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Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Nicholacci #59897 03/15/23 12:23 PM
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Hi. I am new to the forum and posting as I unfortunately was informed today that my application for a permit was not successful for the 3rd year in a row. I had hoped putting a single person on weekdays between May and August with 10 entries would have worked but did not.

If anyone has an open slot in a group, I'd be happy to join pretty much any day of the week between May and August. I am open to single day or overnight and have all necessary gear and many years of experience in the backcountry (25+ years) and mountaineering in general. I am 40 this year with consistent weekly training of long hikes at elevation and should be able to go at whatever pace a group would be comfortable with (except for running :)).

Thanks!

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2022
Dauphinais #59898 03/15/23 02:58 PM
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I just got word, I did not get a spot in the lottery. What is the next step, wait for April 22?

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Nicholacci #59899 03/15/23 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicholacci
... I just got the email that I got my first choice in the lottery. .... my permit is for the 22nd of June.

I don’t particularly want to deal with too much in the way of snowy conditions beyond maybe micro spikes at most. I was always wary of the late June date, but my research seemed to indicate it wasn’t so early as to be impossible depending on conditions over the winter.

Am I correct in thinking it’s been an unusually snowy winter and I should probably let my permit go and make alternative arrangements? Or is there a date I should wait until to be able to say with reasonable confidence one way or another? I have a SEKI wilderness permit as a backup to do some sort of loop/out and back depending on conditions at the various passes, so I’m not too gutted if the answer is give it up.
Nicholacci: Pretty sure there will still be significant snow in late June, and people will still be using ice axe and crampons to climb the slope west of the switchbacks and the cables. In fact, the HST has a serious obstacle at that tunnel above Hamilton Lakes. It is likely that its chute will be covered with snow/ice, and ice axe and crampons would be necessary to cross. Lookup on youtube: "Hamilton Gorge HST Trail Condition 7/24/17"

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
James Cahall #59900 03/15/23 09:53 PM
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James Cahall, it's tough to find someone who will match your available times, and then link up. It is easier to be ready to go, and keep watching the days just ahead of the current day (during the summer) for a slot to appear on recreation.gov. You need to set up a link to the site and permits you want, and keep checking multiple times every day. When one shows up, grab it and go.

Teddimitri: Yes, April 22 at 7 AM a few slots will become available to the fastest/luckiest. But I am not sure how feasible this will be. I tried grabbing a Vehicle Entry pass on March 1 for Glacier N.P., and the website kept saying it was too busy to process my request. I kept trying, finally got in. But that was for 700 slots per day for all of July. The entire month's slots were gone in 30 minutes. I recommend trying to snag a permit as I wrote for James above.

Permits show up on rec.gov whenever any are cancelled (or a party size is reduced), or a permit becomes a no-show. When that happens, the permit is made available "at a random time in the next 24 hours" on rec.gov.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Nicholacci #59901 03/16/23 09:07 AM
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Nicholacci;

I hiked Whitney in 2011(record snow year) in late August and there was still 3 feet of snow in many sections. I've day-hiked Whitney every August since 2004 and have experienced all sorts of conditions even so late in the season. Going in June this year will require Mountaineering experience with record snow depth(worse than 2011) and dangerous creek crossings(though not many). Not too far away, Mammoth Summit has received 66 feet of snow with more to come. This year will be an all-time snow record with catastrophic flooding. I would personally wait until September/October time frame. There are many other majestic hikes in the Sierra's. Whatever you decide, have fun and be safe. note: Steve C-/Bob P and Wandering Jim and many others: thank you for all the informational posts. They can save ones life.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Steve C #59910 03/16/23 09:01 PM
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Thanks for the tips Steve C.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Steve C #59912 03/18/23 01:04 PM
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Do you think there will still be snow on the main trail in late July? Got permits and trying to plan ahead.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Paul King #59913 03/18/23 11:29 PM
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Thanks for all the info, everyone. I was pretty set on abandoning my plans, but it’s nice to have the confirmation. It’s just unfortunate I can’t transfer my lottery win to someone else!

I’ll just putter around some of the lower SEKI wilderness trails, Whitney will still be there in years to come!

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
acta5534 #59916 03/19/23 09:21 PM
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Unless there’s a massive heat dome that melts a lot of the snow between now and late July, plan on there being snow and ice on parts of the trail. At the absolute minimum plan on bringing microspikes and gaiters, expect to need crampons and ice axes. You’ll have a better idea of what trail conditions are come early July.

Below are a couple links for checking snow depth. I recommend looking at them frequently in the month prior to your permit date.

Current Snow Depth
SNOTEL Sites (Sierra Nevada)

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Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Nicholacci #59917 03/19/23 09:34 PM
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You can still do Whitney this year, just not by the Mt. Whitney Trail. Look for a permit departing from Cottonwood Lakes/Shepherd Pass/Kearsarge Pass with a Trail Crest exit for later in the season (late August through September). You can leave a car at Whitney Portal, shuttle to your trailhead, and spend 4-5 days hiking in the SEKI backcountry on your way to summiting Whitney on the last day of your trip.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Trapperjohn #59954 04/22/23 07:35 AM
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Got Columbus Day weekend in early October. Here's to hoping for the most snowmelt before the new stuff starts falling...

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Steve C #59956 04/22/23 06:16 PM
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I was able to get an overnight permit this morning for a July weekend. I was surprised it seemed kind of easy. There were many permits available for any day right at 7. I could see they were going quickly, but there was still weekend options in July and August 5+ minutes later. Not as bad as say Yosemite reservations where everything is gone in the blink of an eye. smile

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Steve C #59966 04/28/23 03:56 AM
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Hi Steve- what section is that video you linked to? I haven’t done Whitney but didn’t recognize that in my research.

My dad and I are set for June 16-18. Planning to take our time and summit on the 17th. I’m trying to get a grasp on what the conditions will be at that time- any insight? First time on Whitney.

We’re both avid back packers but haven’t done any mountaineering. We do have the gear most have suggested: ice axe, crampons, micro spikes, etc. Just curious how treacherous switchbacks and backside will be.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
frankthevi #59970 04/28/23 01:18 PM
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You will encounter full winter mountaineering conditions in mid June. You have the gear but do you know how to use it? Switchbacks will be fully covered in snow, and folks will be heading up the slope near them. Backside also will be mostly snow covered. If you choose to continue your trip, please be sure you are very comfortable with self arrest techniques!

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
frankthevi #59973 04/28/23 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by frankthevi
Hi Steve- what section is that video you linked to? I haven’t done Whitney but didn’t recognize that in my research.

I don't see any links in this thread. What video are you referring to? Post a link if you can.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
Steve C #60066 05/27/23 10:29 AM
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I believe I was referring to the shoot to the right of the switchbacks.

Re: Mt Whitney Lottery 2023
frankthevi #60067 05/27/23 11:36 AM
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Um, Frank, it's called a "chute" due to the shape of the topological feature. "Shoot" is what you do with a gun or bow. But you're far from the only one who misuses the word when talking about that feature on this board.

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