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Winter Backpacking Conditions and Gear.

Winter Backpacking Conditions and Gear.

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High Sierra Health & Fitness: 2018 Winter Mosquitoes, Owens Valley


Winter Mosquitoes 2018

Owens Valley

Skeeters Rise in Unseasonable Heat

Warm weather awakens mosquitoes,
Sierra Wave, February 11, 2018.

" increase in reports from residents seeing mosquitoes this February due to the unseasonably warm weather..."

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Central-Northeast-Southeast US SUPERCHILL: Now a Supercharged Northeaster



Crashing Weather Patterns
Central-Northeast-Southeast US SUPERCHILL

Now a Supercharged Northeaster

Storm Formation off Coasts of Flordia, Georgia & Carolinas

'Bombogenesis' takes aim at U.S. Northeast as South hit by snow,
Reuters, January 3, 2018.


Then the Storm Moves up to Atlantic New England:


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High Sierra Mountain Safety. Hazards & Alerts: Winter of 2018



Hazards & Alerts: High Sierra Winter of 2018

 Also See
Observation & Analysis

THE WINTER of 2018

Previous Report
Fall 2017 Hazards & Alerts

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Lake Tahoe Basin Transportation: TART Extended Winter Ski Resort Services



Tahoe Transportation

Extended Winter Ski Resort Services

TART extends winter hours, services,
Sierra Sun, December 31, 2017.



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The High Sierra. The Mountain Vault of Winter Snow: Winter Changes Terrain Lifestyles



The High Sierra
The Mountain Vault of Winter Snow

Winter Changes Terrain Lifestyles

Sierra wildlife prepares for winter’s arrival,
Sierra Sun, November 24, 2017.


Winter Gear for the High Sierra Backpacker


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2017 Sierra Nevada Water Year Blows Average out of the Water



2017 Sierra Nevada Water Year Blows Average out of the Water 



Super wet Winter


A crazy water year ended Saturday. So did we set any records for rain and snow?
Modesto Bee, October 1, 2017.

This was the craziest snow & spring thaw year in the Sierra in my adult memory, looking like the second wettest year in recorded history?

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Prepping for Winter High Up on Highway 108



Prepping for Winter
High Up on Highway 108

Bloom up on the Mountain

Mountain resorts repair damage, prepare for another wet winter,
Union Democrat, September 15, 2017. 


Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

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BACKPACKER ALERT: February 20, 2017

 Hey Hikers,

Alex here, from Tahoe to Whitney.

Sorry about the delay contacting you. I have had a series of distracting personal events while Nature has cut loose. Nonetheless, I have been tracking the wild weather across the Backpacker News Pages on the Forum and the Backpacker's Calendar on the Trail Guide. I hope you've checked them out and found them useful and informative.

Recent Backpacker News

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January and February 2016 Backpacking Sky Tracking: When Will the Sierra Open?

Start the Heart of Winter
 Below we are tracking specific observations, forecasts, and weather events affecting the trajectory of the Spring Snowpack along this year's specific, unique evolution to open, Summer-condition status for Summertime backpacking.

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High Sierra Backpacking News and Observations: January and February 2016

High Sierra Backpacker News

January & February

                Feb 18, 2016.
 News, Events, Observations, and Analysis

Earlier News
November and December 2015.

Happy Trails through the New Year...

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Winter to Spring to Summer 2015-16: Depths of Drought to Depths of Flooding?

December 11 2015

Our goal here is to track each stage of the Fall-Winter-Spring transition to Summer conditions. Our main goal is to determine when trails will open to Summer conditions.

As Fall comes to a close certain patterns have manifested themselves. These have set the stage for the advent of Winter. We've seen that the remnants, the tail ends of the tropical fronts hitting the Sierra have put a reasonable Fall coat of snow on the Sierra.

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December 2015 Backpacker Alert: Central-West Pacific Conditions Change


1> Spin and Cold of the Arctic Circle

 2>  Central and North-East Pacific High Pressure Zone

 3>  Location of Fierce El Nino Waters and Thunderstorms


Results So Far

1> Weak Arctic: Low pressure zones are meandering around the Bearing Straight and Gulf of Alaska. Arctic has not chilled down fiercly and spun-up. It's weak.

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Sayles Canyon Coyote

Sayles Canyon Coyote
By Bill FSayles Canyon Coyote, El Dorado National Forest.

I don't know if this is the same coyote as the one I saw at the Sayles Canyon Trail junction along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Meiss Country Roadless Area. Same coloring, and he is displaying the same calm, quiet intensity as the one I saw.

But, if this is not the same one, I'll bet he knows the coyote I saw.

Map embed: 
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Tahoe to Whitney on NPR

In the High Sierra News Forum:

Tahoe to Whitney on NPR: Insight explores Winter Survival Skills

links to program, webpage, podcast.


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Tahoe to Whitney on NPR: Insight explores Winter Survival Skills

Friday December 13 2013 was a lucky day for Tahoe to Whitney.

Alex Wierbinski, the backpacker behind the Tahoe to Whitney trail guide and forum projects, was heard on National Public Radio's Insight, "A daily, in-depth interview program providing context and background to the issues that face our region." Alex was one of host Beth Ruyak's three guests discussing the hazards of Winter travel and dealing with emergency Wintertime situations.

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Winter Disaster 2011

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It has taken me quite a while to put this video together. After coming off the trail at the end of this film in early January of 2011, I de-booted and de-layered at the Downtown Meyers Cafe. Nice folks there. As my feet warmed up, and the rest of me too, my Right foot swelled up a bit.

After a bit of food and heat I re-booted and re-layered for the hitch-hike West along Highway 50 back to the Bay Area. This is when the real problems began.

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Death Valley Warmth in Wintertime

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Since my frostbite injury in Jan of 2011 I've not felt ready for Winter snow travel. Since my heart problems of the Summer of 2012 I've been taking it a bit easy.

So I was really ready when my pal Ari suggested we seek warmth in Death Valley. An excellent idea. We would drive by and check out many of our favorite Winter and Summer backpacking spots as we drive past these frigdid scenes on our way to the Winter warmth of Death Valley.

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