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  • Advice for "winning" the Mount Whitney Lottery?

    Posted by Jeff on December 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Many challengers are using the Six-Pack of Peaks to train for something even bigger — like climbing Mount Whitney. SoCal Challenger @taralmyersms and her husband are hoping to climb Whitney in 2018 and are looking for advice on the lottery.

    I thought I’d open it up to discussion. What tips or tricks do you have for getting a coveted permit to hike Mount Whitney?

    Unknown Member replied 5 years ago 18 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • Tara Myers

    Member
    December 6, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Jeff and everyone in advance.

  • Denis Grigorov

    Member
    December 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I've been to Whitney about 4 times so I'm not an expert or anything but my first advice is for you to check out the “Whitney Zone” website as it has a lot of useful information about the trail conditions, permits, etc. You can always ask questions there too, where hikers are pretty good about responding back to you.

    http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/

    Second, to get the pesky permit, try to be open on going on different dates to increase your chances of winning. Mid-week is better than weekends. Apply broadly and hope for the best. I believe the lottery opens up from Feb through March so you have until March 15th to apply. In terms of which month is the best month to go, obviously May will be the easiest one to book as there are far less people interested on going, but of course the caveat is you have to be pretty experienced mountaineer to feel comfortable hiking in the snow with ice axe and crampons. My personal recommendation is to apply for permit in late-July to late August as there should be no snow on the trail by then. September tends to be a good month too as most people are back in school or no longer on the summer holidays so trail tends to be less busy at that time.

    If all else fails and you don't win a permit via a lottery, just ask on Facebook group “Whitney” if you can tag along with somebody who got permits for your dates. Sometimes I noticed people have extra permits and don't mind sharing them.

    Best of luck.

  • Shana

    Member
    January 3, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    To do a portion of the JMT or High Sierra Trail and the Whitney permit comes with the trail permits so you don't have to do the lottery. Also, the elevation gain is less from the back of Whitney than going up from Lone Pine. Also, you only need a permit if you are staying overnight so if you can get it done without sleeping overnight, you don't need a permit.

  • Gerhard Tratter

    Member
    January 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    When you hike Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineers route you don't need to go through the lottery system. Instead you can secure your permit up to six months in advance. When you chose the option ‘Exiting Mt. Whitney) you automatically receive the needed permit to descend via Trail Crest to Whitney Portal. This option should only be used by those with the skills for class III climbing.

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