Welcome to the High Sierra Backpacker's Magazine, including forums for local and long-distance hikers sharing info about hiking the Sierra between Tahoe and Whitney.

This Magazine covers everything Sierra. Its
Forums cover TYT, PCT, & JMT and alt-route hiker input from the Guide. The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide explores the trails  & the necessary skills, fitness, and gear required to hike from Tahoe to Whitney. This evolving Magazine covers Current Conditions, News, the Arts, Sciences, Physicality, Spirituality, Gear, Environment, History, and Cultures of hiking Tahoe to Whitney. 

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. Find info. Ask questions, get feedback, generate self-understanding and terrain awareness. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest.

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

for Experts: The information to come 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, and has been, and will be here much longer than any of us.  


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September-October, & (November!) 2018 California Fires sticky icon

 

Page begun
September 5, 2018

Updated
November 17th

  2018
  CALIFORNIA'S FALL FIRES

 Below
September-October
&
   
NOVEMBER !?!?! 

The Earliest
News, Smoke, & Fire Info-Resources on this page below begin on

Sept 3, on the bottom of this page

 

Previous Page, covering Our First Fire Season:
FIRES of JULY & AUGUST 2018

 

ALL SMOKE RESOURCES

 

LATEST
OFFICIAL NEWS

Paradise, Ca. destroyed...

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November 2018 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index sticky icon

 

Updated
November 18, 2018

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

LAST MONTHS' NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
November, 2018

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 humans and the uncreated reality reflected in, and tended by Nature. 

The vast majority of our reporting on Nature comes from the American Association of Scientists summarizations of each day's bounty of the peer-reviewed research published by academic institutions and journals around the world.

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WEATHER for High Sierra Backpackers: REPORTS, FORECASTS, PREDICTIONS, SNOW, ROADS, CONDITIONS sticky icon

    HIGH SIERRA WEATHER RESOURCES

 First
Key Quick Reference 

 

HEAVY SMOKE 
GOES E
NW US TRUE COLOR
Smoke Fills the San Joaquin Valley

GOES E GeoColor True Color daytime, multispectral IR at night

ALL SMOKE RESOURCES

MODIS
November 15, 2018

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2019 TAHOE WINTER MOUNTAIN SAFETY EVENT sticky icon

WINTER MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Tahoe Winter Mountain Safety Event

Beacons and Beers offers backcountry advice ahead of ski season,
Sierra Sun, November 17, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Gear
“...representatives from Black Diamond, Mammut and ORTOVOX gave presentations on the latest beacons, probes and avalanche rescue techniques.”

Safety Skills
"We want to remind people that traveling in the backcountry is dangerous, and we want to make sure that people have the skills to be safe."

Backpacking is Dangerous

Gear & Knowledge
“...centered on the importance of having proper equipment and knowing how to use it before heading into the backcountry.”

What You Are Getting Into
"It's just really important to know what you are getting into and to travel smartly in the backcountry. That's what it comes down to for us."

BIG CAN OF WHOOP ASS

 

Bottom Line

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INYO ROADS & TRAILS at the DOORSTEP of the WINTER of 2018 sticky icon

Mountain Road Closures

Pass update and State of the Inyo National Forest,
Sierra Wave, November 15, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

WINTER CLOSURE
“State Route 203 (SR-203) from Mammoth Mountain Inn to the Mono/Madera County Line is now closed for the winter season.”

TRAIL MAP: Donohue Pass to Reds Meadow, including bottom of 203

REPAIR CLOSURE
“State Route 168W (SR-168W) (Bishop Creek) will temporarily close at the winter gate just above Cardinal Village for maintenance work and incoming inclement weather on Monday, November 19th at 9:00 a.m. The reopening of this route is dependent upon the completion of road work and favorable weather.”

TRAIL MAP: Muir Ranch to Bishop Pass, including top of 168, where it splits for Lake Sabrina or South Lake

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Unrecognized Carrington Event blew the Mines, Effects of Space Weather blows my Mind sticky icon

CELESTIAL, ASTRONOMICAL CLIMATOLOGY: SPACE WEATHER

Unrecognized Carrington Event blew the Mines, Effects of Space Weather blows my Mind

Powerful solar storm likely detonated mines during Vietnam War,
AGU, November 12, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"A strong solar storm in 1972 caused widespread disturbances to satellites and spacecraft, and may have led to the detonation of mines during the Vietnam War..."

“This is a Carrington-class storm that has gone under the radar.”

"The solar activity damaged spacecraft and satellites, and led to power issues across North America. Auroras, resulting from charged particles from the Sun interacting with air in Earth’s upper atmosphere, were visible in the northern United States and southern United Kingdom."

"On the same day, while observing the coastal waters of North Vietnam from aircraft, US Navy personnel witnessed dozens of destructor sea mines exploding with no obvious cause."

"...the destructor mines were designed to trigger if they sensed changes in magnetic fields associated with moving ships. Solar activity is known to perturb Earth’s magnetic field, and in early August 1972, the perturbations were likely strong enough to meet the magnetic requirements for detonation."

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Mid-November, 2018: Will it Be Wet, or Will it Continue to be Bone Dry? sticky icon

WEATHER NOTE

A Tropical Brew Bubbling? Or Not?

Will it Be Wet, or Will it Continue to be Bone Dry?

Current Conditions
A couple of Big Storms are potentially moving into the, "West Coast Launch Zone," meaning into the position off the NE coast of Indonesia, from where common configurations of Highs and Lows in the North-East Pacific can deliver vast tropical flows generated by these storms to the West Coast of the US.

Unless
Unless the storms don’t get into their, “launch,” position, or, unless a big blocking ridge knocks these potential tropical flows to the North and South of California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, around us, as happened during the biggest wettest, hottest, El Nino on record, that transpired through 2015. During the 2015 monster El Nino, which also happened to transpire during the driest single year in California’s living memory and its written history, during the deepest drought in five hundred years.

Water News: Epic Drought: California 2012-2017 Drought one for the Ages

Hummm. This configuration of human and natural forces bears close observation and tracking.

Tracking Resources

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Carbon Calculations Wrong? More CO2 into Oceans than Previously Predicted? sticky icon

 

UPDATE
Or Not?
A Major Problem with "Carbon Calculations Wrong," the Paper Below

It seems the researchers got their carbon calculations wrong...

A major problem with the Resplandy et al. ocean heat uptake paper,
Climate, Etc., November 6, 2018.

Main Point
"Assuming I am right that Resplandy et al. have miscalculated the trend in ΔAPOClimate, and hence the trend in ocean heat content (OHC), implied by their data, the corrected OHC trend estimate for 1991–2016 (Figure 2: lower horizontal red line) is about average compared with the other estimates they showed, and below the average for 1993–2016."

The Error
Error acknowledgement by one of the original researchers:

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Hidden Trends in our Changing Global Climate Revealed sticky icon

CLIMATE CHANGES DRAMATICALLY UNDERESTIMATED

Statistical Reanalysis Reveals-Explains Anomalous Weather Trends

Overlooked trends in annual precipitation reveal underestimated risks worldwide,
University of Maine, November 13, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Overlooked Weather Trends
“A reanalysis of worldwide annual trends in precipitation demonstrates that risk to human and environmental systems has been underestimated… they found more than 38 percent of the global population and over 44 percent of land area have been experiencing overlooked precipitation trends.”

Standard Analysis
Performed using, “...the probability distribution function (PDF), where the frequency with which precipitation amounts within a certain interval occur and the probability of exceedance (non-exceedance) above (below) a given threshold can be readily estimated.”

New Analysis using Quantile Regression
“...an innovative trend typology using quantile regression and offer a comprehensive analysis of overlooked trends worldwide.”

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2018 ADVENTURE: Two Explorers Set Out to Cross Antarctica sticky icon

Keep Updated

TRACKING RUDD

Tracking Captain Lou Rudd, from Shackleton Clothing, London.

TRACKING O'BRADY
“...follow his GPS tracker in real time or check his posts on Instagram.”

 

ADVENTURE

Two Explorers Set Out to Cross Antarctica

Brit Solider & American “Motivatior”

The Brit Solider

Captain Louis Rudd

British soldier will attempt to be the first person to cross Antarctica solo in an 1,500km journey - 104 years after Sir Ernest Shackleton's failed bid to cross the frozen continent,
Daily Mail, November 3, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"Captain Louis Rudd will attempt to cross 1,500km of Antarctic ice in 75 days"

"The Spirit of Endurance trek is inspired by Shackleton's expedition of 1914-17"

"Rudd, who served in the army for 30 years, was awarded an MBE after leading a team of Army Reservists on the Trans-Antarctic SPEAR17 expedition last year"

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Beetle Fertility Crashing in Heatwaves sticky icon

INSEXTUAL OVERHEATING PROBLEMS

Beetle Fertility Crashing in Heatwaves

Climate change damaging male fertility,
University of East Anglia, November 13, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“...heatwaves damage sperm in insects - with negative impacts for fertility across generations.”

“...explain why climate change is having such an impact on species populations, including climate-related extinctions in recent years.”

Nuances
"We know that biodiversity is suffering under climate change, but the specific causes and sensitivities are hard to pin down.“

"Heatwaves are particularly damaging extreme weather events. Local extinctions are known to occur when temperature changes become too intense. We wanted to know why this happens. And one answer could be related to sperm."

Poor Red Flour Beetle
50% Fertility Reduction
The team found that heatwaves halved the amount of offspring males could produce, and a second heatwave almost sterilised males.

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HEALTH & FITNESS: Slinging Steel Good for You sticky icon

HEALTH & FITNESS

Slinging Steel Good for You and Your Heart

Weightlifting is good for your heart and it doesn't take much,
Iowa State University, November 13, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

One Hour, No More, No Less
“Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent, according to a new Iowa State University study. Spending more than an hour in the weight room did not yield any additional benefit, the researchers found.”

Just Weights
“...benefits of strength training are independent of running, walking or other aerobic activity. In other words, you do not have to meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic physical activity to lower your risk; weight training alone is enough.”

Generally Heart Better Outcomes
“...measured three health outcomes: cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke that did not result in death, all cardiovascular events including death and any type of death. Lee says resistance exercise reduced the risk for all three.”

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The Unintended Consequences of Dams and Reservoirs sticky icon

WATER & DAMS: GROWING TO DESTRUCTION

What we’ve Already Done. Now We’re Screwed...

The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs,
Uppsala University, November 13, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Corporate Growth Machine of Death
“An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to make them worse.”

Building Dams to Build Bigger Unsustainable Populations
“As such, the supply-demand cycle can trigger an accelerating spiral towards unsustainable exploitation of water resources and environmental degradation. ”

They’ve Already Overpopulated California & the Whole Southwest…
“The supply-demand cycle describes cases where increasing water supply leads to higher water demand, which can quickly offset the initial benefits of reservoirs.”

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Organophosphate Insecticides Unsafe at Any Level sticky icon

HEALTH & FITNESS

Organophosphates Unsafe at Any Level

(but no worries, there're everywhere & on everything...)

Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides,
UC Davis, November 9, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Organophosphates
“Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.”

“...the researchers call for immediate government intervention to phase out all organophosphates.”

Threat
“...compelling evidence that exposure of pregnant women to very low levels of organophosphate pesticides is associated with lower IQs and difficulties with learning, memory or attention in their children,”

All of Them
“Although a single organophosphate — chlorpyrifos — has been in the national spotlight, our review implicates the entire class of these compounds. ”

Origin and Method
“...developed as nerve gases and weapons of war, organophosphates today are used to control insects at farms, golf courses, shopping malls and schools. They kill pests by blocking nerve signaling.”

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2018 Season High Sierra Fire, Smoke, and Mountain Safety Information sticky icon

SUMMER & FALL
FIRE SEASONS
of
2018

 

For more updated details, see the,
September, October, & NOVEMBER Fire Page


High Sierra
Fire and Smoke Information

ALL
SMOKE INFORMATION

 

 

High Sierra & Major California Fires

November 16

CAMP FIRE
Fire, Smoke, & Death

Major Smoke from the Camp Fire, just under 50% containment today, is covering and trapped over North California & North Sierra, running South down the Western Flank across Yosemite and Sequoia, while pushing East through the Delta to fill San Francisco Bay.

Good Air
Yet, conditions at Lake Tahoe and points South along the Sierra Crest and its East Flank are pristine.

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Thoughts on the Composition of Spacetime sticky icon

ASTROPHYSICS

What's the Nature and Rules of this Playground we're Playing In?

Let's Ask Ski !

Spacetime -- a creation of well-known actors?
The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, November 8. 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"What is spacetime? The absolute, unchanging, ever- and omni-present arena of events? Or perhaps it is a dynamic creation, emerging in some way on a certain scale of distance, time or energy?"

"Are space and time separated from matter, creating a “container” for motions and events occurring with the participation of particles, as Democrit proposed in the 5th century BC? Or perhaps they are attributes of matter and could not exist without it, as Aristotle suggested a century later?"

"In quantum mechanics, events take place in a rigid arena with uniformly flowing time. Meanwhile, in the general theory of relativity, matter deforms elastic spacetime (stretching and twisting it), and spacetime tells particles how to move."

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Changing Climate Increasing Predation Removing Reasons for Long Arctic Bird Migrations sticky icon

CLIMATE CHANGE

Nest Predation to test Value of Arctic Bird Migration?

Climate change flips the global pattern of shorebird nest predation,
American Association for the Advancement of Science, November 8. 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“Once a haven for breeding shorebirds worldwide, nest predation in the Arctic has been on the rapid rise, putting global populations at increased risk.”

“The results suggest that disruptions in historic patterns of predator and prey are driven by global climate change.”

“Historically, predation rates for birds that breed nearer to the equator are higher than those for birds who breed nearer to the poles. As a result, many birds have adapted strategies to ensure the survival of their offspring, including migrating thousands of miles, away from the tropics, to rookeries in Arctic areas.”

"...explore the global impacts of climate change on patterns of nest predation by assembling a database of over 38,000 individual shorebird nests from 237 populations.”

“They report that overall rates of nest predation have been on the rise for the last 70 years.”

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Florida Monarch Butterflies dropped 80 percent since 2005 sticky icon

BUTTERFLIES: MONARCHS CRASHING

Long Disaster tied to Human's Glyphosate & Climate Effects Disrupting Milkweed

Florida monarch butterfly populations have dropped 80 percent since 2005,
Florida Museum of Natural History, November 8. 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Radical Decline
"A 37-year survey of monarch populations in North Central Florida shows that caterpillars and butterflies have been declining since 1985 and have dropped by 80 percent since 2005."

"...decrease parallels monarchs' dwindling numbers in their overwintering grounds in Mexico."

Milkweed Connection
"This study shows the tight connection between monarchs and milkweed and highlights very dramatic losses in abundance in Florida that further confirm the monarch is declining."

Herbicide Glyphosate & Milkweed
"...shrinking native milkweed populations and a boost in glyphosate use in the Midwest are part of the problem."

Glyphosate
"...is lethal to milkweed, the monarchs' host plant."

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Stoves: MEMBERS FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking sticky icon

Members Favorites

High Sierra
Backpacking Stoves

We have considerable range of selections from a wide range of fuels and gasses, delivery systems (below), wind shields and pot supports, not to mention the ability to construct a wide range of homemade alchol stoves.

I figure the benefit of some wisdom and experience will help us sort this all out, and find the stove that best suites us. Thus we poll our members for their preferences. Since we have lots of different types of members with lots of different types of goals and experiences we come up with a range of classic solutions.

Well, at least a good place for you to begin your investigation into what's the best backpacking stove for you.

 

 

Members Favorite Backpacking Stoves

 

NEW BRAND

BRS

Hiking 50                       BRS Ultralight

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October 2018 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index sticky icon

 

Updated
October 31, 2018

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

NEXT MONTH'S NEWS

LAST MONTH'S NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 


October, 2018

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 humans and the uncreated reality reflected in, and tended by Nature. 

The vast majority of our reporting on Nature comes from the American Association of Scientists summarizations of each day's bounty of the peer-reviewed research published by academic institutions and journals around the world.

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The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

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