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.  


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Water Expert's Long Term Views: There Never Was Enough Water in the Colorado River sticky icon

 

COLORADO RIVER WATER, HOOVER DAM, HISTORY & FUTURE

Hoover Dam Intake Towers Exposed by Low Level of Lake Mead
Hoover Dam's Lake Mead Intake Towers Exposed, egorshitikov, Pixaday.
Trend lines for the Colorado River & Her Reservoirs are pointing downward rapidly as illegal populations in the Southwestern US continue to explode. Image by egorshitikov, Pixabay.

 

Water Expert's Long Term Views: There Never Was Enough Water

From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed,”
JFleck at Inkstain, October 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Sibert's Pre-Construction Analysis
"A retired Army officer and engineer, he headed a panel chartered by Congress in 1928 to review the feasibility of the..." Hoover Dam Project.

The Question
"...does the Colorado River really have enough water to honor the allocations in the legislation Congress was about to approve?"

Alex Wierbinski's picture

September 2019 in the USA brings Extremes of Wet, Warm, and Dry sticky icon

 

CLIMATE, WATER, & WEATHER: US SEPTEMBER

Extremes of Wet & Dry

Assessing the U.S. Climate in September 2019,
NCEI, October 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Second Warmest Month
September 2019 was second warmest in record, by NCEI.
"...second warmest September in the 125-year period of record. The warmest September on record occurred in 1998 and was 0.5°F warmer than in 2019."

Average Precip
September 2019 US Total Precipitation Percentiles, by NCEI.
"...September precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.42 inches, 0.07 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the 125-year period of record."

Note the division of record precipitation and record dryness across the US during September. The extremes dry of the Southeast and extreme wet of the Upper Midwest balanced into an average of extremes.

Drought Growing in Southeast

Drought Report

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bovine Antibiotic Effects Not Limited to Bacteria: Soil Efficiencies Reduced sticky icon

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

How Now, Brown Cow?
Brown Cow, Art Tower, Pixabay.
Brown Cow, Art Tower, Pixabay.

 

Antibiotic Effects Not Limited to Bacteria

Researchers Find Multiple Effects on Soil from Manure from Cows Administered Antibiotics,
Colorado State University, October 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bovine Antibiotics
"...more stringent use of antibiotics in medical settings, the use of antibiotics in the livestock sector is gaining increased attention."

Levels of Use
"In the U.S., 80 percent of antibiotics are used in livestock production. Globally, livestock antibiotic use is projected to increase by 67 percent by the year 2030."

The Study
"...researchers analyzed ecosystems exposed to manure from cattle given no antibiotics and manure from cattle given a common antibiotic, as well as a control sample not exposed to manure. All of the manure samples were collected from standard dairy operations maintained by researchers from the Virginia Tech Department of Dairy Science."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Heat Always Flows Somewhere sticky icon

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Pumping Atmospheric Warming into World Oceans
The warming rate of the atmosphere is affected by the air-sea energy transport, by Jing Xu,Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The greenhouse (GHG) effect caused by CO2 and other GHG gases acts as a "pump", feeding more and more energy into the Earth system. Most of this energy is ultimately stored in the ocean, and the warming rate of the atmosphere is affected by the air-sea energy transport, by Jing Xu,Chinese Academy of Sciences.

 

The Heat Always Flows Somewhere

Has Global Warming Stopped? The Tap of Incoming Energy Cannot be Turned Off,
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, October 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Issue
The "Pause" in Global Warming
"...the observational global mean atmospheric temperature leveled off over the first decade of the 21st century, in contrast to the rapid warming during the late 20th century."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Season High Sierra Fire, Smoke, and Mountain Safety Information sticky icon

 

 

 

Resources
SUMMER & FALL
BACKPACKING SEASONS
of
2019

FIRE & SMOKE INFORMATION

 

Latest
FIRE
Report---Analysis

 

Smoke & Air Quality Resources

 

ALL
FIRE & SMOKE
INFORMATION & RESOURCES

FIRE

All Federally Managed Fires
Parks, Forests, and Federal Lands

INCIWEB 

Inciweb has been downgraded in services and quality by their redesign. For a list of National and California Fires, now see:

 

NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER, note fire lists by states...

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta sticky icon

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Estrogen Migrates through the Placenta
Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta, University of Vienna.
The xenoestrogen zearalenone migrates through the placenta, as researchers have now been able to show for the first time. Credit to the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

 

Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta

Babies Burdened by Environmental Estrogens in Mothers' Wombs,
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), October 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Danger: Natural Sources
"Xenoestrogens are absorbed through the environment, especially through food. As oestrogen-like substances, they can have a profound effect on the body's hormonal balance."

Environmental Estrogen Penetrates Placenta
"The placental barrier offers the unborn child a certain protection against bacteria, viruses and some substances such as some medications or environmental toxins absorbed by the body. But zearalenone migrates through the placenta, as we have now been able to show for the first time..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Arctic Birds Breeding Timing Changing sticky icon

 

BIRDS & CLIMATE CHANGE

Black-Legged Kittiwake
Black-Legged Kittiwake in the Arctic, by Sébastien Descamps, University of Barcelona.
In Arctic regions, the time period with optimal conditions for the reproduction of seabirds is quite limited. Fine shot by Sébastien Descamps, University of Barcelona.

 

Breeding Timing Changing

Early Breeding Season for Some Arctic Seabirds Due to Global Warming,
University of Barcelona, October 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Dramatic Changes
"The Arctic is one of the most sensitive areas to the global warming effects. Ice melting and the continuous rise of temperatures -higher than the average worldwide- are dramatically altering the structure of the Arctic ecosystems."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

  ALL
HIGH SIERRA WEATHER RESOURCES


QUICK INDEX

FULL INDEX

NEW
GOES-17-WEST

TWO VIEWS
of the
NE PACIFIC, CALIFORNIA COAST, & THE HIGH SIERRA
NOW

THE WIDE VIEW

The NOAA VIEWER
Northern Pacific GeoColor
The Last 11 Hours over the Northeastern Pacific
New GOES-17, "West," last 11 hours over the North Pacific GeoColor View by NOAA.

 Also See
NE Pacific Water Vapor
 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Climate Warming Directly Responsible for 400% Increase in California Fires sticky icon

 

WARMING TREES & FORESTS BURNING

Recent Extreme Warming
The years 2014-2018, averaged on this map, were the warmest years in the modern record, NASA.
The years 2014-2018, averaged on this map, were the warmest years in the modern record compared to GISTEMP's 1951-1980 baseline. The areas in red experienced warmer than normal temperatures, while the areas in blue were cooler than normal during this period. NASA, Big.

 

Climate Warming Directly Responsible for 400% Increase in California Fires

Rising Global Temperatures Influence California’s Fire Season,
NASA Earth Observatory, August 30, 2019.

Read the Research

MAIN POINTS

Increasing Fire
"...the annual burned area across California has increased fivefold over the past five decades, and the main driver is higher temperatures."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Huge Heat Waves Coming sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Our Hot Future
Our Hot Future, heatwaves could double by mid-century, Pixabay, Gellinger.
Heat waves are predicted to be more frequent and more intense. Now this research says they could be up to twice as large by 2050. Image on Pixabay, by Gellinger.

 

Huge Heat Waves Are Coming

Heat Waves Could Increase Substantially in Size by Mid-Century, says New Study,
NOAA Headquarters, October 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Situation
"...scientists expect the frequency and intensity of heat waves to increase. However, a commonly overlooked aspect is the spatial size of heat waves, despite its important implications."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Northern Forests in Deep Trouble sticky icon

 

 

PLANTS, FORESTS, & TREES

The Changing Snowy Forest Scene
Found clear signs of a decline in frost and snow days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health, by MaxPixel.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found clear signs of a decline in frost and snow days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health, by MaxPixel.

 

Northern Forests in Deep Trouble

UNH Researchers Find Northern Forests Have Lost Crucial Cold, Snowy Conditions,
University of New Hampshire, October 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Winter Changes
"...have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health."

Snow to Rain
"Whether precipitation falls as snow or rain makes a big difference, whether you're talking about a forest stream, a snowshoe hare or even a skier."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Forests: Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires sticky icon

 

HIGH SIERRA FOREST SUCCESSION

Researcher in Sierra Nevada Forest
Investigating plant diversity within a transect line of a Sierra Nevada forest affected by drought and wildfire, Courtesy Clark Richter.
UC Davis' Clark Richter investigates plant diversity within a transect line of a Sierra Nevada forest affected by drought and wildfire, Courtesy Clark Richter.

 

High Sierra Forest Decline

Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires,
University of California - Davis, October 3, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Sierra Nevada forests are losing plant diversity due to high-severity fires."

Forest Succession
"These fires are turning patches of forest into shrub fields -- indefinitely, in some cases."

Legacy of Suppression
"...scientists analyzed plant diversity across a spectrum of fire severity -- from low to moderate to high. They found the sweet spot for plant diversity exists where tree stands burned with low-to-moderate severity, as mixed conifer forests did in this region for millennia...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tracking Fall into Winter, 2019-2020, Early Season Snow sticky icon

 

 

October 12, 2019

Clear & Warm
Lite Breezes

Warm Days and Cold Nights
Potentially Very Cold Nights

GEAR NOTE
It is Time to Supplement our Fall Gear Kit
with
Elements of our Winter Gear Kit as Required by Cooling Conditions

Temperature Forecasts

Gear List

Fall Gear
Sept 27

 

 

 

October 10, 2019

Warm
Moderate Breezes

Analysis
In the Fire Section
About the Great PGE California POWERDOWN

PGE & Politics: How they Cheat us

On the
High Sierra Backpacker's Calendar

 

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

October of 2019 All High Sierra Backpacker, Hiker, Outdoors, & Nature News Index sticky icon

 

Updated
October 15,  2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

SEPTEMBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
October, 2019

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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Massive 2019 Blob Forms sticky icon

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & THE BLOB

Comparing The Blobs of 2014 & 2019
Comparing Blobs of 2014 & 2019, NOAA Sea Surface Temperatures, Big Maps.
NOAA Sea Surface Temperatures representing the 2014 & 2019 Blobs, Big Maps.

 

UPDATE

Marine Heat Wave Returns to the Northeast Pacific,
NASA Earth Observatory, September 12, 2019.

 

Massive 2019 Blob Forms

New Marine Heatwave Emerges off West Coast, Resembles "the Blob,"
NOAA Fisheries, September 5, 2019.

 

WATCH the BLOB
Current & Recent
Sea Surface Temperatures
(Scroll up for El Nino Information)

 

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Who’s Responsible for Your Mountain Safety? sticky icon

Repost
MOUNTAIN SAFETY & WILDERNESS ETHICS

The Folks Who Pull Us Out:
California Mountain Rescue Association

MRA met in Mammoth Lakes California to test in "Snow and Ice" for their yearly Re-Accreditation test, hosted in 2016 by Inyo County Search and Rescue. Credit Adorabutton.
I'm Seeing Red! MRA met in Mammoth Lakes California in 2016 to test in "Snow and Ice" for their yearly Re-Accreditation test, hosted by Inyo County SAR. Map. Photo Credit, Adorabutton, Wiki.

 

Who’s Responsible for Your Mountain Safety?

Should we stop rescuing people in wilderness?
Adirondack Explorer, February 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Jerry Brown, Bribed Corporate Tool, UPDATED: Limits PG&E’s liability for Fire Damages

Oct 2019 REVIEW of July 2018
PGE, FIRE, & DEMOCRATS
The Past Fortells and Explains the Present and shows us the Future....

Jerry Brown Legacy
Burning forests, a Ruined Climate, a Broken Middle Class, Poverty, and Dying Ecosystems 

Our Corrupted Present & Future...
Pretty-Pretty Gavin Newsom: How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works

How We Got Here, to
The Great PGE California Power-Down:

 

Oct 2019 REVIEW
A brief look at our past and present political and press breakdowns into corruption (the page below...) quickly reveals the clear path of greed driving political corruption driving irresponsible growth that's brought California, and the whole world, to our current status of widespread Environmental and Ecosystem Breakdowns, Planet-Wide Chemical Poisoning, highlighted by the rapidly rising forces of yet more Heat, Darkness and Fire.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Two Articles: Did Camp Fire Violate PGE Probation, and, Was Camp Fire a State Crime?

UPDATED STORY!

Oct 9, 2019
WHY
The
Great
PGE California POWER-DOWN
More & More Physical Consequences of Political Corruption...

Background
The Past
Jerry Brown, Bribed Corporate Tool, UPDATED: Limits PG&E’s liability for Fire Damages

The Present,
"Jerry's Kid..."
Pretty-Pretty Gavin Newsom: How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works

High Sierra Calendar

 

 

PGE BANCRUPTCY?

October 9 Review...
What are the Real Causes & the Status of this Disturbing Situation with PG&E?

Where did this Hot Mess with PG&E Come From?

Let's Review the Recent Past to Find Out!

Alex Wierbinski's picture

For the Climate Skeptics-Deniers, Straight Talk From an Expert on Climate Change, & The Paris Accord is a TOTAL Corporate Farce

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

For the Skeptics

Straight Talk From an Expert on Climate Change,
AGU Blog, September 21, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

A powerful set of Warming-Skeptical Questions and Powerful Statistical Chart Answers.

Charts

Solar Energy

Orbital Cycles

Earth Total Heat Content

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Grim New Model Updates 2007 Model Run: Nuke War Still Bad News

 

UPDATES
Princeton's, "Plan A," Nuke Destruction Video Report & Coalition of Physicists

War between India and Pakistan Would Have Global Consequences

 

POTENTIAL ANTHROPOCENE-ECO-CRASH NEWS: NUKE WAR

Modeling a Major Nuke Exchange
Big Nuke, Image FEMA,  ready.gov.
Kiss your ass goodby, Image FEMA, ready.gov. Big Image.

 

Grim New Model Updates 2007 Model Run: Nuke War Still Bad News

Nuclear Winter Would Threaten Nearly Everyone on Earth,
Rutgers University, August 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Modern Modeling
"...modern climate model to simulate the climatic effects of an all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia."

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