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Mt Whitney Permit Question
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James Clark
(jclark50) - F
Mt Whitney Permit Question on 05/10/2012 04:55:21 MDT Print View

Hello Everyone,
All my single day, one night, and two night itineries on my Mt Whitney lottery permit got denied. Which is sort of good because the Air Force decided to move me in April to Japan, instead of California and I would have not been able to make those dates.

Anyways, I will find myself in California for 1 week in the middle of July. As I figured, all the day use permits are reserved for this timeframe. I read online that individuals with day use permits have to pick them up by noon the day before. What happens to these permits? I'm assuming there has to be some sort of waiting system where they give me a number and I can go back each day at noon to check my standing. However, I'm having difficulty finding information stating this online. Does anyone know?

Thank You

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Mt Whitney Permit Question on 05/10/2012 10:50:05 MDT Print View

"What happens to these permits?"

Yes, permits must be picked up on the day before use. Some hikers will show up at the Interagency Visitor Center early and tell the people at the desk that you are interested in getting a permit from a no-show. I believe that they issue you a "waiting number." Then, when the time passes, they will start calling numbers. Assuming that you are waiting right there, you may get something you can use.

The no-show list comes from two groups. One is from hikers who saw in advance that they were not going to be able to come at all, so they called the forest service. The other group is from hikers who simply could not make it to the visitor center in time, perhaps due to auto trouble or poor planning.

I've seen hikers rush in the door of the place just slightly late, and their permit was already gone. Sorry, but that's the way it works.

This year will be my 37th annual Whitney hike, and I have never failed to get a permit. It has been only the last ten or fifteen years that the permit quotas have been really tight.

--B.G.--

James Clark
(jclark50) - F
Re: Re: Mt Whitney Permit Question on 05/12/2012 00:29:17 MDT Print View

B.G.,
Thanks for the response. That is what I figured, I just could not find it online. With permits going online this year I figure I can just keep checking for cancellations. In addition I read that permit holders must go online no later than 2 days out to confirm group size. If not those permits are cancelled. I'm thinking this last option might be he best option for those that have a flexible schedule.

Any suggestions for good camping areas and day hikes in the event I don't get a permit. I'm sort of already thinking about trying the waiting list and if things look hopeless I will just head home and stop off at Yosemite/Tuolomne Meadows for some hiking.

Thank You, James

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Mt Whitney Permit Question on 05/12/2012 00:56:49 MDT Print View

James, there is a great deal of hiking to be had in the general vicinity of Mount Whitney, even if your Whitney hopes fade. Yes, the Forest Service has been tweaking their procedures to make it as difficult as possible for an honest hiker to go anywhere.

For example, in the White Mountains just an hour or so north of Whitney, you have White Mountain Peak. Its summit is within 250 feet or so equivalent to Whitney. There are no permits required at all.

There is a huge number of historic mining camps and most have no real roads. It can be fun hiking up to some old gold mine that hasn't been worked in a hundred years.

--B.G.--

James Clark
(jclark50) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Mt Whitney Permit Question on 06/17/2012 21:55:13 MDT Print View

Hello Again BG or anyone else that wants to offer advice,
So I checked online yesterday and was able to get a day use permit on 4 July. Will the trail be snow free? I'm guessing that it should be good due the low snowfall this year. Camping at the Whitney Portal the previous two days. Any suggestions on good pre-hikes? I have never been there, but based on Internet reading I plan to do Meysan Lake Trail one day and then up to Lone Pine Lake and back the day before.

Being anywhere on the 4th of July weekend in California is not ideal, but I got to take anything I can get because the military recently moved me from California to Japan. I will be driving from Northern California. Any hidden gem day hikes I could do on the way back home? At the moment I'm hoping to see Devil's Postpile (and waterfalls) and then Tuolumne Meadows is about the only thing available at Yosemite that weekend.

Thank you for feedback, James.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mt Whitney Permit Question on 06/17/2012 22:26:44 MDT Print View

Snow on the trail for July Fourth?

Yes, there might be a touch in a couple of places. However, it won't be enough to change anything. There will be an extremely well-worn foot track through it. You don't need to use special footware or anything.

One spot for snow and ice is at the cable handrailing section on the 97 switchbacks, somewhere around #45, but this is only 50-75 yards. Then there is one spot for snow about a quarter mile from the summit, and it varies.

The earliest in the season that I have ever been up Whitney is July 8th, and there was a bit more snow then. However, this year should be very dry.

--B.G.--