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#52573 - 01/31/18 12:56 PM Mt Whitney Lottery 2018
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Mt Whitney Lottery 2018                    


May update:   Quite a few slots opened up today, May 1. They show up at random times throughout the day over the first 24 hours. Then they disappear as people find them and reserve them. After May 1, anything showing up will be in the days just before the entry date, as the good people among us log in and release the slots they don't need.

April update:   Between now and May 1, people who won slots in the lottery are required to pay for the slots they won. As people pay for the slots, they may reduce the number of hikers in their group, or they may completely cancel their reservations. When that occurs, recreation.gov releases the slots back to the web page at a random time over the next 24 hours. Others can then book and pay for a permit for those slots. So during April, people will see a few spots open up occasionally.

On May 1, every permit that was not paid for will be released back to the web page at random times over the next 24 hours.

Here are links to the permit reservation pages on Recreation.gov:

      DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone             Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit


April 1:  The "mini-on-sale", 7:00 AM, April 1.  Any slots not assigned in the lottery (usually mid-week May and October dates).  Better dates will go quickly to those with the fastest fingers.
Also, throughout the day:  Slots that were declined by lottery winners are released at random times -- over the next 24 hours. After April 1, if any winner declines their won slots, those will show up at a random time in the next 24 hours (but most people who can't use their slots simply don't pay, and those become available on May 1 (at that random time.)

March 15:  The lottery application period ended. The lottery results will be available approximately March 24.
NOTE:  When the available slots show up after the lottery is run, there are sometimes dates showing openings, while someone who applied for that date went unfulfilled by the lottery. These are slots that were released by Inyo (or Rec.gov) staff, AFTER the lottery process was run. The slots are released when a person telephones and requests that their lottery application and slots be removed.

Lottery Applications were accepted for day hike and overnight hikes starting Feb 1, ending March 15.  To apply, click here.  Lottery entry deadline is Thu Mar 15, 2018, 11:59 PM EDT (that's 8:59 PM Pacific time!)

Updates and information will be posted here.

The best source of information and the best first place to start is the Inyo National Forest web page, Mount Whitney Lottery - Permit Reservations

Progress update: Weekly Lottery Progress Report (data: Noon March 1, 2018 )
from the "Permit Reservations" web page above:

10 Most Popular First Choice Dates
Number of people requesting a date is much larger when all alternate choices are considered.
    The data below is from the first choice only.

Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight |  DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone
Quota: 60 people per day | 100 people per day
# # | # #
Entry Date Apps People | Entry Date Apps People
---------- ---- --- | ---------- --- ---
Sat Aug 4 196 947 | Sat Aug 4 127 592
Fri Jul 27 152 804 | Sat Jul 21 111 543
Fri Aug 3 167 779 | Sat Aug 18 99 527
Sat Sep 1 171 778 | Sat Jul 28 110 490
Sat Jul 14 148 687 | Sat Jul 14 103 480
Sat Aug 25 137 632 | Sat Aug 25 94 465
Sat Aug 11 126 618 | Sun Sep 2 89 464
Sat Jul 28 122 598 | Sat Aug 11 79 426
Fri Aug 24 123 577 | Sat Jul 7 72 373
Sat Jul 21 117 564 | Sat Sep 1 72 363




Link to:   Mt Whitney Lottery 2017


Edited by Steve C (05/01/18 10:34 PM)
Edit Reason: May 1 update

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#52574 - 01/31/18 01:00 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 426
Loc: Reno, NV
Is there an advantage if you apply early rather than later?

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#52575 - 01/31/18 01:03 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
No advantage for applying early.

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#52598 - 02/11/18 11:27 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
BCVisin Offline


Registered: 02/11/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA, US
I read through the 2017 Lottery Information thread, but I didn't see an answer to this question.

How does the selection system for the lottery work? Does it take all of your alternate dates into account and give you one "entry" for each of those dates
OR does it select an applicant first, and then go through all the alternates to find an available opening?

This will determine how I select alternate dates for my application.

Thanks,
Blake

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#52602 - 02/11/18 08:03 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: BCVisin]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Of the thousands of entries, when your number comes up, it then steps through all your choices, checking each one in order. If the first choice date is already full, it checks your second choice, and so on. As soon as it finds a date with enough open slots for your request, then that is assigned to you.

Of course, if it finds no day with enough open slots for any of your choices, your entry is rejected, and then it goes on to process the next person's entry.

Entries are processed in a completely random order.

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#52603 - 02/12/18 11:49 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
BCVisin Offline


Registered: 02/11/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA, US
Awesome, thank you very much for the response! Much appreciated on the clarification.

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#52622 - 02/15/18 10:23 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2017 [Re: Carry on]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
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, 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?


The only loop-hole I can see with this approach is the Group leader on Application 1 gets eliminated. The scenario I have in mind is as follows:

1. Person 1 submits application for a total of 7 hikers.
2. Person 2 submits a second application also for a total of 7 hikers. The second application includes Person 1, although he isn't explicitly named in the application.
3. Inyo processes both the requests (doesn't eliminate any).
4. Application 2 gets lucky and accepted and Application 1 doesn't make it.
5. At this point, I am assuming all the names have to be provided to Inyo NF and now Inyo might notice that Person 1 appears on 2 applications.

So Person 1 is at risk here and I am not sure how Inyo NF will react to such a situation.

Any experiences here? My guess is the Inyo Folks won't have the bandwidth to dig so deep, but I have no idea what the outcome might be here.

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#52623 - 02/15/18 12:59 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Avi]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Welcome, Avi. I moved your post to the 2018 lottery thread.

your #5: "At this point, I am assuming all the names have to be provided"
That doesn't occur. All names aren't provided until the permit is picked up at the Visitor Center the day before the hike.

I think Inyo checks the lottery applications for same leader and alternate leader names. ...and leaders/alternates can't be changed after the lottery. Only the leader or alternate can pick up the permit.

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#52627 - 02/15/18 04:00 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Welcome, Avi. I moved your post to the 2018 lottery thread.

your #5: "At this point, I am assuming all the names have to be provided"
That doesn't occur. All names aren't provided until the permit is picked up at the Visitor Center the day before the hike.

I think Inyo checks the lottery applications for same leader and alternate leader names. ...and leaders/alternates can't be changed after the lottery. Only the leader or alternate can pick up the permit.


Thanks Steve! Hoping to land one of the permits this year. Really excited.

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#52628 - 02/15/18 04:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 43
Loc: LA, CA
On other Inyo permits (not the Whitney lottery - haven't tried with that) I've been able to add an alternate leader's name after I got the permit.Is that not so for Whitney entries?

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#52629 - 02/15/18 09:52 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Barbara]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Barbara
On other Inyo permits (not the Whitney lottery - haven't tried with that) I've been able to add an alternate leader's name after I got the permit. Is that not so for Whitney entries?


No, because that would enable scalpers to obtain a permit through the lottery, then offer it to the highest bidder.

Yosemite Valley camp sites were being scalped that way a few years ago. Some one created a fast computer program to scoop up lots of spots before others could, and then marketed them through CraigsList.

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#52635 - 02/18/18 06:08 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 43
Loc: LA, CA
Thanks Steve.

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#52664 - 02/27/18 06:46 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
dkarlan Offline


Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 2
Loc: IL
A really basic question: we know the date we want to start a hike at Mt Whitney, and we want to then continue north via the John Muir. But we do not know what our pace will be. Do we just need a permit to get onto Mt Whitney trail, or do we need a permit to continue north too? if we need it to continue, do we really need to know what campsite we will stay in each and every night for two weeks?

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#52665 - 02/27/18 10:09 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: dkarlan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
First, keep your lottery entry simple. Pick Onion Valley as your exit point, and then put down Wallace Creek and maybe Vidette Meadow, two nights stay after Trail Camp. You can change all that info, and add more nights later on. Winning a slot in the lottery is the first thing you need. I am 99% sure that, IF you win in the lottery, you can then modify your trip -- your exit point and date, as well as where you will stay. Then use the "Other/Don't Know" selection after the first few nights.

Heck, you could even put Whitney Portal as your exit, and then change the entire itinerary once you found that you won. It is ONLY the trailhead entry location and date that matter for the lottery. (...only exception is that, if you start on a different trailhead within Inyo N.F. and want to exit via Whitney Portal, then you need the Trail Crest Exit permit, hard to get.)

Now, for a word of caution. Heading up and over Trail Crest from Whitney Portal on your start of a long journey has got to be tough, since you will be carrying many days of food, so your packs will be heavy. Very few people do that. Most will start from Horseshoe Meadows, since it avoids about 5,000 vertical feet in the first two days. It does add about 30 miles, but getting that permit is a lot easier than the lottery. And you can day hike Whitney from the west side, without needing a lottery win.

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#52667 - 02/28/18 04:35 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
dkarlan Offline


Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 2
Loc: IL
thank you this is super helpful! so glad i found this forum. much appreciated.

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#52669 - 02/28/18 07:17 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
che Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 4
Loc: ca
Does the exit date matter for the overnight lottery?

I see that the limit is 60 people per day... is that 60 people entering each day? Or 60 people total on the trail?

If the exit date matters, what happens if it takes us an extra day to complete the trip?
thanks!

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#52670 - 02/28/18 10:27 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: che]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Exit date does NOT matter at all! Most people exit after one night, some after two. But even if you change your mind while out on the trail and do something different than is on your permit, the rangers do not care at ALL.

Trip itineraries, camping locations, and exit dates are written down only to use if you fail to return home, and someone reports you missing. Then they have a clue where to start looking.

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#52673 - 03/01/18 12:03 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 10
Loc: Alabama
Ok, so I didn't fully understand the application process, specifically the alternate dates. I entered the lottery twice for a group of two, both with me as the leader and my wife as the alternate, but with two different dates. After gathering an understanding of the lottery, I then went back and entered under my wife's profile with all the dates we have available, 13 total. These were with her as the leader and me as the alternate.

Do I need to contact the park and withdraw my original two applications?

I would like as many chances to win as possible, but do not want to get kicked out before I start.


Edited by al_novice (03/01/18 12:08 AM)

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#52674 - 03/01/18 08:12 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: al_novice]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
They look for duplicate applications and delete them, so if you want to keep the one with all the dates, I would call the wilderness permit number 760-873-2483, and ask what you should do. I doubt you will get the $10 fee back for the ones you don't want.

Good luck.

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#52676 - 03/01/18 09:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 10
Loc: Alabama
Yeah, I pretty much wrote that $20 off. Oh, well...

Thanks!

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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: 7524
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: 7524
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: 41
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: 7524
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: 7524
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: 349
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 don’t say whether they try a different date or a smaller group if they can’t 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: 7524
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: 7524
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: 80
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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#52762 - 03/24/18 02:08 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Deke]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
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: 43
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: 7524
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: 43
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: 5
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: 7524
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: 218
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: 7524
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: 43
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: 7524
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: 5
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: 4
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: 218
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: 4
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: 7524
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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#52793 - 03/28/18 01:09 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: che]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 218
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: che

(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.


Interesting. Not sure if that applies to Whitney permits or not.
_________________________

http://wandering.earth

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#52797 - 03/28/18 08:56 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: WanderingJim
Interesting. Not sure if that applies to Whitney permits or not.

Not really applicable to Whitney permits, unless someone started at Whitney Portal, and hiked over Trail Crest and camped on the other side (in Sequoia N.P.). There are a number of Inyo N.F. trails where people start out on an Inyo trail head, and cross the Sierra Crest. It is the trail head agency that issues the permit for the entire trip.

The part about exiting the wilderness for 24 hours is mostly for long-distance (like PCT or JMT) hikers who need to come out for a resupply. They can spend the night in town, get their new supply, and return to the same trail, on the original permit.

I suppose someone could sort of live in the mountains on one permit, coming out every week or so for new supplies. As long as they moved their camp location at least once every two weeks, they could spend an entire summer in the mountains, on a single entry permit.

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#52825 - 03/31/18 02:37 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Tarrytown Offline


Registered: 03/26/18
Posts: 4
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Steve C
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!!



Many thanks, Steve. Very helpful! I'll be online tomorrow morning and ready to go.
_________________________
35/50

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#52826 - 03/31/18 03:16 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Tarrytown]
Pistachio Offline


Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 11
Loc: Arizona
Two years ago I purchased two separate sets of day permits, for the same date, (one for a group of four and one for a group of three) after the May 1 release, to accommodate an anticipated number of hikers. I was only able to obtain permits for one selected set of the purchases, when I went to the Visitors Center before our hike. I was informed that I was allowed to reserve/purchase only one set of permits under my name as the group leader, for a specified date. The disallowed purchase was released to the day lottery at the Visitor Center. No refund- which was OK by me since my hiking party ended up being smaller in number.

I would be cautious regarding purchasing additional slots for a day in which you already have a confirmed reservation. I don't know how this would work if the alternate leader picked up the reservations.

Best to check with the Visitor Center.

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#52828 - 03/31/18 10:05 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
Deke Offline


Registered: 03/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
If I am lucky enough to be able to find available dates during the mini sale tomorrow, do I have to input the names of the hikers in my party or can that be decided at a later date. I have 1 member of my party that might be replaced by another depending on circumstance. Is this allowable?

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#52829 - 03/31/18 11:09 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Deke]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
The application only needs the leader. You can put an alternate leader, so that person can pick up the permit in your absence. I don't think you can enter the other members names on the online system (but I could be wrong). They certainly aren't required.

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#52830 - 04/01/18 07:08 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Tarrytown]
Tarrytown Offline


Registered: 03/26/18
Posts: 4
Loc: New York
Oh well. Clicked on the button as soon as the clock turned 10 and the inventory was already gone. Either someone was a fraction of a second faster than me, or they built a bot to do it. At least I have my permit for two.
_________________________
35/50

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#52831 - 04/01/18 07:08 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Tarrytown]
Jack C Offline


Registered: 03/25/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
I just tried for the mini-sale and unless the spots are reserved before the form gets filled/submitted, I'm 99% sure that people used scripts or bots to grab the permits. Had a friend and myself non-stop clicking the "Reserve" button at 6:59am PDT and we didn't even see the forms page before they got taken.

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#52832 - 04/01/18 07:24 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Jack C]
Deke Offline


Registered: 03/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
I was doing the same thing as you. I also had my wife and all parties of my group doing the same thing for different dates and all available dates turned to R right at 7. We are all a bit annoyed at the process so far and not sure of our chances going forward.

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#52833 - 04/01/18 07:56 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Jack C]
Utah Hiker Offline


Registered: 04/01/18
Posts: 1
Loc: UT
I actually was able to secure 2 day use July permits this morning for the mini sale and am so excited!

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#52834 - 04/01/18 10:00 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Utah Hiker]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 85
Loc: CT
Clicked at 10 AM EDT but no luck. So I hung around the calendar for a couple of hours and I was able to snag a date in September...feeling fortunate.

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#52835 - 04/01/18 11:02 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Tarrytown]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Tarrytown
Oh well. Clicked on the button as soon as the clock turned 10 and the inventory was already gone. Either someone was a fraction of a second faster than me, or they built a bot to do it. At least I have my permit for two.


You have to click the browser's refresh button and click again as soon as it refreshes. Then as soon as the "A" shows up, you have to click the "A", then "Book Permit". It IS quite possible that people have a bot programmed. But it is also possible that they have a faster (or shorter) connection to the rec.gov site, so they would get the updated screen with the "A" displayed before others.

But there will be quite a few more slots showing up at random times on May 1, starting at 7 AM Pacific time. With the random times, everyone has a more fair chance of getting something they want.

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#52836 - 04/02/18 01:06 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Chicago, IL
My buddy and I were able to secure overnight permit for Oct 4th - 7th. We have both summited Mt Whitney back in our early 20s on a day hike. Now both of us are 40, so this time around, we wanted to enjoy our time on the mountain and acclimate at the same time.

Our plan is - Portal to Outpost Camp - Oct 4th
OC to Trail Camp - Oct 5th
TC to summit to TC - Oct 6th
TC to Portal - Oct 7th

We both know we could probably get this done in 1 or 2 nights, but we want to enjoy our time away from work and it's been a long time since either of us have been up at any significant altitude. Last for me was Pike's Peak - 2 day hike up in October 2015; for my buddy it was Rainier in 2014 I believe.

Looking forward to attempting another summit of such a great mountain! Hope to see some of those on this board up there around that time.
_________________________
Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs

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#52837 - 04/02/18 03:38 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: MtMikeR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
MtMike: welcome and good luck!
Just to get a head start on acclimatization, you should try to sleep the night of Oct 3 at Whitney Portal (8k) or even better Horseshoe Meadows at 10k. Both will have plenty of walk-in spaces in October.

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#52838 - 04/02/18 07:13 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 98
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Is there any real point of entering the Mt. Whitney lottery? Last two years I haven't gotten a ticket, but just picked one off afterwards off the webpage without a problem.
_________________________
Strava, IG

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#52839 - 04/02/18 09:16 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
jkp653 Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Oxnard, CA
Hi, I'm new and have found this site to be a great resource for information. Thanks to everyone on here for that. I've got a question regarding carrying permits on the trail.

My wife entered the lottery and got one of our choices. However, in between submitting the application and winning, we found out she was pregnant. She is not going to do the hike, however I would still like to do it, but with someone else. Is there any legitimate solution here? Everything I've read seems to say 'no'.

Do I have to carry ID on the trail? I don't mind being Melissa the transgender hiker if need be. I feel it's an extenuating circumstance and it's a net gain of zero for people on the trail so I don't feel morally wrong, but I also want to be able to look forward to the trip without worrying about if I'll actually be allowed to get to the summit the entire time.

Any suggestions? I've been checking the site for permits to pop up and plan on trying for a walk-in pass as well.

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#52840 - 04/03/18 12:22 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: jkp653]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hi jkp653. If she put you down as an alternate leader, then you can pick up the permit and hike without her. Picking up the permit is the critical part -- you must show ID there.

If she didn't put you down, only chance you have is to call the Wilderness Permit number 760-873-2483 and hope they agree with the "extenuating circumstance" situation. If they agree to add you as an alternate leader, then you can go without your wife.

Congratulations on the "construction project"!!!

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#52841 - 04/03/18 09:32 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Chicago, IL
Steve C:

I'll be flying in on Wednesday from Chicago and we have reservations at the Best Western in Lone Pine for Oct 3rd. I'll be getting in early into LAX, so we should be up in Lone Pine by 12 or 1pm. I was thinking of going up to the Portal for a few hours and/or maybe do a hike up to Lone Pine Lake to acclimate.
_________________________
Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs

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#52843 - 04/03/18 07:54 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: jkp653]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 218
Loc: California
Hey, she can give birth at the summit... what a story. smile

Although you may need a 3rd permit for the way down then. wink


Edited by WanderingJim (04/03/18 07:54 PM)
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http://wandering.earth

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#52844 - 04/03/18 10:21 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: MtMikeR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: MtMikeR
Steve C:
I'll be flying in on Wednesday from Chicago and we have reservations at the Best Western in Lone Pine for Oct 3rd. I'll be getting in early into LAX, so we should be up in Lone Pine by 12 or 1pm. I was thinking of going up to the Portal for a few hours and/or maybe do a hike up to Lone Pine Lake to acclimate.

MtMikeR: That could work for you and your buddy. I was only making a suggestion to sleep at altitude even your first night to get that acclimatization head start. But since you have both been on high peaks without trouble before, you will probably be just fine.

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#52845 - 04/04/18 07:06 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
jkp653 Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Oxnard, CA
Steve C - Thank you!

Unfortunately, my wife didn’t add me as an alternate leader. We didn’t really contemplate any circumstance where one of us would go and the other wouldn’t. Our “construction project” was a bit of a surprise. Lol.

That said, she will definitely be able to pick up the permit just not do the hike. I’m assuming if she picks it up, I’d be able to use it without her. Otherwise, what happens on the trail if the leader has to turn back but the rest of the group wants to continue? What happens if you have the tag but not the actual permit? Or if you have a tag and a permit in someone else’s name?

Either way, I’d still like to do the hike with someone else I know. If I were able to get them to add me as an alternate leader, would I be able to take someone other than my wife? In other words, can I now reassign her spot to someone else when I pick up the permit?

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#52846 - 04/04/18 08:18 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: jkp653]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
They don't ask for ID out when checking permits on the trail, but it would be pretty obvious you aren't Melissa. Since picking up the permit is no problem, I think you should call that wilderness permit number 760-873-2483 and ask about the situation. I am pretty sure all will be good, but I would call and ask. Here's hoping when you call, they will tell you the best way to work it out.

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#52847 - 04/04/18 11:56 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Steve C

MtMikeR: That could work for you and your buddy. I was only making a suggestion to sleep at altitude even your first night to get that acclimatization head start. But since you have both been on high peaks without trouble before, you will probably be just fine.


Steve C - Thanks for the suggestion. Always appreciate advice from those more experienced. I'm hoping we won't have many issues with altitude as we are taking it slow with stops at Outpost and Trail Camps before our summit bid. I do know though that just because we haven't had issues in the past, doesn't mean we won't this time around. wink
_________________________
Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs

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#52915 - 04/17/18 09:04 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: MtMikeR]
climb415 Offline


Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 2
Loc: SF Bay, CA, USA
I didn't get a Day permit in the lottery or on April 1, but I've been checking the recreation.gov website periodically and was able to get a Day permit for mid-August. How was this possible? I've been checking ever since and see 1-2 spots every so often pop up. Does recreation.gov slowly release unfilled permit spots periodically?

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#52919 - 04/18/18 09:04 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: climb415]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: climb415
... How was this possible? I've been checking ever since and see 1-2 spots every so often pop up. Does recreation.gov slowly release unfilled permit spots periodically?


Climb415 - I believe the website releases dates as they receive cancellations or those that give up their dates they received in the lottery.
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Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
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#52921 - 04/18/18 12:17 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: MtMikeR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: MtMikeR
Climb415 - I believe the website releases dates as they receive cancellations or those that give up their dates they received in the lottery.

Yes! Anyone who won a slot has until May 1 to pay the $15 per hiker fee to keep their slots. So, some people are paying for some, but may release a slot or two as group members back out, or else the completely cancel their won slots. When this occurs, recreation.gov subsequently releases those slots back to the system at a random time within the next 24 hours.

Those are the slots that appear every so often. They are available to the first person to grab("book") them and pay the fees. After they "book" the slots, they are not available to anyone else; the website gives you 15 minutes to complete the payment. If not completed, they are again released immediately so others can "see" them again.

On May 1, all the reservations that are still not paid up will be released, starting at 7 AM, at random times. There should be a lot more popping up that day.

Here are links to Recreation.gov and the permit reservation page:
      DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone             Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit

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#53005 - 05/01/18 04:28 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
chachismo Offline


Registered: 05/01/18
Posts: 1
Loc: San Francisco
I'm trying to add one more person to my party for June 18th. I called the ranger but she said something about adding the total number of people and not the one extra person.

Do you add the total number of people or just the one extra person?

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#53008 - 05/01/18 08:05 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: chachismo]
Deke Offline


Registered: 03/23/18
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
My understanding is that you would just get additional permits for the additional members. I'm trying to add 1 more to my party and was told to just find 1 more permit.

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#53009 - 05/01/18 09:29 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: chachismo]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7524
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: chachismo
I'm trying to add one more person to my party for June 18th. I called the ranger but she said something about adding the total number of people and not the one extra person.

Do you add the total number of people or just the one extra person?

Chachismo, if there is a "Change Details" option shown when you log in and view your original permit, it would make sense to change the group size by adding one to the total, so then it would show you the total number. When you go to check out, it would probably charge you only $15 for the additional person.

Of course it would only allow you to increase the group size if the date has additional slots available. I hope this makes sense.

I don't have a permit, so can't be sure of this. Anyone who does, if you care to try to add a person this way, maybe you can verify--take it all the way to the checkout screen, but then cancel your changes.

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#53014 - 05/02/18 11:33 AM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
MikeH Offline


Registered: 04/05/18
Posts: 1
Loc: Escondido, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C

On May 1, all the reservations that are still not paid up will be released, starting at 7 AM, at random times. There should be a lot more popping up that day.



Just a note of thanks, Steve. I did not get a spot in the lottery and happened to check back here yesterday. Noticed you posted the info above along with the permit links. I was able to get an overnight permit for very close to one of my original dates!

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#53015 - 05/02/18 07:32 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: jkp653]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 43
Loc: LA, CA
To jkp653 - re. adding alternates to a permit. Last year I had a permit for 2 in my name, and was able to call in weeks later and add an alternate leader name (that I had neglected to add at the time I booked it) so that person could pick it up and I didn't have to be there. I think as long as a named person on the permit picks it up, the rangers do not ask for the names of everyone on the trip.

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#53016 - 05/02/18 09:35 PM Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2018 [Re: Steve C]
eje67 Offline


Registered: 07/09/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Los Angeles County
Originally Posted By: Steve C

Chachismo, if there is a "Change Details" option shown when you log in and view your original permit, it would make sense to change the group size by adding one to the total, so then it would show you the total number. When you go to check out, it would probably charge you only $15 for the additional person.

Of course it would only allow you to increase the group size if the date has additional slots available. I hope this makes sense.

I don't have a permit, so can't be sure of this. Anyone who does, if you care to try to add a person this way, maybe you can verify--take it all the way to the checkout screen, but then cancel your changes.


Verified...added 1 person to a permit (had to wait until there was an available slot) and was charged $15.00.

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