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

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
Jan 8, 2019: With the current federal government shutdown, it appears that the 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. has always NOT given refunds, so no telling what will occur with permits this year.

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

Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 55
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):

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:

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

Thank you,

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

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

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 11
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 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.

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

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

Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 16
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.

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

Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Jan 8, 2019: 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.

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

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 359
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.