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#56244 - 09/08/19 10:35 AM Getting 2 separate permits for the same day
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 35
Loc: Bay Area, CA
We have a group of 3 and are planning to do a day hike next weekend. We missed out on the lottery this year, but were lucky enough to grab a permit for a group size of 2 due to a cancellation a couple days ago. This leaves us still needing one more.

Is there anything preventing me from grabbing another permit for the same day as my existing permit? (i.e. does recreation.gov prevent the same person from getting multiple permits on the same day?)

One member of our group hasn't done as much training as they were planning to, and as such is planning to turn around near Outpost Camp while he is still feeling sharp. Frustratingly, this would put him a little over a mile into the Whitney Zone so he would still need a permit. If there are rangers out on the trail checking for permits, do they hang out as low as Outpost camp?


Edited by sumptimwong (09/08/19 10:36 AM)

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#56245 - 09/08/19 02:13 PM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: sumptimwong]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
Keep watching -- another permit will pop up. When it does, you may be able to increase the number of people on your present permit. Try that first.

If that doesn't work, I doubt the system will prevent two permits same day. But not sure.

Please report how it goes.

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#56253 - 09/09/19 12:21 PM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: Steve C]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 35
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Fortune was on our side once again and I was able to snag a second permit for our third group member. In my haste to grab the lone available spot as soon as I saw it, I simply used the standard checkout procedure to get the permit. The system did not even hesitate regarding the fact that I already had another permit reserved for the same day; the process to get the second permit was identical to the first. As a precaution, I also listed an alternate on this permit reservation. Surprisingly the system does not prevent you from doing this even on a permit with a group size of 1. Hopefully the permit pickup at the ranger station will be without issue.



So glad that this is finally behind us. I must've refreshed that stupid permit page a few hundred times over the last couple months. Change group size... no I'm not a commercial outfitter... next 5 days... next 5 days...

Good luck to all who are still seeking permits - it can be done with some patience!

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#56257 - 09/09/19 04:51 PM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: sumptimwong]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: sumptimwong
Change group size... no I'm not a commercial outfitter... next 5 days... next 5 days...


I just change the entry point (Day Use <---> Overnight), and it seems to refresh. (I always leave group size at 1 (unless I am actually trying to get more than 1.)

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#56260 - 09/10/19 08:35 AM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: sumptimwong]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: sumptimwong
If there are rangers out on the trail checking for permits, do they hang out as low as Outpost camp?
I'm going to answer this question for posterity because a lot of people read this board or find it in search results. Of course everyone should honor the exact letter of the permit system, period, as it's there for a very good reason and is about as fairly and democratically designed as it possibly could be. And you seem to have a solution to your situation anyway.

But since I was just up there this weekend (hope to post a trip report if I can find the time), I can empirically state: yes they do check as low as Outpost Camp. We were going down and at about 2pm between Mirror Lake and Outpost Camp passed a ranger who was heading up to Trail Camp to deal with a maintenance task and of course check people anywhere in the Whitney Zone along the way. Ended up talking to him for 10 minutes because he was such a cool guy. Given how much work it takes to get a permit (Trail Crest exit permit in my case, after months of recreation.gov spot checks for my desired day) I was actually excited to see him and finally put that hard-earned piece of paper to use!

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#56262 - 09/10/19 12:48 PM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: Jonathan C]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 35
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Jonathan. Hope you had a good trip, and I look forward to seeing your trip report.

This is good information for the broader group to be aware of. I agree that the permit system serves its purpose well, however each individual will have their own comfort level in regards to how closely they wish to play by the rules. As an example, if you look closely at the official map of the Whitney Zone, you will find that you actually need to cross into and then back out of the Whitney Zone boundary to reach to Lone Pine Lake. I would hazard a guess that most people who day hike just to LPL have permits. It must fall within the "speed limit +5" threshold wink

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5347549.jpg

I was told on the FB group that fines for hiking within the WZ without permit are $180, and the ranger will escort you off the mountain as well. I was also told that another individual was in a similar situation to me and successfully picked up two permits under her name from the night box:

"Yeah donít do it .. I went last weekend with a buddy of mine .. I had a permit he did not ... needless to say , I submitted he did not , they walked him off with a ticket of a whopping 180 bucks .. so donít do it Whitney hiking community !" -Antonio Coronado

"fwiw, I also grabbed two individual permits in my name both, no alternate permit holder and arranged night box delivery for both. It was last minute and I had no issues. Good luck!" -Shannon Livingstone Bousfield

Aside: the Mt. Whitney FB group (closed group, must message moderator for an invite) is another great resource for those planning their trips, but I've noticed that there tends to be a bit of gatekeeping and a substantial amount of groupthink. Overall it's a very friendly community, but these boards by comparison have a stronger core group of experienced hikers who take the time to write thoughtful responses.

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#56264 - 09/10/19 07:26 PM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: Jonathan C]
Ryan O Offline


Registered: 08/10/19
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
" I can empirically state: yes they do check as low as Outpost Camp."

I've only been up twice - they were there both times.

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#56266 - 09/11/19 09:26 AM Re: Getting 2 separate permits for the same day [Re: sumptimwong]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: sumptimwong
As an example, if you look closely at the official map of the Whitney Zone, you will find that you actually need to cross into and then back out of the Whitney Zone boundary to reach to Lone Pine Lake.

There's a sign just uphill from the LPL turnoff that declares the beginning of the Whitney Zone. Map details aside, it's clearly the demarcation of enforcement. It would be one thing to claim (or actually have) ignorance about corner cases involving LPL, but if you walk past that sign without a permit you are knowingly breaking the rules. Same thing coming in over Trail Crest.

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