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Permit for one day in May
#59895 03/15/23 06:37 AM
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petrean Offline OP
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I won the May 14 one-day Whitney peak lottery. I am concerned about snow that time of the year, and I do not know if I should accept the permit. I don't mind a bit of snow, but I tried snowshoeing recently at Taos in New Mexico, and my poles were getting deep in the snow and the snow was very deep even a few inches off the trail.

Re: Permit for one day in May
petrean #59896 03/15/23 08:03 AM
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In May, everybody will be using the slope west of the switchbacks and cables, aka "the chute". You will need crampons and an ice axe to climb that safely. Snow shoes won't be necessary, since there will be a pretty-well packed track up that route. People go up that route using the crampons and ice axe with little experience, but it would be a good idea to try them out first.

If you're not comfortable using the ice equipment, it's probably not the best year to go.

Good luck.

Re: Permit for one day in May
petrean #59915 03/19/23 08:12 PM
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The amount of snow that will be present on Whitney this spring is going to be a lot more than a “bit of snow.” You’ll definitely need crampons and an ice ax to climb up Mt. Whitney in May. The snow consistency will be much different on Whitney in May compared to Taos in the winter. If you have experience using crampons and an ice ax, keep the date. Otherwise decline the permit and look at getting a wilderness permit for entry from New Army Pass/Shepherd Pass/Kearsarge Pass with a Trail Crest exist for around late August through September. Those permits are easier to obtain (the remaining 40% of the quota open up 14 days prior to the day of departure) and you only deal with the Mt. Whitney Trail crowds on the way out.

Re: Permit for one day in May
Trapperjohn #59918 03/19/23 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Trapperjohn
.... and you only deal with the Mt. Whitney Trail crowds on the way out.
The Trail Crest Exit Permit is required to use the Mt Whitney trail to exit via Trail Crest and Whitney Portal. It is the only place you need a permit to use a trail to exit, because lots of people were entering on other trails and all were exiting that way.

If you enter on ANY Inyo National Forest trail, the exit permit is required. It is only people coming in from the west side and Yosemite that can exit without the exit permit.

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