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Midnight Entry to Whitney Zone? #59657 06/14/2022 6:18 PM
by Jammer
I have been visiting Mt Whitney most summers since 2013, but this is the first year I have a permit and intend to continue to the west after summiting and heading to Guitar Lake and eventually on to Onion Valley. I have a shuttle from Onion Valley scheduled for the evening before my permit starts. Ideally, I would like to arrive at the portal in time to grab a burger and then head up to the Lone Pine Lake area around sunset. The plan would be to hang out there until I can continue my hike and legally enter the Whitney Zone at midnight with the hope of being on or near the summit by sunrise.

This all makes sense to me, but I've never done it before and I want to make sure I'm not going to be in violation of any regulations to hang out at LPL for an hour or two waiting for midnight, should I get there early. I won't be camping for sure (not setting up a tent, etc), but if I'm supposed to wait at the Portal until midnight before hiking, then I would want to adhere to that requirement.
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Re: Midnight Entry to Whitney Zone? #59661 Jun 15th a 06:02 PM
by John Sims
John Sims
All threads that I have read in the past interpret the permit as access to the "wilderness area", not to the portal. In fact, no permit is needed to hike up to Lone Pine Lake (or further), so cannot see how that could be enforced.

On a separate note, to achieve your goal, you will have to be making very good time (particularly with a full pack). Less than 6 hours from the portal to the top, in the dark, comes with some risk. Several people have died on this trail, by going off trail without realizing it (usually coming down). The area above Mirror Lake comes to mind as one spot where others have become lost. You did not mention your dates. Will you have a full moon? That would improve you chances of a problem free assent.

Good luck!
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