Welcome to the backpacking trails and topics forums for local and long-distance hikers along the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.

These
Forums cover the TYT, PCT, & JMT and their associated and alternative routes. We explore the necessary backpacking skills, fitness, and gear required. All backpacking information posted here is linked to our related Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide. These forums are the "backend" of the Guide and Magazine. 

Purposes: Expand Knowledge, Explore Potential

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, generate self-understanding and terrain awareness. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest to get you started.

for Backpackers: To get you in longer, deeper, and higher. Train for the long trails. Find your next-steps trips. Hit the Long Trails. Find and explore side trails, alternative, and cross-country routes until you hike your skills into Winter compentency. Find your potential.

for Experts: All the information to bring yourself from anywhere in the US or world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. The Sierra Nevada is the ultimate wonderland for expert backpackers in top shape. But don't get cocky! The Sierra is bigger, stronger, has been, and will be here much longer than any of us. 


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Mutagenic chain reaction could knock malaria out of mosquitoes for good

Very Scary Stuff:
Mutagenic chain reaction could knock malaria out of mosquitoes for good,
Nov 23, 2015, Ars Technica.

I don't like mosquitoes, but releasing a self-replicating, self-modifying gene-sequencing device into mosquitoes in the wild does not seem like a good idea. Franken foods are bad enough without Franken-skeeters.

This also begs the question, what would a world without mosquites look like?

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Looking into the Mirror of Life

ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS
&
Really Big and Really Small Scale Sciences

The Fundamental Nature of Reality Big to Small... 

We follow Astro-physics and Science for fun, because the Nature of Life itself is pretty darn entertaining on its own merits. Understanding the Nature and construction of our reality is a pragmatic move for all its "operators," but especially for backpacker's finding context in, and navigating the terrain to both ascertain & clarify our place in the Universe.

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BUTTERFLY NEWS

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BUTTERFLY NEWS
 The whole web of life is being distorted by the  changing character of the seasons on and around the the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean.

 The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is a significant element in the complex relationship of the North Pacific Ocean weather patterns with the North American continent.

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New disease-carrying mosquito arrives in B.C.,

This is not good news for everyone who lives at lower lattitudes than BC, which includes the whole vast population of the United States.

What we have done, we must un-do.

 More Good News:
New disease-carrying mosquito arrives in B.C.,
Nov, 8, 2015, Simon Fraser University.
 

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Denge Transmission

 Dengue has been surging out of the expanding tropical areas of the world as tropical conditions push North and South from the Equator. 

The mosquitoes carrying Denge and a whole host of other diseases, and the diseases themselves have ridden the warm currents of climate warming into California, the Sierra, and the Northern Lattitudes.

The attention of pharmacutical companies will increasingly turn to these diseases as richer populations sicken as greed's transformation of our world accelerates.

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Big West Nile Impact on Birds and Mosquito Spread Continues, November 2015.

Huge Impact of Slight Changes in Temperatures:

West Nile virus killing millions more birds than previously thought, UCLA researchers find, November 2, 2015, University of Texas at Dallas.

Aedes japonicus mosquitoes found in western Canada, November 2, 2015, Entomological Society of America.

 

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November & December 2015 High Sierra Backpacker's News, Events, and Observations of Note

High Sierra News

November & December
2015

UPDATED
         December 31, 2015.
 News, Events, Observations, and Analysis

Happy Trails through the New Year...

Astronomy
Picture of the Day
NASA

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Watch Out for the Green Water

Watch Out for the Green Water

 Do not drink, or allow your animals or children to drink from or play in water containing cynobacteria, otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae. Review the information below and at the bottom of the page for identification and safety information. 

August 2015:
Rising heat and declining waters are creating conditions even more favorable for cynobacteria,otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae.

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OCT 31 2015 BACKPACKER ALERT: First Winter Storm Watch

BACKPACKER ALERT

First Winter Storm Warning for the Sierra Crest.
FALL 2015 

Issued: Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:40 AM GMT-0700

North Sierra

"WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING."

"SIGNIFICANT EARLY SEASON SNOW POSSIBLE LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY EVENING FOR THE NORTHERN SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS"

 South Sierra 

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Aggressive nonnative mosquitoes spreading across state carry disease risk,

Aggressive nonnative mosquitoes spreading across state carry disease risk,
Oct 24, 2015, LAT.

We've seen a steady progression of tropical insects and diseases enter the US over the past twenty years as warming accelerates its effects.

The entry of the Asian tiger mosquito and Aedes aegypti into California presages the entry and spread of a number of terrible tropical diseases we are not going to enjoy at all.

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Oct 1 2015: Cayenne's View Forward

Cayenne just posted a note adding her perspective to the Fall Backpacker's Alert. I thought is was worth sharing more broadly, so here it is:

Fall is in the air in the Tahoe Basin

Map embed: 
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Killer Bees in North California

‘Killer bees’ found in the Bay Area for the first time,
SF Gate, Sep 28, 2015.

We are going to have to develop "killer-bee safety plans" that address potentially dangerous interactions with "killer bees" on the trail. It's just a matter of time and more heating.

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Bubonic Plague Information Index

See & Read:
Standard Sierra Plague Warning 
Bubonic Plague in the High Sierra

 

2015 Drought Outbreak

Plague Persists,
August 2015

Tuolumne Meadows Campground Closing
August 2015

Mono County Warns of Plague
August 2015

 

Plague History

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Large trees -- key climate influencers -- die first in drought

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Sept. 29, 2015--In forests worldwide, drought consistently has had a more detrimental impact on the growth and survival of larger trees, new research shows. 

Large trees -- key climate influencers -- die first in drought, DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory,  September 29, 2015.

Also see the Backpacker News Forums.

 

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Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future

Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future,
University of Hawaii at Manoa, September 25, 2015.

This team of scientists recently asked, how will future greenhouse warming affect the El Niño sea level seesaws? 

 

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I've got your back -- fishes really do look after their mates!

 I've got your back -- fishes really do look after their mates!
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, Sep 24, 2015.

New research from the ARC Centre has found that pairs of rabbitfishes will cooperate and support each other while feeding.

Co-author, Prof. Bellwood, "Our findings should further ignite efforts to understand fishes as highly developed organisms with complex social behaviours," he says.

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Sept-October 2015 High Sierra Backpacker's Observations and News of Note

High Sierra News

September & October News, Events and Observations
2015

Updated
         October 24

News from across the world of science spanning topics based on individual experience, such as personal health and fitness, to geological insights into just how our environment was constructed, up to the most current information on how we are smasing that environment.

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