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#55978 - 08/13/19 11:45 PM Has the permit system increased accidents on Mount Whitney?
StorminMatt Offline


Registered: 06/20/19
Posts: 46
Loc: Norcal
I was reading a piece the other day about the increase in accident rate on Half Dome due to the permit system. Part of the intention of the permit system on Half Dome was to make the cables safer by reducing traffic. But apparently, the accident rate has actually INCREASED on Half Dome due to the permit system. Apparently, because permit dates are fixed and alternate permits are hard to win on the daily lottery, people take more chances when it comes to climbing in less than ideal conditions (whether it be weather, health, or even state of mind). In the past, someone might have put off a climb for a better day. But people now climb anyway in dangerous conditions since you cannot just show up a couple of days or a week later and start climbing. Has anything similar happened on Whitney?


Edited by StorminMatt (08/14/19 10:51 AM)

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#55988 - 08/14/19 01:40 PM Re: Has the permit system increased accidents on Mount Whitney? [Re: StorminMatt]
Happycamper Offline


Registered: 06/26/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
I don't think it's the permit system. It's the pervasive influence of social media.

I've snagged a hard-to-get permit and have chosen not to go because of conditions. I know I can try again next year, and the next and the next. The mountain/canyon/river will always be there. Last year, I didn't use permits that I had been waiting for because of conditions. Then I had to get surgery, not allowing me to try again this year. So I will try next year.

We always have decision making power, permit system or not. It's the social media pressure to keep posting an keep doing and keep up that makes people do dumb things.

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#55999 - 08/14/19 08:10 PM Re: Has the permit system increased accidents on Mount Whitney? [Re: StorminMatt]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
StorminMatt: Do you have a link to what you read? I'd like to read it too.

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#56028 - 08/16/19 04:45 PM Re: Has the permit system increased accidents on Mount Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
StorminMatt Offline


Registered: 06/20/19
Posts: 46
Loc: Norcal
A search will show many links.

But here is one.

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#56032 - 08/16/19 09:42 PM Re: Has the permit system increased accidents on Mount Whitney? [Re: StorminMatt]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks, Stormin Matt. You're right I could have searched.

This takes me back to the time leading up to the lottery and limits on Half Dome. I have multiple times written that if they would issue time-based permits -- where people had to be up and down from HD before or after specific times, they could very easily issue a lot more permits. And that would reduce the people on the cables -- and on the trail -- at any specific time. Doing that could very well make it easier for people to obtain permits, and therefore make it less of a "hell-bent for leather" commitment.

Some Whitney hikers start hiking at and before midnight. Many finish near midnight. A well-working Half Dome permit system could spread out the numbers, and might work. But nobody in YNP seems to listen to such outside-the-box ideas.

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