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Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
bobpickering #58349 02/24/21 11:56 AM
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Probably the fact that applying in 3 cases and winning all 3 (Sundays not midweek) is that at 11AM the previous day of the hike the available permits are updated in real-time.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Nick_B #58350 02/24/21 04:06 PM
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I really feel as if I am missing something here.

Maybe I misunderstand, but I do not think that you, Bob, are advocating that late-game permits be released exclusively online, but rather online, too. If that is the case, then anyone who was physically in Lone Pine would be able get an available permit from Inyo staff, and anyone that was close enough to travel to Lone Pine that evening or early the next morning would be able to get an available permit online. The advantages to issuing permits both ways would be reducing the number of cars burning fuel for no reason, increasing permit availability by giving anyone in a position to actually avail themselves of a last minute permit a fair shake at getting one, providing a contactless means of obtaining a permit while also maintaining a way to get one in person, and increasing access to and inclusivity of the Sierras. What are the downsides?

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Goose #58351 02/24/21 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Goose
anyone who was physically in Lone Pine would be able get an available permit from Inyo staff, and anyone that was close enough to travel to Lone Pine that evening or early the next morning would be able to get an available permit online... What are the downsides?

The downside for the person unwilling or unable to secure a permit online is that when those "walk-in" permits are available online they will probably be taken quickly. It's often a matter of seconds for some permits.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
RenoFrank #58352 02/25/21 04:49 AM
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Let's leave the unwilling out of the mix and focus on the unable, just to underscore the fairness aspect.

You are right--depending on the day, permits that are released may be scooped up in seconds. But if the permits were available online to everyone, including Inyo staff, the individuals trying to obtain a permit in person enjoy the same odds--no better, no worse--than those trying to obtain one from their desk at work, their kitchen table, or their phone. In fact, this model would even work to the in-person applicant's advantage because it would no longer make sense to restrict in-person permitting to a single location like Lone Pine. Instead of two or three in-person applicants standing at the counter when the permits are released, there could be two or three--or more--permit seekers at every visitor or Ranger station. And it would make the process more inclusive for working stiffs, stay-at-home parents, et al.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Goose #58353 02/26/21 09:11 AM
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There's an additional factor at play, which I don't think has been mentioned yet.

I live at sea level, and I can't even think about doing Whitney without spending at least 3 or 4 days acclimating. So no matter how same day permits are issued, it's really not ever going to be a practical solution for me. Aside and apart from making travel plans to come from the east coast, I need lead time that same day permits don't offer.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Goose #58354 02/26/21 10:11 AM
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Here we go again…

Making people take a day off from work, drive several hours, and stand in line at 11:00 AM for a permit that may already be gone is just stupid. All permits should be available online. Period. If COVID-19 safety restrictions allow it, go ahead and book your permit in person. Reserve your permit in person six months in advance, for all I care. You can re-read my posts. I never said they shouldn’t issue walk-up permits. I just oppose making permits unavailable online so that locals and a few others have a corner on the market for 40% of the permits.

I have not personally booked a walk-up permit since 2014. In 2019, I had a permit for Observation Peak and Scylla with my friend, Chris. Chris’s wife, Kassandra, and my friend, Amin, wanted to join the trip. Chris and Kassandra drove across the Sierra the day before to pick up the permit at 11:00 AM. If they hadn’t gotten the permit, Kassandra would have had to drive back to the bay area. Amin would have had to drive back to San Diego. And Kassandra would have had to drive across again to pick up Chris five days later. There is really no justification for this insanity.

This is the 21st century. Everybody does everything online. I manage my finances, pay my bills, do 90% of my shopping, applied for Social Security and Medicare, book medical appointments (including both COVID-19 vaccinations), file my taxes, create maps for my trips, and, yes, apply for permits and book campsites on recreation.gov.

Before COVID-19, you could pick up reserved and walk-up permits for Inyo National Forest in Lee Vining, Mammoth, Bishop, or Lone Pine. You could take your pick, except that Whitney permits were available in Lone Pine only. Once COVID-19 is better under control, I think they will issue permits in person again. Everybody reading this post obviously has internet access and knows how to use it. If you really don’t want to book permits online, feel free to stand in line for a walk-up permit. Just don’t lobby to make those permits unavailable to the rest of us.

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Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
bobpickering #58369 03/01/21 09:58 PM
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Or you can just do what I've been doing during COVID and go without a permit.
Live free or die.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
bobpickering #58370 03/02/21 09:22 AM
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I agree with you 100%. And I actually prefer the week (ish) out 'online walk up' as if I'm free that weekend I can book a permit and know I have it in hand vs. just hoping that a permit MIGHT be available if I make the 3-4 hour drive with plans. I also agree that all should be available online and when safe, sure go ahead and issue them in person as well, but like you say most folks have to travel to get to the eastern sierras, and having permit in hand would be FAR preferrable.

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
bobpickering #58400 03/25/21 07:51 AM
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As you noted, CA has a current population of 40m, doubling from 20m in just 40 years. The next doubling will be 40m, or an additional 1m per year which will bring the total to 80m in another 40 years.

(Yes, I know there are anecdotal stories of people leaving, but they are more than replaced by net immigration from India, China, Mexico and other places. If you doubt this, observe the suburban growth extending into the central valley, Salinas valley and northern Calif. Freeway expansion is certainly well underway, indicating public officials are planning for the obvious.)

So, what's the point? The point is that every generation has to learn to let go of their collective past. Imagine talking to an old timer who remembered the open ranges, or territories that hadn't yet converted to states and associated land grants. It would seem surreal to someone in 1921.

Well, guess what? We're the old timers reminescing about a past that is not only gone, but is in the process of being buried beyond all recognition. Camping alone wherever? LOL. Pooping in the woods? LOL. Forget it - designated camping areas along with toilets are the inevitable future of backcountry hiking.

The key is to simply go along with whatever system is in place without wasting any energy or effort resisting what to any younger person is a foregone conclusion. But you can still use your wits to gain an advantage - simply learn how to game whatever system is in place.
'
For example, what with all the permit horror stories last year of long telephone calls, I simply said fuck it and did a bunch of day hikes. Now, admittedly I can hike reasonably far, so it was doable for me. But there are shorter hikes that can be tailored per user. In my case, I was doing approx 20 mile round trips each day, so I got my backcountry fill, plus got to enjoy some cold bears over a nice cooked dinner afterward.

The other alternative is to bail, to leave the past behind. I know many people really cannot fathom not hiking in the Sierra each summer, but there are other countries, other places that aren't experiencing the kind of growth taking place in Calif. If the USA is showing classic signs of late stage empire, then the "outer" provinces might be a suitable option.

For the younger people, I actually support the comment just above. I would go rogue and say fuck all to anyone trying to bother me. If you spend any time with 20 somethings, they can tell something is in the air.

Last edited by Hobbes; 03/25/21 07:55 AM.
Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Hobbes #58402 03/25/21 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
enjoy some cold bears over a nice cooked dinner afterward
Hobbes, picturing you sharing a nice cooked dinner with some cold bears brings a grin to my face.

...had to search far and wide to find a picture of a cold bear with a beer. grin


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Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Steve C #58404 03/25/21 11:36 AM
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I once asked an old time ranger where his favorite place to camp was located. His reply? His couch! LOL

The generations long before us had it right. Let the mules carry the supplies, including stove, food and "licker". Stop in the afternoon, set up camp, erecting one of those big, canvas tents, light a fire, pull up a chair and start dinner.

When CA grew from 5m to 20m people (by 1970), that's when all the restrictions began. A necessary evil of course, otherwise nature would have been absolutely trashed. But a lot of the core appeal has been eroded due simply to the nature of our current reality.

That is why I raise the question, are we merely trying to force a square peg into a round hole? Maybe the hole used to be also square, but it surely ain't now. So we go through the motions, trying to recapture something that is so long past that no one living remembers anything remote to what it must have been like.

Which is why my day hiking is almost like going back to step one, albeit through unconventional means. Experience the comforts of what people in 1921 enjoyed, at the cost of having to walk back to your car camping spot by the end of the day.

Last edited by Hobbes; 03/25/21 11:38 AM.
Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Maverick #58412 03/26/21 12:49 PM
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What is the current situation for Mt Whitney permits if you weren’t chosen in the lottery. I am aware of the Apr1 and May 1 options online but am wondering if there will be walk ins for Mt. Whitney for 2021?

Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System
Samanthia #58414 03/26/21 03:24 PM
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Samanthia, currently the old "walk-in" permits are supposed to be made available online. But of course for the lottery permits for Whitney, they are all reserved in the lottery, with none held back for walk-in status. So online, the only ones that will show up are any cancellations, which are made available "at a random time over the following 24 hours".

In the past, there were quite a few available for walk-in requests due to groups reducing their size when they pick up permits, and also no-shows. Inyo tells me they are trying to automate making the no-shows available online, but I don't think that is operational yet. Here's hoping they can get it working this summer.

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