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Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome

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avatar Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 07:25AM
Hi all

I have a quick question about Wilderness Permits.

I managed to bag a permit for the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, exiting via Glacier Point, and requested Half Dome on the form, but on the confirmation email, the number of people listed as climbing Half Dome is zero.

Is this right?

I understand I have to pay the extra $8 for Half Dome when I pick up my Permit, but is this possible if my permit says zero people to climb Half Dome? Or is it a case of booking Half Dome when you pick up the permit?

Thanks.

Steve
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 08:17AM
I think you'll find all the info you need right here.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdwildpermits.htm

Looks like you'll need to call and make sure there's none available (for BPer's) for your time frame and if not...I think the walk-up process may be your best bet. You must not have requested them on your original application, or there were none available at the time..

Get to the permit station early to pick up your permit, and you'll have a decent shot at getting the HD permit.

"beginning at 11 am one day prior to your backpacking trip's start date."

I hope this is helpful.



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 01:50PM
Quote
Jayabrams

Looks like you'll need to call and make sure there's none available (for BPer's) for your time frame and if not...I think the walk-up process may be your best bet. You must not have requested them on your original application, or there were none available at the time..

Thanks guys.

I certainly requested the HD permit, and ticked the box on the form saying not to proceed if there were none availible, so it must be a mistake.

I am trying to call them at the moment, as I would rather not leave it to chance.

Steve
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 09:10AM
They make mistakes. Just yesterday I received a wilderness permit for 2, when I clearly stated on the form that the minimum number for the trip was 4. I called and the gal at the desk acknowledged the mistake, but ooops, too late to fix it. All the permits for that day for that trailhead were taken.

So I am waiting to hear today to see if I can get my second choice day.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 02:21PM
Yup, they messed up, but all permits are now gone, so I am left with the lottery, or a walk up permit the day before.

I don't much fancy my chances of getting a walk-up permit the day before, as I don't expect to arrive in Tuolumne Meadows from Mono Pass until late in the afternoon.

Lottery it is then! lol

What are my chances?!

Steve
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
February 26, 2013 02:44PM
And to answer my own question, my chances look to be about 30-40%, going by the publised figures.

At least I am not climbing on a weekend!

Steve
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 06, 2013 10:44PM
If you have a wilderness permit that puts you in that area (Catherdral to GP via Clouds Rest?) then you should be OK for HD. It doesn't need to specify HD. Or am I missing something?
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 04:43AM
You're missing something. The permit system is changed, now there's a backpacker quota and a non-backpacker quota, and the FAXed (ugh) reservation form includes a "request half dome permits" section (doesn't appear to require committing to a specific date), and a check as to whether the trip is OK if none are available or if the trip should be scrapped. From comments above it appears they're making mistakes with this part of the request.

Half Dome Permits.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2013 04:44AM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 08:58AM
Thanks for the update tilley. I was not aware of the new system. What a hassle. Good luck with plans Steve.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 10:35AM
Quote
ttilley
You're missing something. The permit system is changed, now there's a backpacker quota and a non-backpacker quota, and the FAXed (ugh) reservation form includes a "request half dome permits" section (doesn't appear to require committing to a specific date), and a check as to whether the trip is OK if none are available or if the trip should be scrapped. From comments above it appears they're making mistakes with this part of the request.

Half Dome Permits.

I thought the quota when the system was instituted used to be 400 day and 100 backcountry. Still - back then you didn't really need to get a HD permit if you already had a wilderness permit. I understand one simply mentioned it when picking up the wilderness permit, and the numbers were essentially averaged out.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 10:42AM
That appears to have been so last year... confused smiley
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 01:34PM
Quote
y_p_w
I thought the quota when the system was instituted used to be 400 day and 100 backcountry. Still - back then you didn't really need to get a HD permit if you already had a wilderness permit. I understand one simply mentioned it when picking up the wilderness permit, and the numbers were essentially averaged out.

They changed it. From the nps website at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdwildpermits.htm

"Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week when the cables are up, even for backpackers with wilderness permits. The process for backpackers obtaining Half Dome permits has changed for 2013 as a result of the implementation of the Half Dome Plan. The quota for Half Dome permits for backpackers is now 75 permits per day (50 available by reservation and 25 available one day in advance on a first-come, first-served basis at wilderness centers). The cost for Half Dome permits is $8 per person, payable at a wilderness center the day of or day before your trip, and is therefore not refundable." [Emphasis Mine]
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 07, 2013 06:32AM
How did they mess up? Did they forget to put you in the lottery, or did they put you in and you lost and then they made the mistake of processing your wilderness permit anyway? Depending on that I might ask them for some kind of special consideration. If they forgot to put you into the lottery at all, you might think that they would try to accommodate you. In reality what is one over the quota, for special circumstances to address their own error? At least carve one out of the walk-ups for you. It's possible they don't have the authority to make these kinds of changes, which would be a shame.

If you were in the lottery and lost, then it should be a simple matter of asking them to cancel your permit and refund all charges as they should have done, if that's what you want.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 08, 2013 10:08AM
Quote
JRinGeorgia
How did they mess up? Did they forget to put you in the lottery, or did they put you in and you lost and then they made the mistake of processing your wilderness permit anyway? Depending on that I might ask them for some kind of special consideration. If they forgot to put you into the lottery at all, you might think that they would try to accommodate you. In reality what is one over the quota, for special circumstances to address their own error? At least carve one out of the walk-ups for you. It's possible they don't have the authority to make these kinds of changes, which would be a shame.

If you were in the lottery and lost, then it should be a simple matter of asking them to cancel your permit and refund all charges as they should have done, if that's what you want.

I think they probably messed up by not adding the HD permit to my Wilderness permit, as I requested. I made sure to tick the box that states not to proceed if HD permits were not avaiable, as I would have tried for another date when they were. I am not sure how the system works, but (and I am only guessing here) I would think that any backpacker that requests one, before the HD lottery, would get one, as, due to the relativley small amount of people accessing HD from the wilderness is low, due to trailhead quotas, so I can't really see how there would have been no permits.

I did phone the Permit office to check if I had HD or not, as I was confussed, but they confirmed that no I didnt, and there were none left by then, and I would have to apply through the regular Lottery. I may phone back, or write a letter, attaching my fax as supporting evidence, as I really would be unhappy if I didn't get a permit in the lottery.

However, I have applied for three different days, and with slight changes to my plans, can make either of those work, so hopefully I should be lucky.

I assume it would be very difficult to score a HD permit when I pick up my Wilderness permit in TM?

Steve

Steve
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 08, 2013 06:15PM
That's what I'm suggesting, plead your case. "Hey, I shouldn't have to go to the back of the line because you guys messed up. Can you make this right?" Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 09, 2013 07:08AM
I thought the squeeky wheel got changed?
Some more HD questions... Do you have to have a specific trail head on your wilderness permit to request the HD permit? Is there a specific wilderness center you have visit to get the HD permit?
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 09, 2013 07:35AM
I found the answer to one of my questions on the nps site, "reasonably part of your itinerary". Doesnt that only leave Happy Isles and Glacier Point as trailheads that would be reasonable? Unless you started on Tioga Road? Which of course leads me to more questions...Would hiking from Tioga Road to Clouds Rest, Round trip to Half Dome, then out be verging on ridiculous for a family of five?
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 09, 2013 07:39AM
Suppose you start at Tuolumne Meadows and go to Cathedral Lakes, then continue to Sunrise, Clouds Rest,...Half Dome...Little Yosemite, then up to Merced Lake, and back to Tuolumne Meadows. And there's enough nights planned for that to make sense.

A one night trip from Hetch Hetchy towards Lake Vernon, on the other hand...
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 22, 2013 11:06PM
Quote
Patsfans
I found the answer to one of my questions on the nps site, "reasonably part of your itinerary". Doesnt that only leave Happy Isles and Glacier Point as trailheads that would be reasonable? Unless you started on Tioga Road? Which of course leads me to more questions...Would hiking from Tioga Road to Clouds Rest, Round trip to Half Dome, then out be verging on ridiculous for a family of five?

My one and only experience doing Half Dome was before HD-specific permits. However, I started at Tioga Road at the west end of Tenaya Lake (Sunrise Trailhead) and camped about 2.5 miles from the summit of HD. It was certainly reasonable to make it during the trip. I got to Clouds Rest the next day, although I probably could have done it the same day. My final night was at Little Yosemite Valley and I exited at Happy Isles. That is very doable and something that won't be an issue.

As for what one can do, my first day I met up with a family of three camping in the same area. I'd started at Tenaya Lake, but they started that morning from Tuolumne Meadows. I had their company on the way to HD. They were desperate for someone to take pictures since their proprietary camera battery died, and it didn't take AAs (and I happened to have spares).
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 21, 2013 07:51PM
Thanks to all you guys for the info in this thread. I was able to use those links when asked about half dome today.
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 23, 2013 06:56AM
Don't want to encourage this, but you could just go up in the early evening or morning, after or before the rangers get there. Haven't gone up since the whole permit system began, but if I was in the area and really really really badly wanted to go up, that'd be the sneaky--but wrong--way I'd do it.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
March 23, 2013 02:17PM
The thought had crossed my mind to be honest, however the penalties do seem enough to put me off! lol

I do have the option of hitting it very early or late in the day, but wanted to keep it legal, just in case.

Steve
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
April 10, 2013 03:05PM
Boo!

Failure in the lottery. What a shame to be going all that way, then hiking all the way from Bloody Canyon, to Glacier point, right past the foot of Half Dome, but not up it.

Grumpy now! lol

Steve
Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
April 11, 2013 08:02AM
I got shut out of the lottery also. This was finally the year I felt ready to do it. Bummed.
avatar Re: Wilderness permit / Half Dome
April 11, 2013 03:18PM
For those who were shut out in the initial "pre-season" Half Dome lottery, just remember that the Park Service will be holding a "daily lottery" throughout the "season" so there's still hope that you might be able to obtain your Half Dome permits through the daily lottery.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2013 04:36PM by plawrence.
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