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

North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew 2009

Hiking South on the combined PCT-TYT down Cold Canyon to Glen Aulin on August 3 encounted a hiker who I identified as trail crew as he approached.

Dan Schweitzer was indeed trail crew, and he was leading the pack hiking up the steep climb from Glen Aulin to the meadows in upper Cold Canyon. Not only was he moving fast and nimbly while climbing, he was only lightly strained. Classic trail crew.

Trail Crew on Trail Guide

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Belding Ground Squirrels; AKA Meadow Dogs

We have a small mammal that's adapted pretty well to the flat expanses of High Sierra meadows by focusing on observation, communication, speed and cover. These are the Belding Ground Squirrels.

Belden Ground Squirrels in Cold Canyon, Yosemite National Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Mammals Reference-Identification

References

Mammals, identification, E-Nature Field Guide.

Mammals of Yosemite National Park, (1952) by Harry C. Parker.

For more links about animal, plant, geology, and astronomy information for backpackers see the High Sierra Backpacking links page on the trail guide.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

DNC tries to steal public names of National Park Historical Landmarks

Here's a pretty good account of the Corporate shenanigans Delaware North Corporation is using to try to extort 51 million taxpayer's dollars via the National Park Service.

Well, the Devil Needs Cash...and the Devil Never Cares how he gets it...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Camp Chairs for High Sierra Backpacking

Backpacking Camp Chairs

I was first personally introduced to backpacking camp chairs by a couple of cool PCT hikers in the late nineties or early this new century, Marie and Susan from Seattle.

Marie was convinced her portable camp chair was totally worth its weight in gold for the relaxation and comfort it brought. She insisted I sit in it, and I agreed.

Hey, I was hesitant. I don't want other folks to carry my comfort. I had not carrried that chair for well over a thousand miles, as she had, so I did not deserve to sit in it.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Elana Kundell Painting

I met Doc and Elana Kundell at Tuolumne Meadows during the Summer of 2009. I had walked down from Lake Tahoe on my way to Mount Whitney, while the Kundell's father-daughter JMT hiking  team climbed up from the Happy Isles JMT trailhead in Yosemite Valley on their way to the Whitney Portal.

That's a steep climb from bottom to top. I advise caution, and a slow start. A climb like that can tear your heart out.. It's a Hard ONE, baby.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Field Astronomy for the High Sierra Backpacker

Field Astronomy for the High Sierra Backpacker
 Resources and Information for precisely tracking the position of the Sun across its diurnal (daily) path. Astronomical references tell us the time and keeps us oriented in the terrain by the known time and compass points of its rising and setting positions.

Sun and Moon rise and set coordinates and times.

The same principals apply to the movement of stars across the night sky. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Navigation: Time and Space References

2/3rds of Summertime backpacking is during the day, a third is spent under Night Skies. We are going to locate, record, and use the information about sunrise and set times and compass points as our basic backpacking clock and compass during day and night.

Basic Time and Space Orientation
The basic information establishing the relationship between time and space is available from the Trail Guide's Navigation page.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

Matt Bloom and family and friends provide long distance High Sierra backpackers the best of Western Hospitality, food, supplies, laundry and showers along the classic route of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail where it crosses Highway 108.

Kennedy Meadows is a standard resupply spot for Pacific Crest Trail hikers.

For visitors driving up on Highway 108, the Sonora Pass Highway Kennedy Meadows offers outstanding food, lodging, horses and horsepacking into the Emigrant Wilderness South of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station or North into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Comprehensive Backpacking Stove Information

See the High Sierra Stove Section for all aspects of Backpacking Stoves suitable for the wide range of conditions we will encounter in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the course of a year..

The backpacking stove information and experience you post up informs us all. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Stove Review: The New MSR Windboiler

Backpacking Stove Review: The New MSR Windboiler.

MSR Windboiler Website

November 30 2014.

This review puts the new MSR Windboiler to the test in contrast to the MSR Reactor.

Section Hiker.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Forest Service Trail Crew Construction and Maintenance Notebook

The National Forest Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook is a bible for Trail Crew a basic reference and handbook for the Trail Crew Arts. 

If you are thinking about a career in Trail Crew this book will basically inform you about the nature of the job and how to observe, plan, and execute trail construction and maintenance tasks.

Below find a comprehensive list of Trail Work References

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bubonic Plague in the High Sierra

Bubonic Plague in the High Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

This is typical of the language used on the State of California and County Health Department warnings posted on many Federal High Sierra Trailheads. 

High Sierra Bubonic Plague Trailhead Warning image and text

WARNING

DO NOT FEED OR TOUCH RODENTS

CHIPMUNKS, GROUND SQUIRRELS, AND OTHER WILD RODENTS IN THIS AREA MAY BE INFECTED WITH PLAGUE.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Types of High Sierra Vernal Ponds: Black and Blue

High Sierra Vernal Ponds are unique locations that impart a unique feel of serene quiet to the passing backpacker.

Ponds are places where the pace of surrounding life seems to have slowed down, places of quiet solitude.

PONDS
 I distinguish between two types of ponds in the High Sierra, being Black and Blue Ponds.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Powerful High Sierra Wind of November 30 2011, Devil's Wind

The look and the future trajectory of forest growth in the Sierra Nevada from the North Yosemite Backcountry down to Silver Divide was changed during one evening in November of 2011. 

That evening thousands of trees were blown down by a powerful wind centered near Mammoth Lakes, but which scoured slices of the High Sierra from North Yosemite Backcountry south to the Silver Divide.

I'm talking about fully healthy strong living trees. Just blew them right down!

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Orange-Yellow Fungus Tilden Canyon Yosemite

Fungus, burnt-orange to yellow in Tilden Canyon near Tilden Canyon Creek  along combined TYT-PCT across North Yosemite Backcountry.

Burnt orange to yellow fungus in North Yosemite's Tilden Canyon.

Very dry and hot conditions.

Map Location

Tilden Canyon Creek Map

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2001 Tahoe to Whitney Backpacking Trip Plan

Thirty Nine nights on the trail, five nights off, 44 days between the Meyers Trailhead in the Lake Tahoe Basin through the Mount Whitney Portal.

Followed the TYT South from Tahoe Basin to Spicer Meadow Reservoir where I cut up Highland Creek to the PCT at Wolf Creek Pass.

South of Sonora Pass I hiked off the PCT at the top of Kennedy Canyon following the Tungsten Road to the TYT at Grizzly Peak and on to Bond Pass.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2012 Kennedy Meadows to Whitney Portal Permit and Planning Documents

Detailed permit followed by planning documents for 2012 Kennedy Meadows to Mount Whitney backpacking trip.

Permit Cover

Faxed permit from Stanislaus National Forest for hike from Kennedy Meadows to Mount Whitney.

Page two:
The nightly campsites.

Nightly campsites for Kennedy Meadows to Mount Whitney backpacking trip.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Go Light Going Out of Business: Big Sale

November 19 2014

The GoLight site is announcing bankruptcy and 20%  off all inventory in a going out of business sale. 

On October 13 2014 GoLight filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy with 103 creditors. On October 24 the court authorized this sale to raise cash.

GoLight's Chapter 11 plan is due 2/10/2015 according to court documents.

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