Welcome to the forum for local and long-distance backpackers along the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.
These
Forums cover the TYT-PCT, & JMT and  general backpacking topics. Your trail or topic contributions will be interlinked to, and enrich the related Tahoe to Whitney trail guide.

for Beginners: To get you off the couch, gear you up, get you into Sierra Shape and onto the High Sierra Trails. Ask questions, get feedback. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest to get you started. Share your experiences.

for Intermediates: To get you in deeper, longer, and higher. Find your next-step trip. Post your stories, pictures, and videos of your favorite trips to widen the perspective and enrich the trail guide. Train for the long trails.

for Experts: All the information you need to come from anywhere in the US or the world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. This is the perfect playground for expert backpackers in top shape. A Natural Wonderland. But don't get cocky! The Sierra is bigger, stronger, has been, and will be here much longer than any of us.

 


Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

THIS YEAR
2017

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?"

tmorton23's picture

Stream and Creek fording sticky icon

Given that the 16/17 winter is proving to be quite prolific, what are the thoughts of everyone about stream and creek fords from Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows?

I checked the CDEC snow survey site the other day and saw the Bond Pass snow sensor was reading 192 inches, Grace Meadow at 199, and Wilmer Lake at over 190. My trip is planned for August 11-19, which is pretty late in the season, but this is not a normal season.

This will be my first time on this trail, and I'm wondering if there are any particularly hairy fords that I will need to be careful about.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

February and March 2017: Watching the New World Weather Emerge sticky icon

CHANGING WEATHER NEWS

February
and 
March of 2017

The transitions between seasons, their basic character, their timing, temp, and humidity transitions have all changed. The directions from which the seasonal winds blow have changed. These changes are reverberating through and disrupting webs of life that wrap around the whole planet.

LAST MONTHS' CLIMATE NEWS

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

February and March 2017 High Sierra Backpacker's News: Man and Nature sticky icon

 High Sierra Backpacker News


February
and 
March of 2017

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. 

LATEST NEWS BELOW

Updated
March 27, 2017

LAST MONTHS' NEWS

Cayenne's picture

Safety First! sticky icon

 Spring has come to the eastern Sierras and time to spring clean the first aid kit. Alex has provided excellent information about his first aid kit in the gear list. I am an avid day hiker, so the contents of my bag are a bit different. I also have extensive medical training and access to prescription drugs, so I try to keep stuff to help out others on the trail. This is the time of year I pull the first aid kit from the depths of my day pack and inspect and refill the contents.

Tahoe to Whitney Permit Nightmare???? sticky icon

I am trying to plan a Tahoe to Whitney walk, along the PCT/JMT, this summer.

I am finding that I can get as far as YNP but WILL BE STUCK THERE due to the Donahue exit quota.

I have found that getting a backcountry permit outside of YNP does not allow me to traverse the park and exit Lyell Canyon/Donahue Pass. Any help here?? Stevo

 

ALSO SEE:
Tracking Weird High Sierra Permit Restrictions

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Backpacker Weather: reports, forecasts, predictions, snow, roads, conditions sticky icon

Key
QUICK HIGH SIERRA WEATHER
Resources
Current
 VISIBLE
 Satellite View of the Whole Sierra Nevada Range 1 KM National Weather Service Satillte view of Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Above:

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Hunter's Camp Bear Story

Bear encounter in Upper East Fork of the Carson River drainage. Bear wanted my food, but I kept it.

 

Hunter's Camp Bear Story
Above Hunters Camp there is a big boulder that provides an expansive view, where we can see all the way to Ebbetts Pass. I had ate dinner and made hot chocolate and retired to the boulder to watch the view change with the setting sun and have a relaxing smoke. Hunters Camp has exceptional sunsets.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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
http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/backpacker-news-february-march-2017

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bear News and Research

 The repository of Bear news and stories we come across.

I've written about my experiences with High Sierra Black Bear Behavior in the Trail and Camp Skills section of the Trail Guide. Remember, bears act differently in different locations, and can be quite unpredictable in most situations.

markskor's picture

thanks for kind words

After 40+ years backpacking Sierra...still too many places to see. Working now in Tuolumne Meadows store is a 2-edge sword...Great central location but only 3 days a week to do art and explore. Still. kind of like the views from outside the office.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

FORDING: Thoughts and Guidelines

FORDING
Thoughts and Guidelines

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Purple and White High Sierra Wildflower: Williamson's Clarkia

Purple and White High Sierra Wildflower:
Williamson's Clarkia 
Williamson's Clarkia, a Purple and White High Sierra Wildflower.

June 30, 2013

5400 feet.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Little Red Spider on Moraine Ridge, Yosemite

Little Red Spider on Moraine Ridge, Yosemite

6960 feet near trail junction to Vernon Lake

Little red spider scurrying away across a great granite boulder.
Little red spider scurrying away across a great granite boulder.

A closer look at the little red spider.
A closer look at little red.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Lizard, Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite

Lizard, Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite

Lizard sunning and observing me as I hike down through Lower Jack Main Canyon.
Observed Friday June 30, 2013

7740 feet of elevation in Jack Main Canyon below Wilmer Lake

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Checkerspot Butterfly in Jack Main Canyon, Backpacking Yosemite, Euphydras chalcedona?

Butterfly in Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite

Euphydras chalcedona? 
Orange Red, White, Checker Wing colors with distinctive Black Trim

Butterfly and bud the size of a tree to the tiny creature.

Observed Friday June 30, 2013

7720 feet of elevation in Jack Main Canyon below Wilmer Lake

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Lower Jack Main Canyon backpacking to Hetch Hetchy

Hiking
Lower
Jack Main Canyon
Backpacking to Hetch Hetchy from Wilmer Lake

Important Information

Alex Wierbinski's picture

HIGH SIERRA BIRD NEWS and IDENTIFICATION GUIDES

High Sierra Plant and Animal Identification Guides

Quick
High Sierra Bird Guide

Graeme Colmer's
Handy List of Images-Identifications of Sierra Birds

A Handy Thing

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tuolumne Meadows Store and Grill Staff & Managers in their Natural Habitat: The Twilight Lounge

Tuolumne Meadows Store & Grill and their Amazing Staffs

The quality of the store and grill at Tuolumne Meadows are the products of a fantastic staff well led, directed and motivated. There is something about the quality of the surroundings that draws quality folks over long periods of time.

The Store, Post Office, and Grill at Tuolumne Meadows.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tuolumne Meadows Employee Housing, markskor watercolor

Tuolumne Meadows Employee Housing,
markskor watercolor

Tuolumne Meadows Employee Housing, MarcSkor Watercolor.

Colors remind me of the impressionist artist, Gauguin, but focused into clarity as used by Pissarro.

Many thanks to Ansel for sharing his amazing perspective in so many ways.

Markskor on
HIGH SIERRA TOPIX

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