You are hereSpring Backpacking Conditions and Gear.

Spring Backpacking Conditions and Gear.

Spring Backpacking conditions and gear. Much the same as Fall.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

BACKPACKER ALERT: April 1, 2017. PCT High Sierra Spring Threats on Full Display sticky icon

April 19

This Alert will be in effect as long as this massive snowpack sits upon the Crest. That is uncertain, but will likely last through at least the middle of July, depending on weather. Good chance for this snowpack to see next season's Winter.

4-20 Weather Status Update

April 19 Weather Status Update

Alex Wierbinski's picture

April and May 2017 High Sierra Backpacker's News: Man and Nature sticky icon

April & May

Happenings in the relationship between Man and Nature affecting our hike down life's trail through both worlds. We study both the reality created by human and the uncreated reality reflected in, and tended by Nature. 

April 26, 2017





Alex Wierbinski's picture

BACKPACKER ALERT: March 22 2017, PCT High Sierra Spring Status and Disposition factors


March 22

Hey Hikers.

We face the Spring Thaw. Below I discuss where we are and what I see as the most important factors controlling how Spring will play out into Summer. I link to the resources necessary to track these factors.

The questions we address here are first, fording conditions and safety, then trails, specifically, "when will the trails open for PCT hikers and hikers geared for Summer travel?"

Alex Wierbinski's picture

FORDING: Thoughts and Guidelines

Thoughts and Guidelines

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May 22 2016 Backpacker Alert

May 22, 2016


Current Conditions:
Unstable weather conditions bringing snow and cold rains down onto the two feet of snow already on the crest bring very dangerous conditions for early season backpackers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

All High Sierra Rain & Snow Forecasts

All Current High Sierra Radar

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Carol Crooker Trip Report Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop.

Carol Crooker Trip Report
Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop.
Member Profile


Alex Wierbinski's picture

FEB 1 2016 BACKPACKER ALERT: Winter to Spring Status under El Nino

Backpacker Alert

Status of Factors Directing El Nino
Winter Storm Pattern


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Jan 1, 2016 Backpacker Alert: Tracking Opening of 2016 Backpacking

Hey Hikers,

Happy New Year.

With the advent of the new year many of our thoughts are turning towards planning Summertime backpacking trips.

Just when Summertime conditions emerge along the Sierra Crest is of great importance to large numbers of John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail hikers.

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail 2015 Scouting Report

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
Finding Trail and Fishing Our Way to Yosemite

Johnny 13

Meeks Bay 
Start Time: June 26, 2015.

26 days

Hiking Partners
 Two buddies for three days from Meeks Bay to Lake Aloha.

 Met another buddy at Carson Pass, who accompanied me for six days through the unmaintained segment of trail through Summit City Canyon.

Lake Alpine to Tuolumne Meadows Solo.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

APRIL 2015 Trip Report: Glacier Point Road to Grouse Lake, Yosemite

P, of M & P who publish BackpacktheSierra, sent in this fantastic trip report of their recent very early Spring backpacking trip off the recently opened (March 28 2015) Glacier Point Road above Yosemite Valley.

Here's M's report on these very unusual Spring conditions:

HI Alex,

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Melika carries pack across the unmaintained TYT from Carson Pass to Lake Alpine

Scott Turner, his pal Rich, and Scott's dog Melika hiked the unmaintained section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Spring of 2014. Check out  Scott's Trail Report

Trail Guide References:


Carson Pass Region Hiking Map

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Peter's Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Report June 2014

Upon the first publication of this report on June 8th 2014 Peter had just completed an early season snow-hiking trip along the Classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route. At that time he sent us very valuable information about early season conditions early in the season, which we first put up here on June 8 of 2014.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Scott's Summit City Creek Trail Report June 2014


An excellent way to approach the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail is as a section hiker. This is how Scott, his hiking partner Rich, and their backcountry hiking dog Melika approached the difficult Carson Pass to Lake Alpine section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Roads and Trails: Spring Evolution, April-May 2014

2014 Season Introduction
April 13
2014 has brought a serious amplification of the multi-decadal trend towards shorter, drier Winters in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This is the least precipitation I've ever seen during Fall and Winter.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bear, Black, Tracks, High Sierra, Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Bear, Black, Tracks, High Sierra, Carson Iceberg Wilderness 

April 24, 2004

Bear Tracks standing above snow level, East Fork of the Carson River.

 The weight of the walker, in this case a bear, compresses the snow as they pass, leaving tracks.

As the snow mass melts the compressed snow creating the tracks melts much slower than the surrounding snow, pushing the tracks above the receeding snow.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Lightening Safety for Backpackers: Caught Out with Bubba and Dave.

Lightening Safety for Backpackers: Caught Out.

I have observed Summertime heat weather in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range for decades. The recipie is simple. Heatwaves in the Valley fill the atmosphere with hot evaporated moisture, a gentle onshore breeze pushes it up the Sierra Crest, and the cooling does the rest.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Weather Image: Flat Rainbow

Flat Rainbow, Carson Iceberg Wilderness. High Sierra Nevada mountains. Sometime in the '90s. I'll look it up... 

Flat Rainbow in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Lingering snow poses safety risk for mountain hikers

Matt Wieser is an excellent reporter for the Sacramento Bee, and a fine observer of man and nature to boot. The heavy snows of Spring 2011 persisted through August all along the Sierra Crest.

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system

Text Translations

Flag icon for 'de' languageFlag icon for 'it' languageFlag icon for 'ru' languageFlag icon for 'fr' languageFlag icon for 'es' languageFlag icon for 'pl' languageFlag icon for 'no' languageFlag icon for 'fi' languageFlag icon for 'da' languageFlag icon for 'ro' language

Get the Latest from Tahoe to Whitney

Syndicate content

Art Shapiro's Butterfly Site

The Trails between Tahoe and Whitney

Recent comments

Random image

Woods Creek - Rae Lakes Loop