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. 


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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Aaron and Earl's Lightweight Homemade Alcohol Stoves

Here's a couple of examples of very cheap homemade ultralight self-contained alcohol backpacking camp stove systems. 

Below we have Aaron's excellent system seen in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpacker Camp during the Summer of 2009. 
Aaron's homemade ultralight-ultra tight and compact alcohol backpacking stove.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

SteriPen UV water purification Backpacker Review

I don't remember seeing anyone using Steripen on the trails in the Sierra Nevada prior to 2009. Since then I've seen a growing group of Steripen users.

They seem satisfied. A few are ticked off because the units just stop working.

Aaron in the Tuolumne Meadows backpacking camp liked his steripen, once he figured out how to keep it going!

Alex Wierbinski's picture

MSR Sweetwater Water Filter backpacker review

Sweetwater was bought by MSR which was eaten up by Cascade Designs.

MSR Sweetwater Water Filter

The new MSR Sweetwater is a different design of the same engineering principals as the orignal white housing Sweetwater Filters, as far as I can tell. 

I used the original white housing with red trim Sweetwater Filter in the early 1990s, until frustration drove me to the Hiker Pur, which I've used religiously ever since.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Katadyn (Pur) Hiker backpacker water filter review

Katadyn Hiker Water Filter
Information and Review

My old Hiker Pur filter is shown below. It is exactly the same as the Katadyn Hiker. Katadyn bought the Pur filter company in 2001, and continues to manufacture exactly the same Hiker Water Filter with interchangable replacement parts.

Katadyn Hiker = Pur Hiker.

It still works like a champ in 2014.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

MSR XGK II (Pre Shaker Jet) White Gas Stove backpacker review

MSR XGK II (Pre Shaker Jet) White Gas Stove backpacker review
MSR XKG II operating during Winter at high elevation.
USE:

About 18 years as of 2014, and I bought it used.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

MSR reactor stove system backpacker review

MSR reactor stove system reviews

Spring:

Winter Conditions 2010, five nights from Tahoe Basin to Round Top and back via Round and Showers Lake.

Fall:

Fall 2011, four nighs (?) Carson Iceberg Backpacking Loop. Cold Temps!

MSR Reactor Stove System in Winter Trial.
MSR Reactor Stove on Round Top

Alex Wierbinski's picture

MSR miniworks filter review Ari

MSR miniworks water filter review Oct 22 to 26, 2011 in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Citation:

 Carson Iceberg Backpacking Loop: Gear

Quote:
"Ari started cursing at it. He was working like a dog to make Noble Lake's crap water filter. He wanted to spend his energy hiking, or at least enjoying the view."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sawyer Squeeze Bag Water Filter Review

Sawyer Squeeze™ Filter System.
I've seen lots of happy backpackers using this filter system.

The concept behind the system relies on a lightweight synthetic hollow fiber filter material in a small filter cartridge unit that screws onto lightweight mylar sacks of 16, 32, and 64 ounces.

The filter is operated by unscrewing the filter cartridge from it's mylar sack, filling the sack with water, restoring the filter cartridge to the filled sack, and squeezing.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Best Backpacking Water Filter Options, with a close look at Filtration and Purification Basics

We are going to identify the best backpacking water filter or system of chemical purification for you. To do that we need to identify two things. Your needs as a backpacker and the threats.

 

Patterns of Use

Selection Criteria

Water Filters

Water Purification Chemicals

Bladders-Squeeze Bottles

UV

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Steve's Fantastic North Yosemite Backpacking Loop

This trip and its report were executed and authored by Steve Thaw during the Summer of 2014, posted by Alex.

Hetch Hetchy Loop
 Jack Main Canyon to Rancheria Creek in Kerrick Canyon and Back

Thursday August 21
I drove to Hetch Hetchy and started from the campground and went across the dam and up to the Beehive trail intersection where I decided to make # 1 camp.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Yosemite National Park Backpacking Permits

This is the comments and questions page for the Yosemite National Parks Backpacking Permits Page.

This page contains a list of links to all the information you need to understand and navigate the Yosemite Permit system:

Yosemite National Park Permits

This page is for your feedback, tips, advice, and experiences obtaining backpacking permits for Yosemite National Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tungsten Road History

As an active trail the Tungsten Road is listed under the Trails Forum for the East Sierra:

Tungsten Road

The trail guide reference to the Tungsten Road is here:

Latopie Lake to Kenndy Canyon

This is a placeholder-link page to recognize the Tungsten Road as part of Sierra History, and link to its entries in the forum and guide covering the Tungsten Road as an active trail route.

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