Mt. Whitney Permit Time is Approaching!

Mt. Whitney Permit Time is Approaching!

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

January 11th, 2002, 4:09 am #1

February 1 is the first date on which you can apply for a permit for Mt. Whitney. For details, go to:

http://www.r5.pswfs.gov/inyo/vvc/wild_p ... ermits.htm

And read the section about 2/3 of the way down the page about Mt. Whitney. It says:

"There are NO CHANGES to the current Whitney Lottery. Applications for a day or overnight Mt. Whitney trail reservation will be accepted by mail and FAX only, starting February 1st until February 28 for all dates during the quota season. Processing of reservations will begin February 15."

That means that you must MAIL your application to the USFS or FAX your application to the numbers just below that paragraph. There are both .pdf and .doc (MSWord) forms of the application available from the page above.

I strongly suggest you have your application filled in and ready to FAX early on the morning of 1 February. Although not explicitly stated, it is implied that they will be processing applications in the order received, which was the method in 2001 (but not in 2000). It pays to be as early as permissible on this one.

(been there, done that...)

Alan Ritter
http://www.mtritter.org
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Dan
Dan

January 11th, 2002, 6:12 pm #2

Thanks for the information. What are the best recommendations from you experts for getting the best shot at a permit? I read on the form that they reject anything postmarked before February, so what do most do, overnight mail something the morning of February 1st? Is the fax reliable, or will the lines jam up with traffic? One last thing, are there any days of the week that are less used than others (Tuesday and Wednesday perhaps)? Thanks in advance for any information.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

January 11th, 2002, 6:40 pm #3

A few comments about maximizing your odds:

1. They do process applications in the order received. This was explicitly stated in the 2001 process and since they say the 2002 process is "the same as" 2001, I infer that getting your application in earlier is better.

2. How many dates are on your list? Obviously, if your travel and vacation plans are flexible and you can list more dates, your odds increase proportionately. In 2000, I only had a handful of dates available due to other commitments and didn't get a permit. In 2001, my summer was more open and I had 20 possible trailhead dates, so I DID get a permit.

3. WHAT dates are on your application? Holidays and weekends fill up first (naturally). Mid-week entry dates are slower to fill up. We applied for Monday through Wednesday trailhead dates, so were avoiding weekends, although we ended up with the 4th of July week last year.

4. When in the season do you want to go? Midsummer (July and August) are the busiest. If you don't mind climbing on snow even on the main trail, you will have better odds in early June. We were constrained by my son's summer vacation from school which eliminated May, September and October for us. If you can go while schools are in session, you increase your odds.

5. How many people are in your group? Obviously, if there are 4 slots left on a given date, but you have a group of 6 going, you're out of luck but a smaller group would get in.

6. Are you day hiking or backpacking? This is generally a "given" for each group. My son and I were not interested in a 21-mile, 12,000' dayhike so applied only for an overnight permit. Even with the change in numbers, there are many more dayhike permits available than overnight.

7. The FAX line is not too busy early in the a.m. I'm near St. Louis, so Central Time and therefore two hours ahead of CA. Last year, I had my application ready to go and FAXed it when I first got to work on 1 February, say about 0715, which was 0515 CA time. The FAX line was busy on the initial attempt, but the first redial went through fine. Just be sure to verify the page count on the report page out of the FAX machine and you should be all set. If you can't FAX, I suppose using Express Mail on 1 February would be the next best thing, but that'll add a few $$ to an already pricey permit. I also doubt you'll get true overnight service to Bishop...probably 2 days...given its relative remoteness from any commercial airport. Since I have easy access to a FAX machine, I'd use that instead.

It's not too hard to bias the odds in your favor, if (big IF) you can be flexible about your schedule.


Alan Ritter
http://www.mtritter.org
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Jeffrey Cook
Jeffrey Cook

January 11th, 2002, 7:07 pm #4

The question of group size becomes even more important if you send in you app late. As they fill in the available dates, they must end up with a lot of openings for groups of 1, 2, or 3.

By the way, the permit rush isn't the only rush--the second one comes right after they mail out the notices to those who got permits. You then have to beat the rush to get campsites at the portal before they're all gone for those dates!
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Jared
Jared

January 13th, 2002, 3:25 pm #5

Thanks for the information. What are the best recommendations from you experts for getting the best shot at a permit? I read on the form that they reject anything postmarked before February, so what do most do, overnight mail something the morning of February 1st? Is the fax reliable, or will the lines jam up with traffic? One last thing, are there any days of the week that are less used than others (Tuesday and Wednesday perhaps)? Thanks in advance for any information.
I would definatly recomend going up via the mountaineers route on the east side: much less crowded, prettier, and permits are easy to get (I just dropped by the ranger station and they gave me one. The route is not terribly difficult, class 3 at teh most and only for short bits. My 2 cents...
Jared
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James Willard
James Willard

January 14th, 2002, 4:04 am #6

February 1 is the first date on which you can apply for a permit for Mt. Whitney. For details, go to:

http://www.r5.pswfs.gov/inyo/vvc/wild_p ... ermits.htm

And read the section about 2/3 of the way down the page about Mt. Whitney. It says:

"There are NO CHANGES to the current Whitney Lottery. Applications for a day or overnight Mt. Whitney trail reservation will be accepted by mail and FAX only, starting February 1st until February 28 for all dates during the quota season. Processing of reservations will begin February 15."

That means that you must MAIL your application to the USFS or FAX your application to the numbers just below that paragraph. There are both .pdf and .doc (MSWord) forms of the application available from the page above.

I strongly suggest you have your application filled in and ready to FAX early on the morning of 1 February. Although not explicitly stated, it is implied that they will be processing applications in the order received, which was the method in 2001 (but not in 2000). It pays to be as early as permissible on this one.

(been there, done that...)

Alan Ritter
http://www.mtritter.org
The following is a copy from the 2002 Whitney lottery application . . .

Lottery selections: On February 15th, we will begin random selection from all the applications received. Applications received after Feb. 15th will be added to the lottery as they come in.

It would seem, then, that we need to get the application there ANYTIME from Feb 1 - Feb 15 ??
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Dan
Dan

February 1st, 2002, 5:22 pm #7

February 1 is the first date on which you can apply for a permit for Mt. Whitney. For details, go to:

http://www.r5.pswfs.gov/inyo/vvc/wild_p ... ermits.htm

And read the section about 2/3 of the way down the page about Mt. Whitney. It says:

"There are NO CHANGES to the current Whitney Lottery. Applications for a day or overnight Mt. Whitney trail reservation will be accepted by mail and FAX only, starting February 1st until February 28 for all dates during the quota season. Processing of reservations will begin February 15."

That means that you must MAIL your application to the USFS or FAX your application to the numbers just below that paragraph. There are both .pdf and .doc (MSWord) forms of the application available from the page above.

I strongly suggest you have your application filled in and ready to FAX early on the morning of 1 February. Although not explicitly stated, it is implied that they will be processing applications in the order received, which was the method in 2001 (but not in 2000). It pays to be as early as permissible on this one.

(been there, done that...)

Alan Ritter
http://www.mtritter.org
I can't tell from the topo clearly, but it appears that Mount Muir would be a quick ascent while in route to Mount Whitney. Does anyone have stats on how far of a side trip it would be from the Mt. Whitney trail and what the elevation gain would be? I read somewhere it is class 3. It looks like a 1/2 mile or less, but that dang county line blurs where the trail is in relation to the peak.

Thanks in advance!

-Dan
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Jared
Jared

February 1st, 2002, 5:44 pm #8

I did Muir a few years ago, just down the trail about 1/2 mile or so from the whitney summit. Class three is about right, although it is kind of confusing as to which needle is Mt Muir. I had the California 14er's guide book which helped alot. It looked to me like very few people actually take the little extra time to tick mt muir, judging from the summit register, which shows few entries. A nice view from the top to be sure though. Jared
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Dan
Dan

February 7th, 2002, 8:49 pm #9

Mileage?
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Dan
Dan

February 7th, 2002, 8:50 pm #10

February 1 is the first date on which you can apply for a permit for Mt. Whitney. For details, go to:

http://www.r5.pswfs.gov/inyo/vvc/wild_p ... ermits.htm

And read the section about 2/3 of the way down the page about Mt. Whitney. It says:

"There are NO CHANGES to the current Whitney Lottery. Applications for a day or overnight Mt. Whitney trail reservation will be accepted by mail and FAX only, starting February 1st until February 28 for all dates during the quota season. Processing of reservations will begin February 15."

That means that you must MAIL your application to the USFS or FAX your application to the numbers just below that paragraph. There are both .pdf and .doc (MSWord) forms of the application available from the page above.

I strongly suggest you have your application filled in and ready to FAX early on the morning of 1 February. Although not explicitly stated, it is implied that they will be processing applications in the order received, which was the method in 2001 (but not in 2000). It pays to be as early as permissible on this one.

(been there, done that...)

Alan Ritter
http://www.mtritter.org
So I got my permit in... they start the lottery on the 15th... when would one expect to find out if they got a permit or not?
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