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#54567 - 01/08/19 10:57 PM 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
Note: this is a long thread. Click here to see all in one page.

Update May 1, 2019
Lottery period is over. Any available slots can be found online at this Recreation.gov page. There are no walk-in permits available at the Visitor Center this year. All permits must be reserved through the website. Check it often, as cancellations will show up at a random time within 24 hours after it was cancelled. Related reading: insights on next-day permits

Here's how to find what is available:
1. go to this link: Recreation.gov
2. On the right, under Available Permits, click "Select Entry Point".
3. Click "Overnight" or "Day use".
4. Enter the number of permits you will want.
5. Any days available show up in blue under each month.
6. Hover your mouse pointer over the day, and the number available should pop-up.
7. Use the left and right arrows on the calendar to choose a month.
8. If a day is available for your requested number of hikers, click the day, then Book Now. Good luck!



Update March 29, 2019
Inyo N.F. has posted a Lottery Results pdf page here

16,842 applications were submitted
    34% of Group Leaders were Awarded a Date of their Choice
 3,104 won with first choice date.
 2,547 won an alternate choice.
    66% of Applications were Unsuccessful
10,268 unsuccessful because the dates requested were full when the application was processed.
    625 Applications were disqualified.
    282 Applications withdrawn by the group leader.
      16 Applications were revoked after the lottery (disqualified)

       
Update March 24, 2019
Lottery applicants have received their success or fail emails. Winners have until April 30 to log in and pay the $15 per hiker to hold their reservation.

on April 1 at 7 AM (Pacific time) Any slots still open (will likely be May and October dates) can be purchased on-line.

on May 1 at 7 AM PDT: All unclaimed and cancelled reservations go on sale. (Only the fastest fingers and luckiest will be able to reserve. Slots will disappear in seconds!)

Update Feb 22, 2019
The lottery is open for entries from Feb 22, and closes Friday, March 15 at 9 PM Pacific time.

An important note: When you create your lottery entry, at that time, you MUST enter any designated Alternate Leaders -- they cannot be added later. You and the Alternate Leaders are the only people who can pick up your permit (Id is required). In addition, the alternates must create a Recreation.gov login, and they MUST accept the alternate leader designation by replying to the email they are sent within 3 days, or they are dropped as alternate leader.

Update Feb 12, 2019: Inyo National Forest has posted another announcement:
Mt. Whitney Lottery Rescheduled
Quote:
News Release
February 12, 2019
Media Contact: Deb Schweizer (760) 873-2427
debraaschweizer@fs.fed.us
www.facebook.com/inyonf
Twitter: @inyoinfo

Mt. Whitney Lottery Rescheduled


The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been rescheduled to start on February 22, 2019.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov, but was delayed this year. The lottery will open February 22 at 7:00 am and close on March 15th at 9:00 pm Pacific Time.

Applicants are reminded that:

• Being first to apply does not improve your chances of success; applications will be processed in random order after March 15th.
• You can list up to 15 different trip dates on the lottery application.
• Submit only one application. Groups that submit multiple applications will be rejected from the lottery.

Lottery results will be posted on March 24th. If you are unsuccessful in winning your date from the lottery you can try again on May 1st when the unclaimed dates will be made available for web reservations.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

For more information about the Mt. Whitney Lottery, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5150055



Update Jan 30, 2019: Inyo National Forest posted on their Facebook page:

Quote:
U.S. Forest Service - Inyo National Forest

Mt. Whitney Lottery Postponed

The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been postponed.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov. However, the recently awarded contractor for this site was working with the Inyo National Forest to develop the online protocol for the lottery. This work was delayed during the shutdown.

The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February. The new date will be announced when the details are finalized.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

Thank you for your patience while this work is completed.


This is the Notification on the recreation.gov page:
Quote:
Registration is Closed
The lottery has been delayed until further notice. Please check back for status updates after the Federal government lapse in funding period has ended.


Jan 8, 2019: With the current federal government shutdown, it appears that the Recreation.gov website is allowing people to reserve Mt Whitney Main Trail permits, both day hike and overnight permits to be reserved -- before the lottery occurs.

People are reporting they are buying the permits. Who knows what will become of those permits, since they are purchased before the lottery takes place.

I don't know if they will be rejected or erased, or what. Rec.gov has always NOT given refunds, so no telling what will occur with permits this year.


Edited by Steve C (06/18/19 12:16 PM)

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#54568 - 01/09/19 10:06 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 76
Loc: San Diego, CA
With their new reservation system, I don't think they have full control over what it does or how it does it.

For example, I received this after releasing 3 of the 4 permits I had last year (I don't think I actually got the refund, but I'll check later):

Quote:
Hi Peter,

You're all set! Your refund for Reservation #6-xxxxxxxx at Mt. Whitney has been processed and is on its way.

This email serves as confirmation that you’ll be receiving a refund for this reservation. Your refund details can be found below:

Reservation ID:
6-xxxxxxxx Original Paid:
$55.00 Total Refund:
$34.00

Payment Type Amount Refunded

Legacy payment $34.00


Credit / debit card payments will be refunded to the card associated with your reservation, or you will receive a refund check in the mail with the address provided if you paid by cash or check (please allow up to 8 weeks).

Be on the lookout for your refund, and thank you for choosing Recreation.gov.

Thank you,
Recreation.gov


Either way, I think it's going to be a mess to sort out.

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#54573 - 01/10/19 12:28 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
So does this mean that the lottery for 2019 will be a different process then in years past? I did look on the recreation.gov website the other day and saw that most months are blocked out from obtaining permits within the lottery window. Haven't checked today to see if it's been updated but I know I couldn't obtain a permit for September or October yet.
_________________________
Mike

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

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#54575 - 01/10/19 03:07 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
It looks like the system will let you reserve permits up to six months out from the current date. When I looked yesterday - January 9 - you could reserve permits up through July 9, but not beyond.

It's odd that the system isn't defaulted to just block out the lottery permit period. The lottery period starts May 1, right? I would be very surprised if the system was accepting May permits six months earlier (during November 2018) before the shutdown, or June permits in December. Both periods are definitely available to reserve on the system now. I wonder what happened on shutdown day or afterwards to reopen those periods?

Once (if? shocked ) the shutdown ends, it will be interesting to see whether the "taken" permits are invalidated, or simply honored leaving fewer permits to assign by lottery? One of my employees "reserved" some permits for the July 4th window, so I'll certainly hear the answer. Either way, there will be unhappy people.

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#54576 - 01/10/19 03:24 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Jan 8, 2019: Rec.gov has always NOT given refunds, so no telling what will occur with permits this year.


This seems like it would be a bit different: they accepted your money, then denied you the privilege you just paid for. If I didn't know I was trying to game the system in bad faith - not true for everyone - that would seem like theft on their part not to refund the money.

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#54577 - 01/10/19 11:01 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Dave F]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 438
Loc: Reno, Nevada
This is a very different situation, but a while back, I reserved and paid for a USFS campsite on the west side. They ended up closing the campground due to flooding, and I got a refund with no hassle.

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#54632 - 01/30/19 12:04 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Dave F Offline


Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Northern California
*UPDATE*

My employee who made a lottery-period reservation during the shutdown tells me that they just got a full refund showing up on their credit card. Looks like the system won't be honoring those reservations after all.

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#54633 - 01/30/19 06:34 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Dave F]
mrcooperou812 Offline


Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Thanks for the update. So, does anyone know if the system will accept lottery applications on Friday?

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#54634 - 01/30/19 08:56 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: mrcooperou812]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: mrcooperou812
Thanks for the update. So, does anyone know if the system will accept lottery applications on Friday?

I would count on it.

Dave F: Thanks for the "*UPDATE*"!!

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#54635 - 01/31/19 03:56 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
No lottery entries tomorrow:
Update Jan 30, 2019: Inyo National Forest posted on their Facebook page:
Quote:
U.S. Forest Service - Inyo National Forest

Mt. Whitney Lottery Postponed

The Mt. Whitney Lottery, the process which awards both day and overnight hiking permits of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, has been postponed.

Typically, the lottery begins February 1 through www.recreation.gov. However, the recently awarded contractor for this site was working with the Inyo National Forest to develop the online protocol for the lottery. This work was delayed during the shutdown.

The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February. The new date will be announced when the details are finalized.

The Whitney lottery addresses the overwhelming demand to complete a hike to this popular destination that draws mountaineers and hikers from throughout the world. Mt. Whitney is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail and a part of several popular loop hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

Thank you for your patience while this work is completed.

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#54642 - 02/01/19 10:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
timisimaginary Offline


Registered: 12/13/18
Posts: 11
Loc: MD
Quote:
The forest and the recreation.gov are working to get the lottery functional and anticipate that it will start sometime in mid to late February.


just in time for the next shutdown tired

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#54644 - 02/01/19 09:05 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: timisimaginary]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
This is my first time attempting a summit hike. I plan on submitting for several different start dates, hoping that I'll get at least one. Do I have to pay $10 for each date I submit for?

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#54647 - 02/02/19 08:20 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Joe Gaffney]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
One $10 entry into the lottery allows you to pick up to 15 different start dates. The process checks your first choice first, then steps through the choices, in order, until the first success, or you run out of luck. Good luck!!!

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#54651 - 02/03/19 02:03 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Thx, Steve. I'm a solo hiker, so I figure I stand a good chance of getting one of my picks.

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#54656 - 02/05/19 06:20 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
One of our group members called and we were told it might open mid this week? I am reading comments and it says mid-February to late February? What's the latest on this?


Edited by Admir (02/05/19 06:21 AM)

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#54663 - 02/06/19 06:12 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Admir]
Joe Gaffney Offline


Registered: 01/31/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Still down.

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#54672 - 02/11/19 07:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Joe Gaffney]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
Just checked - still down.
_________________________
Mike

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

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#54688 - 02/13/19 02:46 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
LA Times article posted today:

By MARY FORGIONE
FEB 13, 2019 | 6:30 AM
Delayed lottery for Mt. Whitney trail permits will finally start
Reporter Mary Forgione got all the info right!!

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#54700 - 02/15/19 10:25 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
thx Steve! this is great news.

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#54701 - 02/15/19 10:26 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
Louie Offline


Registered: 02/15/19
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Does anyone know what exactly constitutes a duplicate application? If I put in an application and list my friend as alternate leader, and he puts in an application and lists me, is that a duplicate? How would they know? The only identifying info I can see is email address, but if we each use 2 different addresses, all they have is name, but many people have the same name.

For that matter is 1 person allowed to apply for 2 different trips in the lottery? That is they plan on making the hike twice in the summer.

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#54710 - 02/18/19 06:28 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Louie]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
I am not sure how they know, but I read a story if you have a bigger group no more then 3 should apply for the group otherwise you get disqualified. I am curious to know how they know if you find out please share.

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#54711 - 02/18/19 09:07 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Admir]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
I am sure Inyo N.F. staff won't share what tools they have or what data they look at.

You can be sure multiple trips with the same names for leader and alternate leader would qualify.

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#54718 - 02/22/19 06:55 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
As the Lottery starts today, I just want to wish everyone good luck and hope to see some of you on the mountain this Fall.
_________________________
Mike

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

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#54719 - 02/22/19 07:24 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
Admir Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 12
Loc: IA
Thank you! good luck to you as well.
my application is in, now the waiting begins

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#54720 - 02/22/19 08:19 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Admir]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 91
Loc: CT
The application system has been improved and is definitely easier to navigate however, it lacks a way to select a range of dates and you have to input location and group size for each individual date. Still it is an improvement over last year. Good luck everyone!

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#54721 - 02/22/19 10:27 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits - Application [Re: Steve C]
hikinggal73 Offline


Registered: 02/22/19
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Hi,

We are a group of 6 who would like to hike Mt. Whitney this fall.

When they say that "your group's applications will be rejected if duplicate" what does it mean?

If we each apply with a different leader/alternate then would that still disqualify us? Or is that ok?

Thanks so much in advance for your guidance.

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#54722 - 02/22/19 01:07 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits - Application [Re: hikinggal73]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: hikinggal73
Hi,

We are a group of 6 who would like to hike Mt. Whitney this fall.

When they say that "your group's applications will be rejected if duplicate" what does it mean?

If we each apply with a different leader/alternate then would that still disqualify us? Or is that ok?

Thanks so much in advance for your guidance.

If the same person, or any of the alternate leaders listed on one application applies to the lottery in a second application, the applications will be deleted (all of them, I think) before the lottery is run.

A little more commentary in this post.
Inyo National Forest's info on this is under the Lottery Terms section in the Mount Whitney Lottery page.

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#54723 - 02/22/19 01:46 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits - Application [Re: Steve C]
hikinggal73 Offline


Registered: 02/22/19
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Thanks so much Steve. Appreciate your prompt response.

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#54728 - 02/26/19 02:19 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
gracekinsly Offline


Registered: 02/26/19
Posts: 2
Loc: ca, usa
FYI - please tell your alternate leaders to check their spam box as soon as you apply. They only have 3 days to accept. If they don't accept within the timeframe, you will have to cancel your application and pay another $6 to reapply eek . This happened to me. I couldn't find anywhere on the Inyo NF site that said this and their office was not very helpful. All I found on their website was this:

Alternate leaders must now confirm that they accept the responsibility to be an alternate and can only be designated at the time the reservation is made.
When you make a reservation you have the option to select up to 3 other people to act as alternate leader on your trip. You must enter a valid email address for each alternate. They will receive an email and must respond and accept being an alternate within 72 hours or they will not be allowed to pick up or use the permit. If alternate doesnt have a recreation.gov account, they will be required to create an account. Alternates cannot be changed or added later. Being an alternate carries the same responsibilities as the primary permit holder. Please review leader responsibility.

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#54729 - 02/26/19 09:20 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: gracekinsly]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
gracekinsly: Thanks for that very important info!!

Sorry you had the bad experience.

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#54730 - 02/27/19 07:49 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: gracekinsly]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
My best friend who I added as an alternate leader saw the email but he didn't understand that he had to create an account or verify anything (even though I relayed that to him). I got an email saying that your alternate didn't verify in the time required and he was removed as an alternate. My application is still good, but now only I can pick up the permit, if awarded one.
_________________________
Mike

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

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#54732 - 02/28/19 09:34 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
gracekinsly Offline


Registered: 02/26/19
Posts: 2
Loc: ca, usa
Thanks. Wish I had known that. The Inyo NF office told me I had to cancel and reapply.

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#54733 - 03/01/19 10:55 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
I just placed my application in last night for me and 2 others. I made both of them alternate leaders, but when they go to accept their email, it comes up as invalid and doesn't let them. Anyone else dealing with similar issues?


Any and all information would be helpful, thank you!

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#54736 - 03/01/19 12:03 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: HiImGecko]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
I read somewhere that to accept being and alternate, they needed to first register/create a login on recreation.gov.

So have they done that? It may connect them with their account using the email, so don't use two different ones.

I hope that resolves the problem.

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#54737 - 03/01/19 12:05 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
They both confirmed with me that they have made an account on there. They said it forced them to, so they did what it said

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#54738 - 03/01/19 12:08 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: HiImGecko]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: HiImGecko
They both confirmed with me that they have made an account on there. They said it forced them to, so they did what it said

At this point, I would call the Inyo Wilderness Permit office number and ask the person there for help: 760-873-2483
I hope you reach Cindy.

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#54739 - 03/01/19 12:13 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
Let me post a picture of what it's telling them to give you more information. I tried calling the number for lottery assistance, but I was placed on hold and it randomly hung up like 4 times, so I just sent them an email. No reply yet

If they don't get to accept it within the 72 hours, it doesn't compromise our permit does it? Just makes it so I have to be the one to pick it up and hold it?

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#54740 - 03/01/19 12:38 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
Won't let me post a picture, so I'll just call that other number, since it was different than the one I was using, and see what happens

Appreciate you, Steve

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#54741 - 03/01/19 12:52 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: HiImGecko
They both confirmed with me that they have made an account on there. They said it forced them to, so they did what it said

At this point, I would call the Inyo Wilderness Permit office number and ask the person there for help: 760-873-2483
I hope you reach Cindy.




I called, pressed 0 to talk to a live person, but it never even rang, the automatic system said that nobody answered and restarted the prompts

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#54742 - 03/01/19 03:37 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: HiImGecko]
1962 Offline


Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Bishop, CA
The power was out in Bishop, and knocked out the phones...

Word is No Lottery Progress Report this week as they are working on solving the software quirks related to alternate leaders.
_________________________
1962

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#54743 - 03/01/19 03:48 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: 1962]
HiImGecko Offline


Registered: 03/01/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Glendale, AZ
Originally Posted By: 1962
The power was out in Bishop, and knocked out the phones...

Word is No Lottery Progress Report this week as they are working on solving the software quirks related to alternate leaders.





Alright, thanks for the info! Does that mean we'll get a grace period since the issue is on their end or will my alternates not be able to make their 72 hours?

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#54744 - 03/01/19 11:14 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: 1962]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
HilmGecko: East side power is flakey. The webcam computers report power outages multiple times in a month. It's no wonder the Bishop phones were out.

Call again Monday morning, 8 AM. 760-873-2483

Word is that since people are having trouble with the Alternate Leaders responses, they will open things up and give the alternates until lottery entry time closes -- March 15.

However, If they wait until the end, and can't register, you lose your alternates, because it will be past the entry deadline. So get those alternates set up correctly ASAP.

Originally Posted By: HiImGecko
Alright, thanks for the info! Does that mean we'll get a grace period since the issue is on their end or will my alternates not be able to make their 72 hours?

I think you'll get a grace period, but if the software doesn't get changed, and so rejects and removes your alternates, you will have to cancel your original entry, and create a new one.

It's a new system, so there are sure to be quirks. I hope by next year, they will allow changes to entries up until the entry period closes. (This year, you can't change your entry once it has been paid for.)

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#54751 - 03/04/19 06:02 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: futbol]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 76
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: futbol
With their new reservation system, I don't think they have full control over what it does or how it does it.

For example, I received this after releasing 3 of the 4 permits I had last year (I don't think I actually got the refund, but I'll check later):

Quote:
Hi Peter,

You're all set! Your refund for Reservation #6-xxxxxxxx at Mt. Whitney has been processed and is on its way.

This email serves as confirmation that you’ll be receiving a refund for this reservation. Your refund details can be found below:

Reservation ID:
6-xxxxxxxx Original Paid:
$55.00 Total Refund:
$34.00

Payment Type Amount Refunded

Legacy payment $34.00


Credit / debit card payments will be refunded to the card associated with your reservation, or you will receive a refund check in the mail with the address provided if you paid by cash or check (please allow up to 8 weeks).

Be on the lookout for your refund, and thank you for choosing Recreation.gov.

Thank you,
Recreation.gov


Either way, I think it's going to be a mess to sort out.



Today I received a (unexpected) refund via US Treasury check for $34. This was for the released reservation permits. If this is not a mistake, then I think it is a change for the better -- incentivize people to hand back unused permits early.

I would have rather the USFS credit back on my card, but not complaining.

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#54752 - 03/04/19 08:44 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: futbol
Today I received a (unexpected) refund via US Treasury check for $34.

Wow, that's almost miraculous! When did you make and cancel the reservation? It sounds like it took a long time for the check to arrive.

What was the $55 for? I can't quite do the math.

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#54754 - 03/05/19 09:08 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 76
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: futbol
Today I received a (unexpected) refund via US Treasury check for $34.

Wow, that's almost miraculous! When did you make and cancel the reservation? It sounds like it took a long time for the check to arrive.

What was the $55 for? I can't quite do the math.


The email I received was on October 10 and said please allow up to 8 weeks for refund.

The original reservation was for 3 hikers overnight on the Mt Whitney main trail.

Original receipt:
Quote:

Use Fee
All 3@ 15.00 $45.00
Reservation Fee $10.00
Total: 55.00


I released 2 of the reservations early. At most that should have been $30. The math does not make sense.

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#54759 - 03/06/19 12:47 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MTtoCA Offline


Registered: 03/06/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Question about the selection process. Does a larger max group size affect your chances of being selected? Meaning if your application is selected, will they see if any date of the 15 is available for your max group size, then max group size - 1, then max group size - n, etc. until they find a date? If so, that would mean having a smaller max group size would make it more likely your first date choice would be selected as you wouldn't need as many spots when they try for your first date choice?

I'm assuming here they check each of the 15 dates for your max group size first and then check each date for max group size - n, etc. Not check your first date choice for any possible group size in your range, then second date for any possible groups size, etc. If they did the latter, you would be more likely to get a 1 person group on your first date choice than a 7 person group on your second date choice even if it was available!

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#54763 - 03/07/19 10:13 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MTtoCA]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
MTtoCA: I'm pretty sure your assumption is correct. So cutting down your max size would slightly raise the chances of your getting closer to your first choice.

But this kind of situation only occurs when the slots are nearly filled during the lottery award processing. What it mostly depends on is where in the process your application is run through. If it is early in the process, your first choice will get the slots. Past the mid-point, all but the least desirable slots are filled, and none of your choices will win, even with the minimum group size.

When your application is run is completely dependent on the random order selection process.

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#54764 - 03/07/19 10:42 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MTtoCA Offline


Registered: 03/06/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Thank you sir. So I guess that deters everyone from applying for a 15 group size and then just cutting down later if needed. But it's not that much of an issue to add an extra person just in case.

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#54776 - 03/09/19 07:56 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MTtoCA]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 40
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
"I'm assuming here they check each of the 15 dates for your max group size first and then check each date for max group size - n, etc. Not check your first date choice for any possible group size in your range, then second date for any possible groups size, etc. If they did the latter, you would be more likely to get a 1 person group on your first date choice than a 7 person group on your second date choice even if it was available!"

I'd be willing to bet it is the latter rather than the former. Doesn't make sense to me why they would do it the first way. I'm not sure why your hypothetical situation would be a bad thing. After you all you can set the minimum group size too. If you set the minimum group size as 1 for your first choice then why shouldn't the lottery think you would want 1 for that date above all other options? If not, just set the min and max to same number.

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#54788 - 03/13/19 07:37 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
MtMikeR Offline


Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Chicago, IL
The Inyo National Forest won't be doing progress reports, however, they did release that as of March 8th, they had received 10,636 applications requesting space for 52,332 people.

In comparison, 2018 saw a total of 12,228 applications requesting space for 53,576 people. 37% of those who applied last year, received one of their requested dates.

I have a feeling that we'll see a higher number of applications this year as this week's numbers have not been tabulated yet.

Good luck to everyone and can't wait until the 24th for the results!
_________________________
Mike

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

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#54789 - 03/13/19 09:23 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MtMikeR]
KCMasterpiece Offline


Registered: 02/14/19
Posts: 13
Loc: California
According to this PDF, there were 16,077 applicants last year: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd574807.pdf

Either way, the shortened window didn't seem to impact the number of applicants very much. Good luck to everyone!

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#54801 - 03/14/19 08:49 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: KCMasterpiece]
heatpro Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 11
Loc: CA, USA
Steve, can you confirm about the "Submit only one application. Groups that submit multiple applications will be rejected from the lottery"

I was under the impression, which I have also done in the past that you can purchase multiple tickets to increase your chances of winning and that is acceptable.

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#54803 - 03/14/19 10:04 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: heatpro]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
heatpro: Inyo implemented that policy last year. Before that, multiple entries did increase your chances. Don't do it now, I think it will completely remove all your applications.

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#54804 - 03/14/19 11:13 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
heatpro Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 11
Loc: CA, USA
Thank you for clarifying. That is kind of strange that there are over 10,000 entries this year with (1 entry limit) compared to 16,000 last year during which I am sure most people were submitting multiple entries.

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#54807 - 03/14/19 03:02 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 438
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Sorry for complicating this, but it seems legitimate for someone to want to do two trips to the WZ in the same year. Maybe one to climb Whitney (and possibly Muir) and one to climb Russell. It seems reasonable to apply for the main trail with several dates in June and July, and then apply for the north fork with several dates in August. This isn’t gaming the system. Would they still reject both applications?

Edit: This may seem to be just a hypothetical question, but I just checked my records. I climbed Whitney twice each in 1991, 1999, 2002, and 2009. Three times each in 2003 and 2012. And five times in 2010, including twice on July 29. Add in separate trips to both Whitney and Russell in 1992, 1994, and 1996, and there have been ten years when I made multiple trips to the Whitney Zone. Admitted, some of those trips were outside the quota period, and some were walk-up permits. But it still seems reasonable to want to make multiple trips in a year.


Edited by bobpickering (03/14/19 03:26 PM)

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#54809 - 03/14/19 03:36 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
I found the answer in last year's lottery discussion:

...you can load up on multiple trips. It's only in the lottery that you're only allowed one entry.

You can grab open slots during the April 1 free-for-all mini-sale, and any other time when open slots show up. And of course, use the walk-in method.

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#54812 - 03/14/19 08:00 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 438
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Thanks, Steve. I knew you would have the answer. Now that I’m 70, I’m thinking about climbing the CA 14ers one more time. That means one or two more trips to the Whitney Zone, but I may go off-season or get a mid-week walk-in to avoid the lottery hassle.

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#54814 - 03/14/19 09:51 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Jonathan C]
MTtoCA Offline


Registered: 03/06/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Jonathan C
"I'm assuming here they check each of the 15 dates for your max group size first and then check each date for max group size - n, etc. Not check your first date choice for any possible group size in your range, then second date for any possible groups size, etc. If they did the latter, you would be more likely to get a 1 person group on your first date choice than a 7 person group on your second date choice even if it was available!"

I'd be willing to bet it is the latter rather than the former. Doesn't make sense to me why they would do it the first way. I'm not sure why your hypothetical situation would be a bad thing. After you all you can set the minimum group size too. If you set the minimum group size as 1 for your first choice then why shouldn't the lottery think you would want 1 for that date above all other options? If not, just set the min and max to same number.


I'm actually a bit worried now. I put max group size 4 and min 1 as I still want a permit if we cant get a date for our max group size. There needs to be a lot more clarity on how the min and max works. I don't want a permit for 1 person on our first date choice if there's a spot for all four on our second date choice...

Edit: I actually think I found the answer. The below quote can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5150055

"For group size you can now choose to have a maximum group size considered first, and if there is not enough space be reconsidered for a smaller group size (down to your choice of minimum number of people) for each of the 15 trip choices on the lottery application."

Definitely seems like my first assumption was correct and there is no harm in putting your minimum group size at 1.


Edited by MTtoCA (03/14/19 09:57 PM)

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#54815 - 03/15/19 12:14 AM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: MTtoCA]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 40
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
> Definitely seems like my first assumption was correct and there is no harm in putting your minimum group size at 1.

I suggest you call tomorrow (the 15th). If you get an answer on the phone and it turns out your assumption is wrong, you still have tomorrow to cancel and redo your lottery entries.

My $.02: that language doesn't disambiguate the method of selection. You're interpreting it to mean one thing, but it could just as easily mean "reconsidered for that date, prior to moving to the next date in the list". To me that is still the more logical method, but I really have no idea.

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#54817 - 03/15/19 01:06 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: Jonathan C]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Last day to submit your lottery applications, good luck everyone!

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#54856 - 03/24/19 09:27 PM Re: 2019 Whitney Lottery / Permits [Re: sumptimwong]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7905
Loc: Fresno, CA
So the lottery is over. The first post in this thread has been updated.

Several successful and unsuccessful people have started new topics:

  I didn't get picked. Now, what?

  Uneeded Permits

  Whitney June 1st - what to expect

  2019 Whitney Lottery Results

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