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Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
#58314 01/31/21 11:30 PM
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The application period for the Mt Whitney lottery for permits to climb Mt Whitney begins Feb 1 and ends March 15.

The Inyo National Forest web page with all their lottery information is here:

    Mount Whitney Lottery - Permit Reservations

Here is the link to enter the lottery on Recreation.gov

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58322 02/10/21 07:13 PM
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Is May 1st going to be the harvest day, as usual?

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Anton #58324 02/10/21 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Anton
Is May 1st doing to be the harvest day, as usual?

Yes. April 1 as well. April 1 for any unreserved dates -- generally only in May or October.

On May 1, reservations that were won in the lottery but not paid for become available at 7 AM.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58325 02/11/21 11:13 PM
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When choosing alternate dates for the lottery we can also alternate between day and overnight, would choosing both types of permits on the same application make it invalid?

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
luigithekid #58326 02/14/21 06:20 AM
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I'm sure it would not invalidate the permit or affect your chances. They work really hard at being completely neutral and random.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58392 03/24/21 09:28 AM
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Lottery results statistics from Inyo National Forest (link)

Quote
2021 Mt Whitney Lottery Results


25,005 applications were submitted for this year's lottery.
Applications were accepted February 1 through March 15, 2021 on the Recreation.gov website

25,005 applications requesting trips for 108,576 people

28% of Group Leaders were Awarded one of their requested dates
3,689 won with their first choice date
3,232 won with an alternate choice

72%of applications were Unsuccessful
15,696 unsuccessful because dates requested were full
1,909 applications were disqualified.
479 applications withdrawn by the group leader

Results for each application will be posted under the individuals account profile on Recreation.gov March 24th.

April 30 is the deadline for successful applicants to claim the date awarded by completing the reservation details and paying $15 per person reservation fee.

Any unclaimed dates will be released for reservations on May 1st.

[Linked Image]

Dates Fully Reserved

Day Use in the Mt Whitney Zone dates filled completely June 9 to October 5
92% of the season dates filled by the lottery

Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight dates filled May 1 to October 17
99% of the season dates filled by the lottery

More info in the Inyo document.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58393 03/24/21 10:47 AM
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What is the norm for the unsuccessful percentage. 72% seems high, as up till this year (and one year prior) I've always been successful for a Monday in September. My permit got cancelled last year, so it broke my streak of 24 years straight of dayhiking Whitney at least once per year. Time to move on, I think I'm done with Whitney. The streak is mainly what motivated me to come back more than anything, and now I'm doing utramarathons so it's not really a challenge for me anymore. I will miss the tradition of going there every year though, but it's an 8 hour drive and that gets old.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
bruce #58394 03/24/21 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce
What is the norm for the unsuccessful percentage. 72% seems high, as up till this year (and one year prior) I've always been successful for a Monday in September.
I can't find results for last year, but for 2019, results show:
16,842 applications were submitted
34% of Group Leaders were Awarded a Date of their Choice

Applications went up from 17k to 25k. Winners went from 34% to 28%. There is a lot of pent-up desire to get out and hike! I am sure COVID is part of the problem, and so is the trail being closed last year.

I would say that your 24 year streak of successfully getting permits was extremely lucky.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58395 03/24/21 11:13 AM
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Hi there,
not sure how this works, first time here. I was denied a permit this year. Was there any concertation put in for folks that had a permit for last year, and were shut down due to the fires?

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58396 03/24/21 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve C
Originally Posted by bruce
What is the norm for the unsuccessful percentage. 72% seems high, as up till this year (and one year prior) I've always been successful for a Monday in September.
I can't find results for last year, but for 2019, results show:
16,842 applications were submitted
34% of Group Leaders were Awarded a Date of their Choice

Applications went up from 17k to 25k. Winners went from 34% to 28%. There is a lot of pent-up desire to get out and hike! I am sure COVID is part of the problem, and so is the trail being closed last year.

I would say that your 24 year streak of successfully getting permits was extremely lucky.

One year I was unsuccessful, but yeah probably luckier than most. Monday's in September though I'm sure have a lot higher success rate than a weekend day in August. I don't remember how the permit system worked 20 years ago but I imagine that it was far easier then. These days, social media has made everything bucket list related harder to get into.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Jerry Mestas #58397 03/24/21 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerry Mestas
Hi there,
not sure how this works, first time here. I was denied a permit this year. Was there any concertation put in for folks that had a permit for last year, and were shut down due to the fires?

No consideration was given to those who had their permits cancelled last year. Otherwise I'm sure I would have been successful.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
bruce #58448 04/05/21 02:43 PM
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My overnight for 1 was unsuccessful. Most my dates were for Saturdays in July and August, which I knew were longshots. But I did have 2 Saturdays and 2 Sundays in late May that I figured would win if all else failed, guess not.

I day hiked Whitney in May on a weekend about 10 years ago and don't think I saw more than about 30 people total on the mountain. Also in the previous year day hiked in June in a heavy snow year and only saw some 30ish people.

Have things changed so much from 10 years ago to today?

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Louie #58449 04/05/21 03:40 PM
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So much has changed in 10 years... the general popularity of the mountain saw huge growth - then even more so in the times of Covid, where hiking is one of the few 'safe' activities and even more folks have gotten into it (and thus now heard of Whitney/want to try it). Each year is a new record for the # of lottery applications submitted, and I think it was just over 25K submitted this year.

Also - when you went in May previously - that was/is still relatively early in the hiking season and generally requires some snow skills/experience in making decisions based on conditions as typically the switchbacks aren't 'open' yet due to snow and the chute is the main route up.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
tif #58453 04/05/21 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tif
...
Also - when you went in May previously - that was/is still relatively early in the hiking season and generally requires some snow skills/experience in making decisions based on conditions as typically the switchbacks aren't 'open' yet due to snow and the chute is the main route up.

Yeah, it was all snow on the upper half, no switchbacks. Since my May dates this year for a solo overnight were all unsuccessful, I can only assume even May is being "fully booked" at this point.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Louie #58455 04/05/21 11:05 PM
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Louie: Fully booked, but some winners decide not to pay for them. Those become available May 1. So be sure to check then.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58503 04/20/21 04:27 PM
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I finally won the overnight lottery this year for 4 people with an entry date of 7/10. I now have to go to Colorado and am unable to use it. I plan to try on May 1 for another date, but should I accept them and try to trade with someone for another date? Is there a process/thres fro that? Thanks!

Rob

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Rob Steiner #58504 04/20/21 08:21 PM
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Really sorry Rob, but there is no process to trade dates on permits. The one you won can only be used by you.

So trying for a different date on May 1 is about all you can do. Good luck!

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58561 05/01/21 02:52 PM
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Made coffee and waited for the 7:00am lottery release this morning on the recreation.gov website. I was looking for a 2 person permit ideally for either July or August. As the process opened at 7:00am sharp for bidding there were many options for May (still are), handful in June but nothing for July or August. I clicked back to June, I think there were 4 or 5 days with 2 or more (2 of these had available for 12 or more as I recall). Picked a date still showing available for 2 but unable to launch it into my cart to secure, tried a few times and then it disappeared as did every other potential option. It was all over without success, it was now 7:02am.

Thinking I need to do the daily cancellation checking thing I got another cup of coffee. Around 7:23am I looked again, and to my surprise it repopulated with additional(?) spots in June and was able to secure a 2 person permit June 13. Holy smokes what just happened, there were many days with singles but only 2 days with more than this.

Appreciate the trip reports and photos here to assess the current situation on the Mountain and will use this as the best source for intel as we get into early June to balance packing as light as possible while trying to be prepared for the unexpected. If it is to sketchy/iced over may shorten the summit attempt this time around, assuming all else with nature is cooperating or blessing our presence on this day.

Anyway, it looks like a relatively low snow fall year but not sure about what the cables situation, etc. may be by mid June. Not crampon/microspike experienced and making this journey with 13 year old daughter. Young soul but a bit of experience in backcountry 40 miles in Yosemite last year and Grand Canyon (NOT the R2R for the purist, I concur) but a worthy hike down S Kaibab to Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel as a 10 year old in mid June, thermometer at Bright Angel reading 126F one of the days - a bit Saharan desert hot. We are scheduled to tackle the actual R2R journey in August - hope we dodge lightning/monsoons? If anyone has thoughts/experience on how they arranged a car swap for R2R would be appreciated. We are going from N Rim to S Rim and while there is a shuttle service its $90/person (times 3 in this case) plus the drive time 4hours + each way - its an option but not ideal if a car swap could be arrange.

Cheers!

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Mac #58571 05/03/21 12:01 PM
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Congrats! I had the same deal - everything disappeared immediately, then after several attempts dates started to open back up. Got late July. Good luck up there this year, everyone.

Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021
Steve C #58685 05/16/21 11:11 AM
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Thanks! Surrendered the 7/10 overnight but scored a day use on 5/24 for my 47th birthday. Just saw your pics, looks good with microspikes?


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