pop up as available "at a random time in the next 24 hours".

Good luck!!

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#52785 - 03/26/18 11:48 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Jack C Offline


Registered: 03/25/18
Posts: 6
Loc: California
Thanks for the reply and information Steve and Jim. I'll keep an eye out and see what I can get!

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#52786 - 03/27/18 03:14 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
che Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 10
Loc: ca
Hi,
Does an acclimatizing hike count as "trail entry" for our permit day?

we have two families hiking together as one group. We were lucky to get our overnight permit for a Wednesday. One of the families would prefer to drive to Whitney Portal after school on Wednesday, arriving around dusk. (they live above 5000' so have less acclimatizing to do).

With our Wednesday permit, is it possible for us to do something like the following?
- one family picks up permit, hikes up to camp at Lone Pine Lake or Outpost camp
- second family hikes up Thursday a.m. to meet us and we continue to Trail Camp together

OR
- one family picks up permit on Wednesday, does acclimatizing hike to Lone Pine Lake or Outpost, return to sleep at Whitney Portal, everyone hikes Thursday

thank you!

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#52787 - 03/27/18 08:17 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: che]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 232
Loc: California

- one family picks up permit, hikes up to camp at Lone Pine Lake or Outpost camp
- second family hikes up Thursday a.m. to meet us and we continue to Trail Camp together

FYI Lone Pine Lake is not in the Whitney Zone, so I'm not sure your Whitney permit allows for camping there. It's really not that far from the Portal to be worth stopping there anyway. There might be a different Inyo Forest Wilderness permit needed.

Your permit start date is the date you enter the Whitney Zone, not when you leave the Portal.

I'm pretty sure the permit rules say the whole party has to be together as a single group. So starting at different times/days would be against the rules. If a ranger stops you and you're not together, it could be a problem (and I have been stopped by a ranger on the trail). Maybe beeing spaced out a little will be okay, but hours apart will probably raise some ranger eyebrows. smile



- one family picks up permit on Wednesday, does acclimatizing hike to Lone Pine Lake or Outpost, return to sleep at Whitney Portal, everyone hikes Thursday

Nope. If your entry date is Wednesday, that's the day you have to start and enter the Whitney Zone. Even if it's 11:59pm Wednesday.

Once you leave the Whitney Zone towards the Portal after your entry date, your trip is over. (they might not be able to tell, but it would be against the rules AFAIK) I don't think it would matter if you enter and exit and reenter on the permit entry date, but if the clock hits 12:00:00am Thursday and you're not in the Whitney Zone, you're breaking the permit rules.
_________________________

http://wandering.earth

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#52788 - 03/27/18 09:43 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: WanderingJim]
che Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 10
Loc: ca
Thanks for the explanation, WanderingJim!

Part of what prompted me to think of that possibility was the section below from the Inyo website. It seems to say that it's okay to enter/exit/re-enter as along as you don't exit for more that 24 hours. But maybe I'm interpreting it wrong.

(from https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits/recreation)
Crossing Park Boundaries
Your wilderness permit must be issued via Inyo National Forest if your trip starts from Inyo National Forest, even if the first night of your trip will be spent in an adjacent national park or forest.
One permit is valid for the duration of a trip, including traveling through adjacent parks and forests.
If you exit the wilderness in Inyo National Forest for more than 24 hours or re-enter at a different location, a new permit is required for the new entry location.

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#52789 - 03/27/18 11:41 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: che]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
che, congratulations winning hiking slots in the lottery!

If the first family can score a camp site in the Whitney Portal campground, they could spend the first night there. If they can't get a camp site, there are one-night walk-in camp sites that are usually never full. There is a map/discussion in this thread, best map on second page: Sleeping in your car at Whitney Portal

Anyone can DAY hike up to Lone Pine Lake and back without any sort of a permit. And doing that doesn't affect what you do on your overnight permit. Now camping at Lone Pine Lake is another matter--You are required to have a wilderness permit to camp there, and the same permit that you won in the lottery is what you need.

Only thing about permits to camp overnight: You may not enter a day earlier or a day later than is stated on the permit. You can exit earlier, or spend extra nights, but the entry date is the one most important thing that cannot change.

Depending on your starting date, there MAY be unused walk-in permits available for the first family. They should ask when they arrive to pick up the permit won in the lottery. There are many no-shows, and they just might be able to score enough of those slots to go ahead and start a day early. If that works, they would effectively drop half the slots on your permit, but could go ahead and pick it up for you, and then request the walk-in permit so they could hike up to and camp at Lone Pine Lake.

You didn't say when your start date is, but the Unused Permits pages give you an idea of how difficult it would be to get walk-in permits a day early. Unused Whitney Permits 2017

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