Whitney Lottery 2014

Posted by: Sparty85

Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/15/14 12:56 PM

It is about two weeks before the start of the lottery process. I am surpised the subject hasn't come up yet. Steve, you have always done such a great job with providing information, any changes from last year that we should know about?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery - 01/15/14 02:15 PM

Edit:  Options for picking up a reservation:  Lottery Update, March 26


old text:
Thanks for the timely prompt! I'll try to find out....


FYI, last year's Lottery information is here: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/16/14 05:57 PM

I received this report:

There are no functional changes to the lottery -- it will work the same as last year.

A few minor things though: Email notifications of lottery results from the recreation.gov website apparently did not get out to everyone, so they are stressing this year that you should login after the lottery has been run to see your results.

They are trying to update some of the text on the rec.gov site to make things easier to read.

They hope to update the Inyo National Forest's lottery information page on a weekly basis throughout the lottery entry phase.


2014 Mt Whitney Lottery Timeline

Feb 1, 2014 to March 15, 2014   Applications are entered online at www.recreation.gov (closes on March 15 at midnight Eastern time)

March 16   All the lottery applications are processed in a random lottery.  New applications not accepted until April 1.

March 23   Results available on line, check your account.

April 1   All remaining space is released for web reservations
        Online opens at 7 am Pacific time- No phone reservations
        Acceptance period opens for 30 days.

April 30   Last day to accept and pay for lottery reservations.
        (closes at midnight Eastern time)

May 1   All unclaimed dates are canceled and released for web reservations (within 24 hours, at random times).

Edit: March 26 update
Originally Posted By: Steve C
2014 Mt Whitney Lottery Update

April 1, at 7 AM Pacific time   All remaining space becomes available for online web reservations
        No phone reservations
        Acceptance period opens for 30 days -- winners can login and pay the $15 per hiker fee
          for the reservations.
        NOTE:  During April, lottery winners who have not already cancelled their slots may login
          and release their reservations. Those slots become available within 24 hours at random
          times.  Inyo reports that last year, 30% of lottery slots were cancelled by May 1.

April 30   Last day to accept and pay for lottery reservations.
        (closes at midnight Eastern time)
        Note: Last year there were many spaces that went unclaimed.

May 1   Throughout the day, all unclaimed spaces become available at random times.

Posted by: Marty

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/22/14 09:26 AM

Steve,

If one submits several different applications (with separate six dollar payments) does the system automatically eliminate all your other requests when one request is accepted?

I have a sense that their system defaults to this when any one request from one email address is accepted.

Thanks!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/22/14 10:46 AM

> If one submits several different applications (with separate six dollar payments) does the system automatically eliminate all your other requests when one request is accepted?

Yes. (I had to review the 2013 info to make sure.)

In 2012, only one entry could be made. But last year, they opened it up to multiple applications and allowed for post-lottery acceptance or decline of a winning entry. So you can enter as many times as you have $6 entry fees (and time to fill in the info). The $6 entry fees are non-refundable.

Each entry is processed, and as soon as one (of the possible 15 start dates on that particular entry) is successful, the rest on that entry are canceled, and all the other entries made with separate $6 fees are marked as unsuccessful.

After the lottery, you must then logon and accept (and pay the $15 per hiker fee) for the slots you won. Or you can refuse the slots as well. If you never accept or refuse a won reservation, it will be canceled (by May 1 I think).

If you and your friends all get together, you can make multiple entries and maybe win multiple choices for a trip if you use separate accounts on Recreation.gov.

By the way, the 2013 Lottery information is here: 2013 Whitney Lottery Information
Posted by: Marty

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/22/14 07:43 PM

Thanks Steve!
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/23/14 09:07 AM

I may apply for some permits this year, however I'm not sure whether or not I want to camp overnight. If I get overnight permits can I just do a dayhike on either of the two days?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 01/23/14 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
I may apply for some permits this year, however I'm not sure whether or not I want to camp overnight. If I get overnight permits can I just do a dayhike on either of the two days?


Well... the Wilderness Permit Office people frown on that. They want to make all the overnight permits available to campers. But it always happens where someone intends to backpack and stay the night, but end up exiting the same day.

If you started a dayhike the second day of your overnight plans, you could technically be cited, and you might well be, if you told the ranger in the field that you had started up that day.

What I would do is enter the lottery for the overnight, and accept and pay for that (if you actually win a slot). Then if your plans change: Check online a few days before the permit date, and if you see an open slot (due to cancellations), call the Wilderness Permit Office (not Rec.gov), and they will switch your permit. If that doesn't work, walk in to the Visitor Center and try to swap the overnight for a dayhike there. That should work pretty much all the time.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 02/05/14 10:50 PM

On Recreation.gov, this is posted:

Quote:
Attention: The Mount Whitney lottery is open through March 15, 2014, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time!

This lottery is for permits with entry dates between May 1, 2014 and November 1, 2014. However, the trail may not be clear of snow for early or late season dates.

Trips sponsored by organizations or commercial groups must contact the Inyo National Forest wilderness permit office before applying for a Mt. Whitney permit.

Fees: No Refunds

Transaction Fee: One application may list up to 15 trip choices and 3 alternate leaders for one $6.00

Transaction Fee: Please submit only one application per group.

Reservation Fee: Lottery winners must pay a $15.00 per person reservation fee by April 30, 2014 to claim any awarded date. Unclaimed dates will be canceled.
Seasonal trail information, Lottery Tips & Statistics, can be found here.

Click here to start a lottery application or enter your preferred date and search.
Posted by: + @ti2d

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 02/06/14 07:58 AM

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana.

When making your reservations, keep in mind what happened October 1, 2013.

"It" happened before, "it" can happen again..."It" being the government shutdown.

Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 02/11/14 10:13 PM

Inyo NF has posted an update today on their Mt Whitney Lottery page

4,302 applications entered as of Feb 11

There is a MS Word doc ( Lottery Progress ) showing the number of people requested for each date. This will give you an idea of which days are most heavily requested.

From the summary data in that doc:
 Lottery Progress Report

As of February 3, 2014 2,091 applications submitted.

10 Most Popular First Choice Dates Number of people
Entry Date Combined Day Use Overnight
Friday, August 01, 2014 334 84 250
Saturday, August 16, 2014 297 186 111
Friday, July 11, 2014 274 32 242
Saturday, July 26, 2014 272 214 58
Saturday, July 19, 2014 237 126 111
Saturday, August 02, 2014 222 25 168
Saturday, August 09, 2014 222 84 250
Saturday, July 12, 2014 213 108 105
Saturday, Sept 06, 2014 212 72 104
Saturday, August 30, 2014 199 60 139
Friday, July 18, 2014 193 25 168
Posted by: quillansculpture

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 02/25/14 11:56 PM

You would think July 12th would be popular with the full moon.

Also, you say that you can send in separate applications for the $6.00 fee, but Recreation.gov states; "Please submit only one application per group."

I would caution as much as you believe your friends will show up on a Whitney hike, and have them send in separate applications as a "group leader" to raise your odds, that may not end up with a happy ending, as when the date comes closer, many people who planned to hike the mountain, seem to find an excuse... and then you're out of a hike, or taking a chance on the daily lottery at the Interangency Visitors Center. Just sayin'.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/04/14 08:38 AM

Ten days left before lottery applications are closed.

Inyo has posted that they have received 7,526 applications as of March 3.
Posted by: Krishna

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/06/14 08:13 AM

Steve:
Are there any open for daily quota? Meaning, if I go to Interagency office at 3 am and stand in queue, if there is a queue, can I get a permit (preferably with overnight camp at trail camp) for Whitney? Just curious, never did Whitney from east side!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/06/14 11:22 AM

Krishna, getting in line early does not help. When they open at 8 AM, if there is a line, they will put numbers in a hat, and everyone draws a number, which determines who gets to the counter first. And that includes ALL people looking for any permits on any trails.

There are no daily quota slots held back for walk-in requests. However, there are always going to be slots made available due to people coming in to pick up their reservations and dropping off slots due to their friends cancelling out. And then there are also no-shows who have a reservation, never cancelled online, and then don't show up to pick up a permit. The group-size reduction slots are made available as soon as the groups pick up their permits, so it is possible to pick one up soon after 8 AM, and throughout the day. The no-shows become available at 11 AM, and again, if there are lots of people looking to pick them up, a drawing of numbers is held at that time.

No-shows for overnight are made available to start same-day. No-shows for day hike are made available to start the next day. In the past, the day hike no-shows became available at 2 PM, but recently, they have been estimating no-shows and giving them out at 11 AM, even though the reservation-holders have a 12-noon deadline to pick up.

You can get a feel for how many permits are available due to cancellations, drops and no-shows by looking at the Unused Whitney Permits pages I have maintained.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/10/14 11:30 PM

Inyo NF has posted their last lottery update before the March 15 cutoff here: Mt Whitney Lottery Progress Report

8,744 applications submitted as of March 10

There is a nice chart on their page showing the first choice numbers from all the applications. Viewing that, I can see:

For Overnight permits (Quota 60 per day):
First overbooked date: Saturday May 10, and every Saturday after that.
Most requested date: Friday, Aug 1: 763 requests. (Less than 1 in 12 chance)
All requests will be satisfied after Sunday, Sept 21 (except the 154 requests on Thurs Oct 2 ...weird).


For Day Use permits (Quota 100 per day):
First overbooked date: Saturday June 7.
Most overbooked date: Saturday July 19: 541 requests.
All requests after Saturday, Sept 13 will be satisfied.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/15/14 09:24 PM

It's March 15, after 9 PM Pacific Daylight time, and the 2014 Lottery is closed to reservations. (Recreation.gov runs on Eastern time.)

They will be running the lottery sometime in the next week, with results to be available on line Sunday March 23, so check your account -- maybe as early as next Sunday after 9 PM.

Good luck to everyone who put in their entries.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/22/14 10:28 PM

The Inyo N.F "Whitney Lottery" page states that:

"March 23 - Results available on line, check your account."

Since it is already March 23 in NY where the Recreation.gov site runs, it might be possible to view your results tonight.
Posted by: Sparty85

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/23/14 07:22 AM

I went to Recreation.gov and when I went to check the status of the lottery it said that results will be posted by 4-1. So, it looks like another week of waiting.
Posted by: C Gray

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/23/14 12:27 PM

Any insight on whats causing the delay?
Posted by: Malcolm

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/23/14 07:05 PM

So am I right in thinking that nobody has heard lottery results yet (6pm PST on 3/23)? Were they supposed to post results in our account information today, or just email us the results? Neither has appeared to happen. But I could imagine that bulk emails like that could trickle out slowly over a couple hours.

If anyone has heard anything, holler.
Posted by: JimC

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:04 AM

My application, at the top, now says

"The Lottery results will be displayed on the site by Tue Apr 01 2014. Please visit the site after the lottery execution."

Which is a bummer, because I want to apply to the Half Dome Lottery too and not have a conflict. Of course, if I don't get a permit, there is no conflict cry
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 08:54 AM

I checked in with Inyo N.F. staff -- they have been getting lots of calls. I learned that there was a bit of confusion between Inyo and the Rec.gov people. Inyo fully intended for the results to be made available this past weekend, but the rec.gov person in charge of pressing the buttons did not understand that part.

So fires have been lit wink and they are hoping the information will be available later today. However the person doing the work is not the same as last year, so no promises.

The idea is that people can see what they received in the lottery, and then check what is left online, and if they want, can sign up for any open slots that remain -- starting April 1.

As April progresses, people will decline a few slots, and during April, those will become available on recreation.gov, too. When slots are released, they become available within the next 24 hours ("at a random time" as they put it).

Edit: ...and within an hour of posting this, people are seeing their results! I guess the guy figured out what buttons to press. smile

Posted by: Brent N

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:09 AM

Thanks for working your connections, Steve.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:33 AM

I just checked and I got my first choice for overnight Aug 27. So excited. Thanks for all the help here!
Posted by: quillansculpture

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:40 AM

Just got our overnight date :-)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:44 AM

Got my date, BUT, the site wont let me "accept" it!
Posted by: quillansculpture

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:49 AM

I'm sure they are overwhelmed right now... same with mine, just gotta pay later.
Good news is WE got our permits!
Posted by: SanGorgonioHiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:05 AM

Just got some dates I requested that no longer works with my schedule. Some Q's:

A) is it hard to switch dates?
B) whats involved?

Thanks from a new Sierra Hiker

www.hikinginsocal.blogspot.com
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: SanGorgonioHiker
Just got some dates I requested that no longer works with my schedule. Some Q's:

A) is it hard to switch dates?
B) whats involved?

Thanks from a new Sierra Hiker

www.hikinginsocal.blogspot.com

Yes it's hard to switch dates. You effectively are in the same boat as those who did not get a reservation. You have to check online for open slots and reserve one.

Separately, you can decline the date you got. You do that online during April. If you don't, it will be automatically canceled at the end of April. On May 1, all the non-accepted become available, so you should be sure and check what is available then.

And on April 1, the un-used lottery slots will become available to be reserved online. So you can start looking now at what is available.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:20 AM

Wow! Looking online at the day hike dates, there are many days especially mid-week, throughout the summer, that are still available. Most weekends are fully reserved, but not mid-week.

Overnight slots are more fully booked, but there are still many available in June.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:36 AM

Your Lottery Application has been revoked.


Any idea why? I only submitted one application with that account. I was listed as an alternate leader on a different trip/date/account that did get some spots.
Posted by: David B

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:45 AM

I think there's something a bit weird with the lottery results... Mine is showing "unsucessful" for the date I picked (Aug 14), but it shows 42 day-use permits still available on the link Steve C posted.

Anybody else seeing something similar?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 10:57 AM

David B, call the Wilderness Permit office number: 760-873-2483 and ask. (and please report back)

I am thinking there might be some issues with the run this year.
Posted by: Abhijit

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 11:12 AM

I won the lottery..I won..I won..excited..the only thing now is initial group size was six and I'm only one who wants to go. So I'm going to release 5 slots. I think some people need that more than my tentative friends. Day hike - 23rd July.

AJ
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 11:15 AM

I just called the permit office.

Apparently if you win permits one application, any other applications that you are listed as an alternate leader for are revoked/cancelled.

I have friends that were planning trips separate from mine that listed me as an alternate, even though I was not planning on joining them. I am going to feel horrible if their applications were pulled b/c my name is on them! mad
Posted by: pratic patel

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 11:20 AM

This is ridiculous. Waste of $6. We applied for 3 and each one of lost out, even though there are spots available for alternate dates. There is something not right about this lottery. They should tell us all rules. Upset.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 11:37 AM

From the looks of it, I think Recreation.gov has some 'splainin' to do. frown

And PLEASE do not call and yell at the Inyo people. They are just "users" of the recreation.gov site. Some software people in another part of the country are the ones running rec.gov.

Edit: I posted a revision on the next page. Inyo tells me there are already lots of cancellations going on online. So days that were originally full are opening up.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 11:52 AM

The lady I spoke with on the phone said that there was a warning at the top of the lottery webpage to only submit one application per group/trip. It may have been there, but I certainly did not see it.

On the application that won, I was listed as the first alternate and all of the dates were for June 3 or 4 (week days). I got 3 permits.

On the application that was revoked, all of the dates were for weekends in June, July, August and the first week of September, with a minimum of 5 people.

I asked her how they decided which application would be revoked. She said, we give you the most desirable dates and cancel the other app(s).

... REALLY?!?... If I meet the person that decided, I'm going to see if I can trade the them two shiny pennies for old, ratty $100 bill.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:02 PM

Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
I asked her how they decided which application would be revoked. She said, we give you the most desirable dates and cancel the other app(s).

... REALLY?!?... If I meet the person that decided, I'm going to see if I can trade the them two shiny pennies for old, ratty $100 bill.

I don't think that is quite right. During the lottery processing, your applications get processed in a random order. So the one you "won" got processed first.

Then, the process goes down through your requested dates, processing those on THAT one application in order, first to last. As soon as one is successful, the system looks up all your other applications and cancels (or Revokes???) them. I was not aware that it would look you up in the Alternate Leader slots, and cancel those, too.
Posted by: Brent N

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:04 PM

We got one this year. Overnight permit beginning September 17.

Good luck everyone.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C
From the looks of it, I think Recreation.gov has some 'splainin' to do. frown

And PLEASE do not call and yell at the Inyo people. They are just "users" of the recreation.gov site. Some software people in another part of the country are the ones running rec.gov.


I need to revise that. Inyo staff tells me that they are already seeing lots of cancellations going on online.

So apparently there are lots of people who got slots they cannot use.
Posted by: quillansculpture

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:29 PM

After a long wait on Rec.gov, I talked to a woman who said the earliest you can pay for your permit is April 1st, 8:00 A.M. Hope that helps.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C
I don't think that is quite right. During the lottery processing, your applications get processed in a random order. So the one you "won" got processed first.

Then, the process goes down through your requested dates, processing those on THAT one application in order, first to last. As soon as one is successful, the system looks up all your other applications and cancels (or Revokes???) them. I was not aware that it would look you up in the Alternate Leader slots, and cancel those, too.


Your scenario sounds more likely.

She also made it sound like a person reviews all of the winning applications and determines if more than one app is part of the same group or trip to decide if one needs to be revoked.
Posted by: JimC

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 12:55 PM

I believe my permit was issued for my 1st date on Aug 27th. I hit confirm and then submit.

It responded with



"This permit reservation cannot be processed. Please try again later."

Guess the computers must be real busy.
Posted by: SanGorgonioHiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 01:07 PM

Anyone know if changing your group number after your permit is awarded changes anything with the permit being accepted?
Posted by: David B

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 01:20 PM

Recreation.gov call center told me that my lottery application just wasn't one of the ones chosen ("we only pick some of them").

Inyo told me that they've had a ton of cancellations, and those show up on Recreation.gov right away. But the # of available permits on Recreation.gov for the dates I'm looking at don't seem to have changed over the past few hours, so I'm questioning that.

I think the most likely scenario is that Recreation.gov:
1. Ran the full lottery.
2. Processed all the cancellations for duplicate trips, same leader on multiple trips, etc.
3. Didn't go back to re-run still valid, yet originally unsuccessful, lottery applications to fill the remaining spaces.
Posted by: Lone Pine John

Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 01:38 PM

It appears we were successful on our permit request for July 29th (group of 8). When my daughter went on-line to accept and pay, it said currently unavailable. Hopefully, everything will get straightened out in the next couple of days.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: David B

I think the most likely scenario is that Recreation.gov:
1. Ran the full lottery.
2. Processed all the cancellations for duplicate trips, same leader on multiple trips, etc.
3. Didn't go back to re-run still valid, yet originally unsuccessful, lottery applications to fill the remaining spaces.


That's exactly what I think happened David.
Posted by: hike500

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 02:20 PM

Got my first choice! Monday August 4th over-nighter. Thanks for all the help on here Steve!
Posted by: oldhiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 03:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C

I don't think that is quite right. During the lottery processing, your applications get processed in a random order. So the one you "won" got processed first.

Then, the process goes down through your requested dates, processing those on THAT one application in order, first to last. As soon as one is successful, the system looks up all your other applications and cancels (or Revokes???) them. I was not aware that it would look you up in the Alternate Leader slots, and cancel those, too.


After talking to a gal at the Inyo office, it appears that is exactly what happened, however , this cancellation step was not completed until after all lottery dates were filled. After the lottery was completed, the computer went back and threw out all applications that had duplicate names in the alternate leader slots. That left numerous permits available (e.g. 42 permits for August 14) for many dates in the popular months.

The strategy in our group of 5 was to individually submit one application per person as trip leader. We had different email addresses and we paid separately. We named each other as alternates. So far, three of our applications has failed. If all five fail, we won't be too happy because there are already permits available for dates we selected. We assumed that one entry per trip leader was okay, regardless of the names of alternates. We will see if that is true. If all five were thrown out because it was determined a group cannot submit more that one application we will be unhappy because it was not specified in the lottery rules that that strategy was illegal.
Posted by: aitkenb1z

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 04:10 PM

AJ,

If you still have those slots, PLEASE do not release them. My wife and I filled out 8 applications and all failed. We would be ecstatic if you let us take two of your slots, or even join you during the hike. We aren't fast, but we have done far more grueling hikes than Mt. Whitney (the Pemi Loop in the White Mountains comes to mind) and we've hiked above 12000 feet numerous times.

Thanks!
Brian
Posted by: Expeditiondan

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 04:14 PM

I wonder how nuts registration is going to be on April 1st?

Is it 8am EST that the permits are released? Or PST?
Posted by: oldhiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 04:31 PM

Alright, a follow-up on my above post. It turns out that only 4 of the 5 in our group entered the lottery. All 4 applications were "unsuccessful". It is possible that none of our applications were selected prior to the end of the lottery award process. Here is what is really irritating: the computer is set up to throw out duplicate group applications after the lottery is complete. That leaves numerous permits available that I should have had a shot at winning. The lottery should have continued until all 200, or whatever number, permits were awarded for each day. This lottery is run stupidly, my opinion only.
Posted by: JulieB

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 06:48 PM

Does anyone know if the current results being displayed are permanent? Some of the people from my group that I listed as alternate leaders put in separate applications for different dates for themselves to go in smaller groups in case our group of 5 did not get picked. I was awarded the permit, but I'm afraid that the computer/rec.gov people might still be going through and cancelling duplicate applications. I am super worried that I will check back tomorrow and my permit will be revoked.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/24/14 09:58 PM

Julie, I am sure they will not be "un-awarding" permit reservations.

We have not heard this business about alternates being taken out in prior years lotteries, and I am sure we can get more information as time goes on.

Expeditiondan: My first intuition is that it will be 7 AM PDT, but not sure.
Posted by: Malcolm

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 12:16 AM

Yeah, the whole thing is very weird. My day hike permit was unsuccessful. Not revoked, just straight up unsuccessful. Yet my application alternatives blanketed 15 nearly-consecutive days in late August and early September. My application was for a party of six. It looks like for 11 out of the 15 days I listed as options on my application (including my first choice, Tuesday 8/19), there are at least 6 open slots. What gives?

Am I reading the availability wrong? The X and a number shows the number of open spots, right?

Guess I won't be sleeping in on April 1st...
Posted by: Abhijit

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 06:45 AM

Brian,
I sent you a PM as well. I don't have any problem for keeping the slots.

AJ
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 08:19 AM

I was unsuccessful in the lottery for an overnight midweek in August. But I was successful for a dayhike in July. I'm thinking I didn't get the overnight even though I used my wife's name - the leader and alternates were the same for 3 apps I submitted. I wish I had known this would disqualify 2 of my 3 apps. When I check current availability I see an "x" and a number. Is this number the number of available spots? And how do I score these spots? Do I wait till April 1?
Posted by: Marty

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 08:22 AM

After we applied rec.gov appears to have changed (or made up)the rules regarding alternate leaders names. They still have not corrected the problem with entered data vanishing before the form is completed. This rec.gov site had a sloppy roll-out last year and continues to be disappointing.
Posted by: Lance

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 10:18 AM

I am soooo bummed. So, in looking at the results, (I applied for 7/3 and supplied 14 alternatives, btw) I was unsuccessful and my girlfriend was also unsuccessful. What I don't understand is that my dates at the very end of June and early July have many available spaces. Without knowing I picked a great time, still unsuccessful.

So with that said, what is one to do in order to get an application to summit and start the JMT? Whitney is just one point on a 30 day trek for me and I don't want to do it from Yosemite. I would like to have my girlfriend meet in in Mammoth for the last 7 days, and two buddies of mine at Lake Edison a bit earlier for our annual fishing trip. The timing of it all is important. Such a bummer.

Any help or guidance with what to do next is appreciated.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 10:31 AM

Lance, don't be bummed! Permits are a logistical pain, but you can get one. Here are your options:

1. On April 1, when online registrations open up, be online and ready, grab the slots you need, and you are good to go. (I'll try to post later this week the time they are supposed to open the gates.)

2. If #1 fails, in the week before you go, keep checking recreation.gov for any cancellations. Slots do open up occasionally. If you check every hour or two, you are likely to find one. (Checking earlier than the week before is not usually that good -- the few who cancel slots do so just before their trip.)

3. #2 is a pain, so this will work: Go to Lone Pine the day before you want to start your hike. Starting about 8:30, people coming in to pick up their reserved permits will drop off slots for hikers that bailed on them. (These people should cancel those slots ahead of time, but most don't.) All you need to do is walk up to the counter and ask if there are any open slots. Keep checking during the day. I am absolutely sure you will be able to get your permits this way -- for the reason, read the Unused Whitney Permits thread.

And by the way, people using option 3 often discover that there are also slots available to start that very day, not just the next day.

4. Finally, there are also a bunch of no-show people, who have reservations to hike but don't show up at all, and don't logon and cancel online. Their slots become available at 11 AM the day of the hike start. So if you show up at 11 AM, it is very likely you will get your permit and be able to head directly to the trail head. The unused permits numbers include all of these, too.
Posted by: Lance

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 10:55 AM

Steve, thank you for the words of encouragement. I will just have to commit to going to any lengths to make my trip happen for ME. Which may include sitting in Lone Pine in 100 degree heat for a day or two waiting for a permit to be available. What has me sad, is others have no way to depend on this to happen, and as such, may not be able to plan to meet under those circumstances. I guess I could always go a couple of days in advance of the original start date and wait it out...

Or better yet, stop projecting, wait until 12:00 a.m. on April 1, and try to get my dates then, or when they are available.

This is just a bump in the road for a wonderful 220 mile hike right? I will be fishing the JMT from stream to stream and hanging out like Jeremaih Johnson before I know it right?
Posted by: quillansculpture

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 11:12 AM

Lance... Steve is exactly right. I have gone 4 years in a row without permits (and one time my group was 5), and ALWAYS gotten permits. Last year I got permits on Labor Day Weekend. There are two lotteries, one at 11:00, and then for the no shows, one at 2:00. I have always gotten permits when I was there for the 11:00. My friend Gary flies out every year from back East, and never has permits, so you should just plan to get there the day before you want to hike, have a good breakfast in Lone Pine, and get to the Visitors Center around 10:30 or so. That way you can enjoy all the other hikers in your same position.
Posted by: Lance

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 11:27 AM

You guys are awesome. I had a wild hare get loose a few weeks ago, applied, and here I am, trying to figure it out again. I have been swimming a mile a day since January 8, listening to Bill Bryson's "A walk in the woods" while in the pool (AT thru hike audio book, really funny), have lost 20 pounds as of yesterday, and been hiking Mt. Woodson twice a week to get my legs in shape, 4400 elevation change and 7.8 mi RT. As a 44 year old, x-smoker of 4 months now, I have lots of energy and want to do something that I have dreamed about for the past 5 years before my body breaks down. That's why it is so important to me. And to have the support of the folks in my immediate circle is great... They think it is a wonderful adventure rather than a cuckoo castle in the clouds idea reminding us of the hobo days of the 60's. :-)

Well, if people can fly out from the East Coast and still make it on the trail to the summit, then so can I. I will just let my friends know I AM going, Hell or high water! Make plans to depend on my summiting Whitney and I will send you a photo from the top.

By the way, where can I get the biggest-waffle-to-float-in-a-pool-of-syrup breakfast in Lone Pine? Have only driven through the town on my way North possibly stopping for some expensive gas to get to Bishop. :-)
Posted by: KentM

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 11:38 AM

I was unsuccessful also...tried for July 12th party of two.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 11:55 AM

Lance, yours is a fantastic story! Congratulations on your accomplishments so far. You're really getting in shape, and aiming for a JMT hike is the perfect inspiration and goal.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but there are lots of good things we can share with you. Why don't you start a new topic, something like "Getting ready for the JMT", where people can share their experiences with you.
Posted by: wazzu

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Lance


By the way, where can I get the biggest-waffle-to-float-in-a-pool-of-syrup breakfast in Lone Pine? Have only driven through the town on my way North possibly stopping for some expensive gas to get to Bishop. :-)


IMHO, Alabama Hills Cafe.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: wazzu
Originally Posted By: Lance


By the way, where can I get the biggest-waffle-to-float-in-a-pool-of-syrup breakfast in Lone Pine? Have only driven through the town on my way North possibly stopping for some expensive gas to get to Bishop. :-)


IMHO, Alabama Hills Cafe.


Also, Whitney Portal Store at the trail head has monster pancakes. Most people have to share just one.
Posted by: RobW

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 02:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Sparty85
I went to Recreation.gov and when I went to check the status of the lottery it said that results will be posted by 4-1. So, it looks like another week of waiting.


Thanks - I'm not familiar with the system and was confused by that. I'm from the UK and already have flights booked, and keen to climb Whitney while I'm over! Fingers crossed...
Posted by: RobW

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 02:30 PM

Hi

Logging into my account, I just see "There are no reservations". Odd, as I phoned (from the UK) to check my application was OK and they said it was. Any ideas, or should I just phone again?

Thanks - Rob
Posted by: RobW

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: RobW
Logging into my account, I just see "There are no reservations".


OK, I should have looked under Lottery Applications. Awarded first choice, 30 June - yay cool
Posted by: hike500

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 02:54 PM

I still can't confirm or purchase my permit, when do you think we will be able to do that?
Posted by: syoung79

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: hike500
I still can't confirm or purchase my permit, when do you think we will be able to do that?


From what I read on here, you can't do that until April 1st.
Posted by: hike500

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: syoung79
Originally Posted By: hike500
I still can't confirm or purchase my permit, when do you think we will be able to do that?


From what I read on here, you can't do that until April 1st.

Thanks, I thought I read that somewhere my-self.
Posted by: oldhiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C

4. Finally, there are also a bunch of no-show people, who have reservations to hike but don't show up at all, and don't logon and cancel online. Their slots become available at 11 AM the day of the hike start. So if you show up at 11 AM, it is very likely you will get your permit and be able to head directly to the trail head. The unused permits numbers include all of these, too.


I doubt this is realistic for most people. I wouldn't want to start this hike at 12 noon and have to complete it that very day. The complete hike is tough enough, either via the mountaineer's route or regular Whitney trail. I enjoy the toughness of the hike, but I would prefer to enjoy the day as well, take a few pictures, enjoy time at the top, etc., and not try to accomplish a mad scramble up and down.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 09:04 PM

JimC - we're starting our overnight on Aug 27 too! See you there, maybe :-)
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/25/14 10:26 PM

Originally Posted By: oldhiker
Stevec wrote:
"4. Finally, there are also a bunch of no-show people, who have reservations to hike but don't show up at all, and don't logon and cancel online. Their slots become available at 11 AM the day of the hike start. So if you show up at 11 AM, it is very likely you will get your permit and be able to head directly to the trail head. The unused permits numbers include all of these, too."

I doubt this is realistic for most people. I wouldn't want to start this hike at 12 noon and have to complete it that very day. The complete hike is tough enough, either via the mountaineer's route or regular Whitney trail. I enjoy the toughness of the hike, but I would prefer to enjoy the day as well, take a few pictures, enjoy time at the top, etc., and not try to accomplish a mad scramble up and down.


Oldhiker: The 11 AM time is for permits for starting the current day for overnight hikers.

For Day Use hikers, the deadline to pickup a permit is noon the day before their hike, and those no-shows become available at 2 PM the day before. (Last year they were estimating and declaring no-show numbers by 11 AM. Not sure what it will be this year.)
Posted by: oldhiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 03:08 AM


Steve, thanks for the clarification. In your list of strategies 1 thru 4, I didn't pick up on the fact that you were responding to a question about overnight permits. I am a day hiker. I have tried the lottery on several occasions for Whitney and for the Half Dome hike. I have never been successful. Here is the situation for me. This would be a significant trip because I am travelling from out of state. I have several hiking friends that would like to come, but they also live far from California, and a couple of them live in different states than me. It would be a considerable expense for us to collaborate and make trips to Lone Pine just for a chance of getting unused permits at the forest office for a next day hike.

It seems to me that if the lottery was run correctly, all of the permits would be awarded in the lottery. The lottery computer could be programmed to pull a winning application, award it, and then check for duplicate applications by other group members, right then and there. Then procede with the next winning application. At the end of the lottery there would be no dates with 42! unawarded permits. That way, us out-of-state hopefuls would know that we were out of luck for that year, without all of this strategizing for un-awarded/unused permits. I entered the lottery with the expectation that I had a chance to win 100 available permits each day. It turns out (e.g. August 14th) that only 58 permits were awarded for that date. The lottery officials certainly didn't give me a chance to win one of the 100 available for that day. It is not right.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 08:44 AM

oldhiker: I do think there is an issue in the lottery software, but there is no way for me to verify that until next year. Next year, I'll record the numbers of open slots right after the lottery is run, before people can decline their slots. Then we will have some solid numbers. At this point, it is not worth worrying about.

In the meantime, you can try to get what you want in the April 1 rush. But also, if you and your friends all came to Lone Pine, I can guarantee that you would get permits to hike as a group in 2 or 3 days, and most likely on the first day you try.

So just plan on taking several days, and you are good to go. There are plenty of other places to day hike to get acclimated -- you would be best doing that anyway for several days before the Whitney hike.
Posted by: JimC

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 09:29 AM

Awesome, always great to see a friendly face grin
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 10:09 AM

2014 Mt Whitney Lottery Update

April 1, at 7 AM Pacific time   All remaining space becomes available for online web reservations
        No phone reservations
        Acceptance period opens for 30 days -- winners can login and pay the $15 per hiker fee
          for the reservations.
        NOTE:  During April, lottery winners who have not already cancelled their slots may login
          and release their reservations. Those slots become available within 24 hours at random
          times.  Inyo reports that last year, 30% of lottery slots were cancelled by May 1.

April 30   Last day to accept and pay for lottery reservations.
        (closes at midnight Eastern time)
        Note: Last year there were many spaces that went unclaimed.

May 1   Throughout the day, all unclaimed spaces become available at random times.
Posted by: John Sims

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 12:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C

In the meantime, you can try to get what you want in the April 1 rush. But also, if you and your friends all came to Lone Pine, I can guarantee that you would get permits to hike as a group in 2 or 3 days, and most likely on the first day you try.

So just plan on taking several days, and you are good to go. There are plenty of other places to day hike to get acclimated -- you would be best doing that anyway for several days before the Whitney hike.


As Steve points out, for those that have the luxury/flexibility of a few extra days, a permit is virtually assured. For those without that flexibility, the probably is still high that a permit will be obtained. For those who make the trip, and do not get a permit, all is NOT lost. There are plenty of alternatives to Mt. Whitney, that offer spectacular hikes with or without camping. For day hikes there are no permits typically required, and for overnight hikes permits are normally not a problem.

All along hwy 395 there are roads going west that lead to trail heads that lead to magnificent hiking and camping. One web site you might want to check out is: http://www.mammothcityconcierge.com/activities/trail-heads.asp
This web site is a bit out of date, so not all of the information is correct (toilets along the Mt. Whitney Trail), so keep that in mind.

Check it out. Even If you miss Mt. Whitney, you will still not be disappointed.
Posted by: Julius S.

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/26/14 08:56 PM

Originally Posted By: hike500
Originally Posted By: syoung79
Originally Posted By: hike500
I still can't confirm or purchase my permit, when do you think we will be able to do that?


From what I read on here, you can't do that until April 1st.

Thanks, I thought I read that somewhere my-self.


We're trying to confirm our day hike permits but no luck.
Keep getting this message:
"This permit reservation cannot be processed. Please try again later."
Posted by: Expeditiondan

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/27/14 10:58 AM

April 1st is when you can confirm
Posted by: hike500

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/27/14 02:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Expeditiondan
April 1st is when you can confirm

I am excited also, I just want to confirm it!!
Posted by: Mimi

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/27/14 11:15 PM

I 've been trying to confirm my permit and got message saying that " the permit Reservation can not be processed, please try again later "
Has anyone successfully confirm their reservation yet ?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/27/14 11:45 PM

Mimi: Next Tuesday, April 1!
Posted by: Nick N

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/28/14 05:34 PM

I'm new to this forum, and was wondering if I'm able to get an overnight permit for a group of 4 if I were to go to the station in the morning itself to pickup around 11am?

I've read some of the discussions here but don't seem to have a clear answer to this, I know you could obtain an unused permit for day hikes but how about the overnight permits? Im planning to hike sometime around May or June possibly a Sunday-Monday hike, whichever dates that are less likely to be full.

Any suggestions which months are the best to score unused overnight permits?
Posted by: CLARENCE

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/28/14 08:15 PM

yes i was also turned down....but the dates i pick still have slots............question.......thru all april do i check the site every day or just april 1 for 2 day slots...thanks
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/29/14 12:42 AM

Nick N: We have tried to explain it in the Wilderness Permit Options page (link in the Feature Topics box above on the left). Especially read box 6, No-Fee Permit Options. The no-show process works for BOTH overnight and Day Use permits. Only the days and times are slightly different, when the no-shows come available. If you are unsure about anything after reading that, please do ask.

Clarence: Your best chance at picking up permits is at 7 AM April 1 (Pacific Daylight time). Is that 10 AM in Ohio? If you are unsuccessful in that rush, more will come available occasionally during April as more people cancel theirs. And then on May 1, the slots from people who won, but never accepted or cancelled will come available at random times through out the day.
Posted by: Julie Chevalier

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/31/14 12:24 PM

I logged in to check my application status today (march 31st), and got unsuccesful on all my dates. I'm going to login tomorrow at 10am (Eastern Time) to try again, but still I have questions :

#1 : I see unreached quotas on some of the dates I asked, how come ?

#2 : Does Canadians have as much chance as Americans, or they give priority to U.S. resident ?

Sorry if this have been asked before, a link to an answer will be appreciated.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 03/31/14 10:51 PM

Julie, answering #2: you have the same chances as everyone else. There are no special categories.

#1 I am told it is because people won those slots in the lottery before your application was picked, and then they already logged in and declined them. Next year, I'll grab the numbers right after the lottery runs, and store them. Others were reporting the same issue. Regardless, they will be there for the taking April 1.

Good luck tomorrow. Get onto the system before 10 AM, keep refreshing the screen, and work quickly when they become available.
Posted by: Expeditiondan

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:15 AM

lovely, I cant check out with my permits frown

I wonder if the system is just swamped? It says order is not available for processing.
Posted by: David B

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:19 AM

Yeah, they seem to be having major issues. I couldn't check out, either. Just a continual error of:

"The order is not available for processing. Please try again later."
Posted by: Expeditiondan

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:22 AM

Has anyone actually booked a permit?
Posted by: azaussie

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:36 AM

I'm in same boat...can't check out.
Posted by: David B

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:37 AM

I called recreation.gov. They said they're aware that something is wrong with the system and "the issue has been escalated."

They said best bet is to just keep trying later.
Posted by: azaussie

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:40 AM

thanks Dave
Posted by: JIY

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 07:41 AM

Now I can understand how frustrating healthcare.gov must have been.
Posted by: Expeditiondan

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:06 AM

It appears to be working now
Posted by: David B

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:06 AM

Looks like they may have fixed things. I was just now able to make a successful reservation. Good luck to everyone else!
Posted by: JIY

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:14 AM

I also succeeded. Kudos to their IT staff!
Posted by: azaussie

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:24 AM

Looks like I lost my dates, I am in the check out and it gives me a total but it says dates were not re-held try dif. dates. Yeah looks like I can hike in the snow!!!!!
Posted by: Bartman

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:40 AM

So frustrating! At 0700 I snagged 4 spots on 14 Jul but recreation.gov wouldn't let me check out....kept asking for "additional details." My reservation ultimately timed out and I lost it.

At 0815, I got 1 spot on 16 Jul and was granted permission from recreation.gov to actually purchase it. Yay. I guess.

In the interim, I called recreation.gov world headquarters at their bunker complex in Saskatchewan. After being on hold for 30+ minutes, the represntative told me that there were issues with Whitney permits today and that Inyo Natl Forest had "just now decided to take over the reservation process" and that I should "call them. Need the number?" Wow!
Posted by: Bartman

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: JIY
I also succeeded. Kudos to their IT staff!


I'm not very smart. You're kidding about the kudos part right?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 09:01 AM

There is definitely a problem. I did not try the online system until now, but now, I cannot even look up the Whitney permit system.

Here are links that USED to work to get you right to the day use or overnight use permits. When I try them, I get an error screen

Day use
http://www.recreation.gov/permits//r/ent...mp;pGroupSize=1

Overnight permits:
http://www.recreation.gov/permits//r/ent...mp;pGroupSize=1

Part of the error message:
Quote:
oops...
Your request cannot be completed

Our apologies. We are experiencing some difficulties.

We may have been too busy to serve you at that very moment.
You may have waited a long time between clicks and we lost track of your earlier results.
Posted by: Julie Chevalier

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 09:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve C

Good luck tomorrow. Get onto the system before 10 AM, keep refreshing the screen, and work quickly when they become available.


Got my permits after 1hour and fifteen minutes of refreshing the page and picking new available dates. I'm so glad I didn't quit.

Thanks for answering my questions.. I might become a regular here, I have a trip to plan !
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/01/14 12:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C
There is definitely a problem. I did not try the online system until now, but now, I cannot even look up the Whitney permit system.


Looks like the problem is better now. At noon, I can use the above links to get into the system.

Unfortunately, pretty much all the July and August Day Use slots are gone already.

All the overnight slots (except for a couple of singles) are gone between May 21 and Oct 3.
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/02/14 09:05 AM

Can we expect some of these slots to become available?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/02/14 10:41 AM

Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Can we expect some of these slots to become available?


Yes, but at random times. May 1 will be the next big day, but those will only be the permits that winners have completely ignored, and have neither declined nor accepted. I am told the number has been significant in previous years. But these permits will go online at random times throughout the day on May 1, the same way other released permits are handled.

A few will randomly become available this month as latecomers logon and a few cancel. Or winners return some of their slots.

So what you should do is set up a bookmark/favorite on your browser, setting it to find the specific type (day or overnight) and the dates you want most. In fact, make it your "home page". Then every time you are online, you can see if any are available with a few clicks. Use the links I provided above, copy them, and then modify the date to what you want (I would set the date to a few days before my target).

I cannot find a way to tell it the group size in a link, so it asks every time.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/03/14 09:18 AM

When accepting/confirming overnight permits, does it really matter what you select as location?

I am not sure if we will be staying at Lone Pine Lake or Outpost camp.

Thanks for the help.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/03/14 09:54 AM

> When accepting/confirming overnight permits, does it really matter what you select as location?

Put down your best guess. That info is only used if you wind up missing, and then need to go looking for you. What you put down is the first place they might start looking.

So you can see it isn't that important. I think it is silly that they even require that upon accepting a reservation. It would be better to get that info when the permit is picked up.
Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/03/14 10:08 AM

Thanks Steve! thanks

Originally Posted By: Steve C
> I think it is silly that they even require that upon accepting a reservation.


Yes, silly like the 'recreation.gov website lottery process'! laugh


I agree with what they're trying to do in theory (in regards to the lottery and limiting traffic), but they are doing a horrible job as far as execution goes.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/03/14 11:23 AM

Yes, it is not a smooth-running process. But then as the saying goes... You get what you pay for.

The U.S. Forest Service has endured budget cuts year after year after year. In many national forests, they don't have any funds to employ any foot rangers. So the trails are completely unpatrolled, and they are using volunteers more and more for maintenance.

I'm not sure about Recreation.gov, but I think it is run by a private contractor, and they get that $6 for each lottery application and non-lottery reservation, so one wonders why it has so many glitches.

However, before they switched to using recreation.gov (3 years ago), they had a paper-lottery process: bins of mail, and it was shuffled randomly using... get this... a leaf blower in the stair well. :-) (We have a picture somewhere.) And it took 6 weeks from the deadline until you got your results.
Posted by: JAGCHiker

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/03/14 10:17 PM

I had the same question; then figured I would ask when I picked up my permit; as to what the expected #'s were at a campground; to help decide if I wanted to stay on planned Itinery or change a camp site due to volume at the other site.

I wouldn't be suprised if they are asking for what our itinery is; so they can gather stats on usage; since there is no staff to do head counts at sites every day.

Trail Camp and Outpost Camp have less than postive nicknames for a reason. As the season goes along and the # of campers/wag bags and smells increase; people will spread out. In order to be proactive on how to handle that expansion and impact to the area- asking about other options- i.e; Lone Pine and Consultation Lakes; will provide some data to help the Forest Service see how they can manage the impact.

Grand Canyon limits use of areas by asking for very specific itineraries;expecting permittees to follow their plan, and if found off the planned itinery- you better have a good reason; or you'll get an additional expense to your trip.

Popularity brings damage- which in turn brings regulation to save the land from the humans.
Posted by: Rickj

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 07:06 AM

WHAT? Reservations were open April 1, but I was not notified, by email, that I didn't get any of my dates until April 3? Why could these notifications not come out earlier, it HAS to be an aotomated process, so it could be run any time after March 15!
Why send an email 2 days late?
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 08:49 AM

April 1...April 3, made no difference to me. I too was unsuccessful getting the overnight permits I applied for. So I was poised at 7 AM April 1st, trying to score some available spots,had an online clock displaying the seconds, pushed "enter" at exactly 7 and......still denied. I've been checking for availability several times a day (as recommended by Steve) but have not seen 1 spot open up. If anyone is able to get a permit please let us know. I'm now thinking that May 1 will be the next opportunity.

Update: Just after this original post I was able to book an overnight permit for 1 in late July even though I wanted 4 permits. I guess I will go solo.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 10:54 PM

Rickj wrote:
> WHAT? Reservations were open April 1, but I was not notified, by email, that I didn't get any of my dates until April 3?
Rick, there was a week, between March 23 and April 1, that you could have logged on and seen the results of your application. I agree they should have tried notifying people earlier, but they had trouble with that last year, so they tried to inform people about logging in to check. I have no idea why they then decided to send an email after April 1. It makes me wonder, too. As you can see from Reno Frank's experience, it might not have made any difference.

Reno Frank: How many slots were available on the date you were trying for, and what date? That's pretty amazing that you weren't successful. Keep trying, all this month, and again on May 1. What do last year's unused numbers look like for the day-of-week you want late in July? You know that you're very likely to snag the additional permits when you show up to pick up your permit.
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 11:08 PM

Steve, The date I want is Wed Aug 6 for 4 people but I took the single available overnight permit for Tues July 29. If I can't get more permits for my hiking buddies I guess I'll go by myself on the single permit I got today. That was the only available overnight permit from June through October. I was surprised to see it. I will keep on looking and consider taking more people without permits when I go and hope to get permits that day. I do have 4 day permits for mid July in my name. My plan is to do a day hike scouting the Mountaineers Route (possibly summiting) and returning for an overnighter up the Mountaineers Route.I could not book today's permit and had to use my wife's account, however I was able to use my name as an alternate group leader and also used my credit card to pay. So for my further attempts I may have to use another group member's account.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 11:25 PM

Frank: I didn't know they were limiting people to permits for only one date.

By the way, Mountaineers Route overnight permits are NOT part of the lottery. You need the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek JM34 permit. Quota is 10 per day, 6 become available 6 months in advance, 4 available to walk-in requests at 11 AM the day before.

Checking recreation.gov, there are currently 2 slots available for Wednesday, Aug 6, for that JM34 Mountaineers Route.
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/06/14 11:48 PM

Thanks for info Steve. I'll book something tonight, maybe there's a date that works with 4 spots available. Can I use my Whitney day permits for a hike up the Mountaineer's Route?

I was able to book those 2 permits for 8-6 on my own account (I have 2 current permits - 4 person day hike 7-17, will scout MR and 2 person overnight JM34 on 8-6) Thanks Steve for setting me straight on which permit I needed. Lucky for me the only spots available were for the exact day I wanted, although I wanted 4 instead of 2. I will continue monitoring availability and consider taking someone hoping to get one of the 4 walk-in permits. Any advice on how to maximize our chances of getting 1 or 2 of those? Am I correct that with my Whitney Day hike permit I can go up the MR?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/07/14 09:35 AM

Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Thanks for info Steve. I'll book something tonight, maybe there's a date that works with 4 spots available. Can I use my Whitney day permits for a hike up the Mountaineer's Route?

I was able to book those 2 permits for 8-6 on my own account (I have 2 current permits - 4 person day hike 7-17, will scout MR and 2 person overnight JM34 on 8-6) Thanks Steve for setting me straight on which permit I needed. Lucky for me the only spots available were for the exact day I wanted, although I wanted 4 instead of 2. I will continue monitoring availability and consider taking someone hoping to get one of the 4 walk-in permits. Any advice on how to maximize our chances of getting 1 or 2 of those? Am I correct that with my Whitney Day hike permit I can go up the MR?


Frank, welcome to the "ConfusionZone", where nobody knows all the rules. Yes, you can use your "Day Use" Whitney Permits to hike the Mountaineers Route. In fact that is what is required for day-only access. It is only the overnight that is separate from the lottery.

Continuing monitoring available: Besides your two, there are only 4 other permits reserved for that "trail", so seeing any cancellations is a remote possibility. Checking the last 2 weeks before that date would be most likely.

To maximize your chances: First, call the wilderness permit number and ask: "Would you be able to grab two of the walk-in permits at any of the other 3 Inyo permit offices, or MUST you get in line at the Lone Pine Visitor Center?" If another office is possible, be there before 11 AM the day before (Aug 5), be first in line, and you will beat out people in Lone Pine queuing up in the 11 AM line for the 4 available walk-in slots. If other-office pickup is not allowed, be at the Lone Pine VC by 10:45 the day before, put your name in for the drawing. In fact, everyone in your party should act independently and enter the drawing (mini-lottery), so you have more chances to be processed sooner.

Third option: On Aug 5 when you are trying for the Aug 6, see if there are any no-shows for Aug 5 (they are declared at 11 AM Aug 5, I think). If there are, and no Aug 6 are available, use those, hike up to Lower Boy Scout Lk, and camp the first night.
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/09/14 03:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C


Third option: On Aug 5 when you are trying for the Aug 6, see if there are any no-shows for Aug 5 (they are declared at 11 AM Aug 5, I think). If there are, and no Aug 6 are available, use those, hike up to Lower Boy Scout Lk, and camp the first night.


Steve, I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying we can get an Aug 5 overnight permit and all camp overnight at Lower Boy Scout lake? Some in the party would have Aug 5 overnight permit(s) and some would have Aug 6 overnight permits? Is no permit required there? Also how about this: can some one get 2 Whitney day permits - 1 for Aug 5 and 1 for Aug 6 and use those to go on an overnight hike up the Mountaineers Route? If checked by the Ranger a valid permit for either day could be shown?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/09/14 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Third option: ...


Steve, I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying we can get an Aug 5 overnight permit and all camp overnight at Lower Boy Scout lake? Some in the party would have Aug 5 overnight permit(s) and some would have Aug 6 overnight permits? Is no permit required there? Also how about this: can some one get 2 Whitney day permits - 1 for Aug 5 and 1 for Aug 6 and use those to go on an overnight hike up the Mountaineers Route? If checked by the Ranger a valid permit for either day could be shown?


I am saying: You go, planning to spend ONE night, Aug 6, in the North Fork area, climb the MR, then hike out. BUT, on Aug 5 at 11 AM, if you aren't able to snag the 4 walk-in permits (because someone else drew a lower number out of the hat), there just might be some no-shows (out of the 6 reserved) to start the hike on Aug 5. So, you decide to take those. It's already 11 AM, so you go to the store and pick up more rations for another dinner and breakfast, head up the North Fork starting late -- 4 PM would even be ok, since you can make it to Lower B.S. Lake in under 2 hours. Eat dinner and make camp.

...Next morning, wait for other hikers (or even hike down without the pack) and walk in again with the hikers with the Aug 6 permits. On Aug 6, everyone hikes up to Upper B.S. Lk or higher, and makes camp. On Aug 7 everyone climbs to the summit.

And you could then spend another night in the North Fork area -- Once you get INTO the area on a valid permit, you can stay indefinitely -- only you have to move every 2 weeks wink

Getting multiple day permits isn't a good idea. Ranger can see you are carrying overnight gear (or find you at your camp).
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/15/14 08:35 AM

I see there are now 3 permits available for overnight North Fork of Lone Pine Creek for Tues Aug 5
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/15/14 09:03 AM

Choices, choices! ...now what are you going to do? smile

Permit office would probably switch them for you if you called.
Posted by: Topher

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/16/14 11:03 AM

Hey everybody,

Hope your April is going good! smile

2 quick questions and forgive me if they've been covered earlier.

1. Can you pick up your day pass the day before, so you can hike at the crack of dawn?

and

2. To confirm the day pass for all slots, do you need the names of all people or can you just pay their $15 part?

Thanks,

Chris
Posted by: RenoFrank

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/16/14 03:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C
Choices, choices! ...now what are you going to do? smile

Permit office would probably switch them for you if you called.


I called and was instructed to do it online. First I tried to book the three spots on Aug 5. I couldn't because I had overlapping dates. So I cancelled my Aug 6 permit for two, received a $30 refund, and then booked the three spots for Aug 5. - Progress.
Posted by: Topher

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/16/14 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Topher
Hey everybody,

Hope your April is going good! smile

2 quick questions and forgive me if they've been covered earlier.

1. Can you pick up your day pass the day before, so you can hike at the crack of dawn?

and

2. To confirm the day pass for all slots, do you need the names of all people or can you just pay their $15 part?

Thanks,

Chris



Called and got answers to both questions. Nice lady there. Very helpful.

Another in my group threw me a question. Is there only 1 copy of the permit and only 1 person in the group can pick it up at a time? Thanks for any response.

-Chris
Posted by: John Sims

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/16/14 07:07 PM

Whoever made application, and the named alternative, can pick up the permit. You will need ID.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/16/14 11:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Topher
Another in my group threw me a question. Is there only 1 copy of the permit and only 1 person in the group can pick it up at a time? Thanks for any response.


What John said, and I would add: Only one copy. In previous years, they used to issue hang-tags for each member in the party to hang on their pack, but that ended. If I were the group leader, I would take along a piece of paper for each person, and write the permit number on each one, so if people split up (not a great idea), they will have the permit documentation.
Posted by: Sam Das

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/17/14 11:42 PM

How did you get a refund. I thought it was not refundable?
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/18/14 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Sam Das
How did you get a refund. I thought it was not refundable?

Reno Frank is working on an overnight North Fork Lone Pine Creek (Mountaineers Route) trip. It is outside the lottery, so refunds are given for cancellations. But only 10 slots for that route per day.
Posted by: Topher

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/19/14 11:03 AM

Thanks for the answers guys! smile Love this forum!

Hey you guys wouldn't happen to know if kids can hit the Whitney trail for free, not having to be on the permit. I have a 7-year old nephew who might want to check it out.

Thanks again and Happy Easter weekend!

-Chris
Posted by: Ntintle

Re: One permit for Sunday June 22 - 04/19/14 05:47 PM

Where is the place to try to connect with people who have an extra permit? Is there a forum for that? Looking for one more permit for Sunday June 22. Thanks for the advice.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/19/14 09:27 PM

Topher Chris, each hiker needs a permit, sorry. But seriously, the unused permits are pretty easy to get.

Ntintle: Buying, selling, exchanging is practically impossible, but picking up unused ones is they way to go. Reality is that very few hikers visit this site, so even though the information is here, lots of people don't know about the walk-in system. Here's a thread to start reading: Permit needed for June 3rd In it, find the link to the Unused Whitney Permits. Checking there, I see that last year, there was never a full-quota day until June 30, for both overnight and day hikes.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 04/30/14 02:17 PM

Today is April 30, the last day for lottery winners to pay the $15 per hiker fee and accept their slots. In past years, quite a number of won slots are never accepted, and at the end of Apr 30, those slots are made available to anyone via the Recreation.gov website. The slots become available at random times throughout the day on May 1, not all at once.

So tomorrow, if people want slots, checking in often is a good idea.

Here are links, set to July 1. You may need to enter a group size, and click "Find Permits" to see what is available.

DAY USE of Mt. Whitney Zone

Mt. Whitney Trail Overnight Permit

Posted by: 63ChevyII.com

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 05/01/14 01:50 PM

Thanks for posting the reminder Steve. It was a huge hassle, but I managed to reserve 6 permits for Sept 8th, which was my preferred date all along.

It may be just an issue with the two laptops I have access to, but I could not reserve permits using google chrome. I could reserve permits on either laptop using IE.
Posted by: Abhijit

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 05/01/14 04:14 PM

Same here. I think lot of websites are not optimized for Chrome (including my company's intranet which is weird) but IE works just fine. I also found out that Chrome's autofill settings create problems - auto populated fields are not recognized.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 05/01/14 08:59 PM

Here Thursday evening of May 1: There are quite a few Day Use permit slots available, and a few still available in the Overnight permits.
Posted by: Lance

Re: Whitney Lottery 2014 - 05/01/14 09:58 PM

WooooHOOOOOOOO! I got my Whitney permit today! There were 6 available, 1 on 7/9, 5 on 7/10. 7/10 was my first pick to start the John Muir Trail. I was home sick today, didn't even start moving until 2 p.m. because I felt so crappy. At 5:30p.m. I decided to check, it's May 1 right? In spite of myself, being sick, and not getting there until late in the day, I can't believe that there was one available! It took several minutes to fill in the itinerary, so long so, it said it was no longer reserved, but I did it!

This is my first long distance hike of real distance, my first time up Whitney, and going solo. One thing I won't be worried about, how long will I have to wait in Lone Pine to head up the mountain! Yeah!

Thanks Steve C.!!!! Your instructions were right on!