Again this year I ended up battling for a long distance permit in the second batch. The PCTA changed the permit process this year, so that applicants are directed on release days to a third-party website that places everyone into an queue:
Once the event starts, you’re shown your place in line thus:
When your turn comes, you have ten minutes to begin the application process and twenty minutes to finish your application. Are you thinking, ‘Um, I’m employed at a non-desk job, I can’t check a computer and/or my phone every ten minutes. I also note that both the permit release dates are weekdays.’? Here’s what the PCTA has to say about that:
‘Be advised that due to the high interest in these permits, it may take up to 3 hours for applicants to navigate the wait time or queue. Plan on that when scheduling your day.’
And then buried somewhere deep in the source code of the page is a ‘trololol’…
I accessed the site on both my computer and my phone in order to choose the quicker wait time, then abandoned the queue on my other device. Judging by the quick movement of the line, this is common (so don’t be too discouraged if you’re #2000 in line, unless you have to check your phone every ten minutes at work). By the time I got to choose a start date, the calendar was fairly full but a few openings were left for most of the days in April, and March and May had plenty of openings. I succeeded in getting the start date I wanted and applied for a permit from the US/Mexico border to Burney, where I began my hike last year. I don’t expect to hike that far, but might hike further than planned. 700 miles sounds short.