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Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
#57837 08/02/20 05:00 AM
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Hi all - looking for some permit help.

My father and I have an overnight permit for Aug 18/19, with my father listed as the sole leader on our trip. Unfortunately, my father is now unable to hike this month due to recent shoulder surgery. As such, I'm trying to 1) Change the leader designation to myself and 2) Add a friend that will now be taking my father's place.

Excuse my naivety here because I know how finicky the permit process is - is there a way to change this info so my friend and I can hike in a couple weeks? The site doesn't seem to allow for changing of / adding participant names.

Similarly - has anyone had any luck contacting the Mt. Whitney Ranger Station/Inyo Interservice Agency recently? I've been calling/leaving voicemails almost every day for the last week and have not reached anyone. Is there currently a working number?

Closing in on launch date here and I'm getting nervous about adding my friend to the trip.

Any advice/direction would be much appreciated.

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
Highpointer45 #57838 08/02/20 07:43 AM
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In a perfect world, you would have listed yourself as an alternate leader when you applied for the permit. Alternate leaders need to have an account on recreation.gov. I don’t know whether you can change the leader at this point. They make it difficult to prevent people from scalping permits.

Except for the leader, they don’t care who else goes on the trip. The leader can bring anyone he/she chooses, and the permit doesn’t need to say who it is. Just don’t bring more people than the permit says are on the trip.

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
Highpointer45 #57840 08/02/20 10:12 PM
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You need to call the Wilderness Permit number: 760-873-2483
Their phone system is low-tech, there is no wait queue. If you don't get through, you have to hang up and call again. Be persistent, and you will reach someone.

Unfortunately, they don't allow switching trip leaders. But I would call, and see if there are any options.

If he cancels his permit, the slots will show up on recreation.gov at a random time in the next 24 hours. If you were watching for them to show up, you might get lucky and be able to grab them.

Next time, add an alternate leader!!!

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
Steve C #57841 08/03/20 05:55 AM
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What happens if the leader picks up the permit and then can't do the hike? Is the rest of the group still allowed to hike? What if the leader were on the trail and had to quit? Does the rest of the group also have to turn around?

If so, maybe your father could make the trip to Lone Pine to get the permit for the rest of you. Perhaps he could hike as far as Lone Pine Lake or something.

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
RichardK #57842 08/03/20 09:19 AM
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Richard brings up some important points. In the old days, before COVID-19, the leader had to pick up the permit in person. Now, the leader sends an email and receives a .PDF permit by email. A smart leader would print the permit, sign it, scan it, and then send a copy to everybody. If a ranger asks to see the permit, everybody whips out their phone and shows the signed and scanned permit. I wonder what the ranger would do if the leader wasn’t there. Maybe he is a half mile up the trail. Maybe he quit, as Richard suggests. Maybe he never started the hike, and is 3,000 miles away.

I’m in a somewhat similar situation. I planned a trip over Shepherd Pass for this Friday with three other people. I even specified an alternate leader, but she never got the email asking her to confirm. I was supposed to help two of them climb Thunder Mountain and Mt. Jordan. The other partner is climbing something else. I already got the permit email and distributed it to everybody. My “alternate leader” just discovered that several of her friends are doing almost the exact same trip on the same days. Suddenly, they may not need me. I think I’ll end up leading Thunder and hiking out with one of them, while the “alternate leader” joins the other group for the rest of their trip.

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
bobpickering #57843 08/03/20 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bobpickering
I even specified an alternate leader, but she never got the email asking her to confirm.

Same here.I sent an email requesting help and just received this from rec.govSupport:

"Thank you for contacting Recreation.gov!

I apologize, but I cannot answer your question or provide you with information about this location today. Due to the complicated nature of this permit, the managers at Mt. Whitney in the Inyo National Forest have asked that you call their staff to assist with your questions. They have the most knowledge about this location and this permit and are glad to assist with your questions or provide you with additional information. You can reach them by calling, (760) 873-2483. I’m able to assist with any other questions or information about Recreation.gov not related to Mt. Whitney Permits.



If you have any other issues or requests, please refer to our Contact Us page for assistance.

Thank you,

Alisa"

I will call on my upcoming days off.

Re: Modifying Trip Participants on Permit
Highpointer45 #57846 08/04/20 01:44 PM
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Hi everyone,

Some of my friends are doing the day hike on 7th September and I am looking for a group that has an extra permit. Apart from this portal, is there any other place I can post that I am looking for something? Really appreciate all you inputs!


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