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Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

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Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:53 pm

This is my first time visiting the Ansel Adams Wilderness (And Sequoia/Kings Canyon and Mt Whitney) and I understand one needs a wilderness permit for an overnight stay.

I'm navigating the http://www.recreation.gov website and still have a couple of questions:

1) My hiking trip is anywhere from 3-4 weeks I'm guessing, so I should just enter in the last possible date that I might leave?

2) As for overnighting - just putting in - OTHER / DON'T KNOW - except for the 1st night which must be specified? So I need to spend my 1st night at this designated area?

3) Thinking I would like to climb Mt Whiney which I understand works by lottery. But there is an option on the permit page stating - "Overnight visiting Mt Whitney." Does that mean if I enter in from Shadow Creek Trailhead by Devil's Postpile that I can make my leisurely way down to Whitney and climb it whenever during my permit period?

In other words the lottery is more for those people ONLY climbing Mt. Whitney from the most direct trailheads?

4) I'm not sure of my exit point, but it would be either near Lake Sabrina or I might just head back up north and exit at Mammoth where I entered - why does this exit point matter?

Thxs.



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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Also...the permit system just stated I have a maximum of 14 days!! So I can't stay on the trail longer than that without risk of being fined?

Please advise.

For reference -
http://www.recreation.gov/marketing.do? ... l&backLink
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:43 pm

circusoflife wrote:1) My hiking trip is anywhere from 3-4 weeks I'm guessing, so I should just enter in the last possible date that I might leave?

2) As for overnighting - just putting in - OTHER / DON'T KNOW - except for the 1st night which must be specified? So I need to spend my 1st night at this designated area?

3) Thinking I would like to climb Mt Whiney which I understand works by lottery. But there is an option on the permit page stating - "Overnight visiting Mt Whitney." Does that mean if I enter in from Shadow Creek Trailhead by Devil's Postpile that I can make my leisurely way down to Whitney and climb it whenever during my permit period?

In other words the lottery is more for those people ONLY climbing Mt. Whitney from the most direct trailheads?

4) I'm not sure of my exit point, but it would be either near Lake Sabrina or I might just head back up north and exit at Mammoth where I entered - why does this exit point matter?

Thxs.


1) Departure day and what trailhead started at are critical. To be wilderness legal you must start on the day indicated on the permit (maybe one day after with a good attitude and explanation) - if not, your permit is not valid. Thus plan on starting out hiking on the date your permit says...never before.

2) Sometimes you must indicate where you intend to spend that first night out but after that, nobody cares, as long as you obey all camping restrictions - 4-mile rule/no camping zones/etc. Trail plans often change and the Rangers know and allow for such wanderings.

3) Yes, you can do Whitney when you get there...no need to address this "exact day expect to summit" problem at all - just so the Whitney Zone option is checked/ mentioned somewhere on the permit.

4) They may ask you for an exit point but we all know plans often change mid hike...No big deal. Just put something down. Most important permit restriction is only that you start out at the exact trailhead you put down on the permit and on the specified day. Where you actually exit is open and completely up to you.

As for the 14-day maximum...never heard of this rule - perhaps new? Maybe this new on-line website ( http://www.recreation.gov ) only gives out 14-day permits. Doubtful.
I once did a 25-day Muir and got to Whitney a week later than the exit originally indicated (oops) and did not have any problems. Funny, do not understand how they can expect you do do all the miles you intend in only 14 days...Many take 3 - 4 weeks to do the Muir and this is not considered slow or illegal. I would inquire more at the permit office about this when you actually pick up your permit in person..ask if you can add a week or so because you are lolly-popping to the Portal (food stash) or Yo-yo-ing this part of the trail . Worse case, you might have to actually exit the trail briefly and grab a next day permit somewhere.
Carry a bearcan.
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Thxs Mark. saw ur post just as I got off the phone with the ranger station in Bishop - redirected after I called the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center - who couldn't answer my question.

-- She told me not to be too concerned about a permit starting in late June for just 1 person.
Could just do a walk-in. But I'm the planner type, already got several airline tickets purchased already for this year...so I'm comfortable getting a permit sooner rather than later. But considering the wind damage noted below...maybe I will just walk-in!

-- She did state that I could stay as long as I wanted, as long as I wasn't in the same zone -- like staying in Shadow Creek the whole trip. Which I noted would probably get a little boring.

-- Also...Whitney no problem - as you state in ur reply, I just couldn't EXIT thru Whitney Portal unless I had the right permit. Which I stated was no problem..since I don't plan on exiting thru Whitney Portal anyway...

-- was playing around more with the recreation.gov website and can't get it to go more than 14 days...even with a different entry/exit point.

- ***What she did mention that I thought was "new to me" was that some trails are not open because of trees falling down due to wind storms. She off hand stated like maybe "a thousand trees." Unless I missed someone on HST posting about it -- here is some further research:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirt ... sage/20902
http://www.dijukno.com/2012/01/sierra-d ... storm.html
http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroun ... kCode=agnm
States Agnew Meadows campground closed until June 14th, 2012 due to damage. Uncertain opening.

Feb.11
http://www.nps.gov/depo/parknews/update ... damage.htm
Feb.3
http://www.nps.gov/depo/parknews/major- ... damage.htm


-- What is this 4-mile rule? I travel very light. Will sleep in a hammock/tarp or bivy sack. No fire, no cooking of any sort. No tent.
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:30 pm

circusoflife wrote:-- Also...Whitney no problem - as you state in ur reply, I just couldn't EXIT thru Whitney Portal unless I had the right permit. Which I stated was no problem..since I don't plan on exiting thru Whitney Portal anyway...

Whitney is a unique situation to the Sierra (well maybe the Half Dome trail too) in that 98% of the permits asked for are "Bucket List", lollypop ascents, thus the strict quotas/permit problem. Highly suggest both trails be designated non-wilderness which would enable some freedom in the adding of extra facilities much needed...but I digress.

circusoflife wrote:-- was playing around more with the recreation.gov website and can't get it to go more than 14 days...even with a different entry/exit point.

Maybe a new regulation this year? Ask again at the wilderness office but Muir/PCT/HST/TYT hikers (thru hikers) are able to get longer permits...seems odd.

circusoflife wrote:What she did mention that I thought was "new to me" was that some trails are not open because of trees falling down due to wind storms. She off hand stated like maybe "a thousand trees." Unless I missed someone on HST posting about it --

Heard 100+ mph wind shear gusts flattened some of the Agnew/Red Meadows area, again.
BTW, 1000 trees out of 10 billion is not a big deal. Backside Mammoth notorious area for tree damage...somewhat rare but not uncommon. Poster alert area for flying small aircraft.
circusoflife wrote: What is this 4-mile rule?

Some areas, IE Yosemite, they have posted rules about no camping within 4 miles of any roads.

Bottom line - reserved permit or no, just go. Permits will be easy. Take the right gear, hike smart, and enjoy the adventure. As a solo, I have never had a permit problem. IMHO backcountry rules still respectfully trump internet bureaucracies...(attitude depending).
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby Steve_C » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:56 pm

Hi CircusOL,

I just logged into recreation.gov and tried out a long trip entry. I put in June 1 to Sept 1, and got a message about the trip exceeding 55 nights.
I cut it back, and entered lots of "Other / Don't Know" locations, and got a message:
"Your length of stay in Zone: Unknown exceeds the maximum stay of 14 dates."

So enter something OTHER than the "Other / Don't Know" entry, and you can get past that (I'd suggest making up a fantasy trip, since you would never follow your iterinerary exactly on such a long trip.)

By the way, Inyo allows hikers to exit for under 24 hours and re-enter the wilderness on the same trail without requiring a new permit. Longer than that and you have to start a new permit (technically speaking, of course.) And entering a different trail head always requires a new permit.

They want to know if you are visiting Mt Whitney ONLY to charge you $15 on the permit. Otherwise the permit is $5 (plus the non-refundable $6 registration fee.) When you see the "cross country" options, that is only to limit groups hiking in the National parks to a maximum of 8 hikers.
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:20 pm

the Yosemite rule is to camp 4 trail miles from the trailhead, and a mile from any road. So if your trail is parallel to but within an air mile of Tioga Rd you have to hike until you are more than a mile from the road. This is to keep people from parking off pavement, hiking in a ways, and camping.
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Re: Need help with Ansel Adams / Inyo / Whitney permit

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:23 pm

ircusoflife wrote:
-- was playing around more with the recreation.gov website and can't get it to go more than 14 days...even with a different entry/exit point.


Whenever someone posted about the new system I think I made a comment about having a system even less knowledgeable about wilderness permits than people in the office was likely to cause some problems. This is probably a software issue that occurred to deal with restrictions on staying in a limited area for an extended period. Most NFs have rules requiring moving a certain distance every two weeks. I always thought this was primarily a front country rule. Then as I recall, help me George, even SEKI has such a rule in the backcountry but I don't recall anyone paying any attention to it.

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