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

Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming sticky icon

 

NASTY WATER & CLIMATE CHANGE

Massive Lake Erie Algal Bloom of July 2018
Lake Erie Algal Bloom, July 2018, For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick.
For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick

 

Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming

Changes in Rainfall and Temperatures have Already Impacted Water Quality,
Carnegie Institution for Science, April 24, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“Changes in temperature and precipitation have already impacted the amount of nitrogen introduced into U.S. waterways...”

“This can lead to toxin-producing algal blooms or low-oxygen dead zones called hypoxia. Over the past several summers, dead zones and algal blooms in lake and coastal regions across the United States have received extensive news coverage.”

Proof in the Past
“...they looked backward to analyze long-term trends in nitrogen runoff going back to the 1980s.”

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Protista: Everything That’s Not Something Else... sticky icon

 

OCEANS, WATER, & AMAZING LIFE

Protista: Everything That’s Not Something Else...

Protista In the Tree of Micro Life
 Two-empire system tree. Six Kingdoms of living things tree. Phylogenetic tree of life. Symbiogenetic evolution of eukaryotes, Maulucioni y Doridí, Wiki.
Pastel pencils drawing of: Two-empire system tree. Six Kingdoms of living things tree. Phylogenetic tree of life. Symbiogenetic evolution of eukaryotes. By Maulucioni y Doridí, Wiki.
 

Study Reveals Vast Diversity of Ocean Microbes,
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, April 24, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

What?
Study of Protista

“Protista,” The Big Catch-All for Microscopic Life

Protista; "...any eukaryote that is not an animal, (land) plant, or (true) fungus" Wiki.

Little Understood
“Advanced molecular techniques have revealed the diversity of a little-understood group of ocean microbes called protists.”

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Paris Pact: Goals Not Obtainable under Current Endless Global Growth Model sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASH NEWS

Paris Pact: Goals Not Obtainable under Current Global Endless Growth Model

New studies highlight challenge of meeting Paris Agreement climate goals,
American Geophysical Union, April 22, 2019.

MAIN POINT

Failure: Pact Does Not Work
“Even if U.S., China, the European Union and India increased their contributions to limit emissions, the rest of the world would need to drop to virtually zero emissions by 2030 in order for the planet to reach its goal of limiting the increase in temperature from pre-industrial times to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Scientists on Crack Pipe
Grasping for Straws

“Peters and his co-authors argue that in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leading countries need to develop low, zero or even negative carbon emissions energy technologies that can be deployed at scale in the developing world.”

 

Bottom Line

Complete Admission of Failure
The main point seems to be that their own, “pact,” goals are not even possible or attainable under their own pact’s framework, that their worthless pact is in fact, worthless.

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2019: Massive Bee Declines in Michigan since 2000 sticky icon

 

INSECT WORLD

Bumbler in the High Sierra
Bumble Bee in Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite.
Bumbler scraping some salt off me, Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Map.

 

Massive Bee Declines in Michigan

The Buzz about Bumble Bees isn't Good,
Michigan State University, April 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Michigan
"In Michigan, there are 19 species of bumble bees and around 445 species of other bees."

Michigan
“...half of the bumble bee species studied have declined by more than 50%.”

World
“...mirror(s) what's happening across the Americas, Europe and Asia, too.”

Vital Eco-Services
"Bumble bees are important pollinators of plants across natural habitats, where they help support the seeds and berries that birds and other animals depend on."

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Spring 2019: Upper Basin of Colorado Water System Flush in the Shadow of the Rockies sticky icon

 

WATER

Hoover Dam Creating Lake Mead
Hoover Dam from the Air, Carol Highsmith
The Foundation of What Cannot be Sustained. Image by Carol Highsmith.

 

Colorado Water System Flush in the Shadow of the Rockies

Healthy Snowpack In The Colorado River Basin Is Improving Reservoirs Across Multiple States,
CPR, April 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Big Year
“Above-average snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin not only means a good forecast for Colorado, but for all seven states in its river system.”

“...snowpack in the basin through the winter ended up being 130 percent of average.”

“Lake Mead — the largest U.S. reservoir in Nevada and Arizona — could rise to 128 percent of its normal level.” (Lake Mead Elevation Chart)

One Big Year
“But one good year cannot reverse the effects of nearly two decades of severe drought. Current total Colorado River System storage is approximately 45 percent of full capacity.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

SEKI WARNS: Lots of Snow on the South Sierra Crest & Flanks sticky icon

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Seasonal News of Note

Buried
Sherman Tree Parking Area and Comfort Station
Sherman Tree Parking Area and Comfort Station, Image by SEKI, NPS.
Image by SEKI, NPS.

 

Lots of Snow on the Sierra Crest & Flanks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Expect Some Late Facility Openings Due to Heavy Snowpack and Hazard Trees,
Sequoia National Park, April 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Expectations
"...have become accustomed to the light winters that the drought has produced."

Reality
"...Sequoia and Kings Canyon is 153% of normal."

Caution
"Azalea Campground closed on Tuesday, April 2, due to the large number of hazard trees in the campground."

"In an abundance of caution for park visitors, crews are working to address these tree hazards before facilities open for the season."

"...there are currently no open campgrounds in Kings Canyon."

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Yosemite Announces Delayed Facility Openings, & Beware Snow-Covered Trails through July sticky icon

MONSTER SNOW PACK of the WINTER of 2019

Seasonal News of Note
Yosemite Announces Delayed Facility Openings

Note the Snow will Affect High Trail Access, & Damages will Affect Trails Too

Yosemite National Park Announces Late Seasonal Openings for Several Park Facilities,
Yosemite National Park, March 13, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Damaged Facilities
“...that there will be late seasonal openings to facilities throughout the park...due to the exceptionally heavy snowpack in Yosemite National Park and the subsequent extensive damage to many park facilities.”

Stormy Winter
“...significant storm systems in January and February produced high levels of snow, which resulted in temporary road closures, rock and debris slides, and falling trees. Additionally, these storms resulted in extensive damage to facilities throughout the park. Damage to facilities includes trees falling on and damaging campground restrooms, utilities systems compromised, tent cabins damaged or destroyed, and falling trees impacting campsites, parking areas, hiking trails, and roads.”

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SPRING 2019: Yosemite Extends Glacier Point Winter Access sticky icon

SPRING THAW of 2019

Seasonal News of Note

Massive Snowpack on the Sierra Nevada

Yosemite National Park Announces Glacier Point Road and the Surrounding Trails to Remain Open for Extended Winter Season,
Yosemite National Park, March 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“Yosemite National Park is pleased to announce that Glacier Point Road and the surrounding trails will remain open for winter recreational use through Sunday, April 14, 2019, conditions permitting.”

“Due to the significant snow pack, the current trail conditions are great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing throughout the area surrounding Glacier Point Road. Typically, winter recreational use in this area ends at the end of March when the park closes Glacier Point Road to begin seasonal plowing operations.”

 

Last Yosemite News

Yosemite Announces Delayed Facility Openings

Note the Snow will Affect High Trail Access, & Damages will Affect Trails Too

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Daily Lottery for Camp 4, Yosemite Valley sticky icon

 

TRAILHEAD YOSEMITE VALLEY

The Rules Have Changed at Camp Four
The Rules of Camp Four, Yosmeite Valley, 2012.
The Rules Posted on Camp 4, Yosemite Valley's Backpacker (really climber) Camp, 2012.

 

Oh, My Aching City...in the Wilderness

Yosemite National Park Announces the Launch of a Pilot Daily Lottery for Camp 4 Campground,
Yosemite National Park, April 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Lottery Reservations
“Yosemite National Park announces that a new pilot lottery program for Camp 4 Campground will launch on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Daily Lottery
“This daily lottery system will be operated through Recreation.gov and will help improve the visitor experience at Camp 4 Campground.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Status & Evolution of the High Sierra Spring Thaw of 2019 sticky icon

High Sierra Spring of 2019
Evolution of Conditions

Page Started
March 30, 2019


 

2019
SNOW PACK STATUS
THIS YEAR

A Heavy Snow Year

Middle of APRIL 2019
161% of Average Snowpack
Calendar

End of MARCH 2019
161% of Average Snowpack

Calendar

 

TRENDS

 

Recent High Sierra Hazard History

Last Year

THE 2018 SEASON
A Weak Snowpack Year

58% Normal Snowpack

Alex Wierbinski's picture

April of 2019 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index sticky icon

 

Updated
April 24, 2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

LAST MONTHS' NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
April
, 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.

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

  ALL
HIGH SIERRA WEATHER RESOURCES

 

QUICK INDEX

FULL INDEX


First
Key Reference
VIEW of the HIGH SIERRA

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Weather Report for Cloud Forests: Death Ahead sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASH NEWS

Elfin Cloud Forest
Elfin cloud forest in the El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, by María Rivera.
Elfin cloud forest in the El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, by María Rivera.

 

Weather Report for Cloud Forests: Death Ahead

Neotropical Coud Forests to lose what most defines them: Clouds,
USDA Forest Service - Southern Research Station, April 17, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Cloud Forests
90% Gone by 2060
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue increasing as they have been, 90% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests would be affected as early as 2060. The current cloud and frost environment of the highly diverse alpine ecosystems above these equatorial cloud forests, known as páramo, will nearly disappear.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

March 2019 NOAA Disasters, Climate, & Weather Trends: Cool, Wet, and Saturated sticky icon

 

WEATHER

Major Midwest Flooding in March

 

Offutt Air Force Base Flooded, Nebraska
Offutt Air Force Base Flooded, Nebraska, March 17, 2019, U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake.
March 17, 2019, U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake.

 

2019 Climate & Weather Trends: Cool & Wet

U.S. hit with Two Billion-Dollar Disasters so far in 2019,
NOAA, April 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Two events so far this Year.

#1>
Bomb Cyclone
"...heavy snow, blizzard conditions and major flooding to the Midwest..."

#2>
Major NE, SE, & Ohio Storm of February

More
Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview
“In 2019 (as of April 9), there have been 2 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 flooding event and 1 severe storm event.”

 

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Gobekli Tepe: The Highest Evolution of Human, “Field Arts.” sticky icon

 

ANCIENT HUMANS

Göbekli Tepe, Şanlıurfa, Southern Turkey
Göbekli Tepe, Şanlıurfa, by Teomancimit.
By Teomancimit, big image.

 

A Deep Dive
The Long History of Human Field Operations


The Highest Evolution of Human, “Field Arts?”
Late Stone Age Man: The Ultimate Outdoorsmen

A First: Coming Out of The Field

Proof
Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?
Smithsonian, November, 2008.

Gobekli Tepe,
Wiki

When
Late Stone Age,
Operating from 11,600 to 8000 years ago

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Quantum Crystals & Weyl Fermions: New Age of Quantum Crystal Electronics? sticky icon

Update
April 18, 2019
Berkeley develops Chiral Skyrmion Crystal

 

Original Research

REALITY
New Age of Quantum Crystal Electronics?

Crystal Electronics Only in the Realm of Science Fiction, Until Now?
Credit Stargate One for Imagination, Princton for opening theoretical potential.
 Credit Stargate One.
Stargate One, Crystal Electronics only exist in Sci-Fi, Until Now? Now we have a theoretical path to Sci-Reality? Fair Use of Stargate One Image, to Illustrate research below,...

 

Electrons acting Like Magnetic Monopoles moving Like slowed down light through Crystals

Princeton scientists discover chiral crystals exhibiting exotic quantum effects,
Princeton University, March 20, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

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Colorado River 2019 DCP Deal to Save Lake Mead Agreed sticky icon

 UPDATED
APRIL 18, 2019

1> IID sues MWD over DCP & Salton Sea

2> What Drought? Unlimited Water Use-Growth Expanding as Fast as Possible

 

Original Article

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & FISH

Lake Mead's Crashing Level
Lake Mead's Crashing Level, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, by Tom McCann

Notice a trend here? Death of a River, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, by Tom McCann, Big Chart.

 

Colorado River Deal to Save Lake Mead Agreed

Imperial, the Salton Sea, and the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan,
Jfleck, March 24, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Lake Mead
Colorado System Basic Problem

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Land, Sea, & Now the Air: Microplastics are Everywhere! sticky icon

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Land, Sea, & Now the Air: Microplastics Everywhere

Alarming Study Finds That Wind Can Actually Carry Microplastics to Remote Places,
Science Alert, April 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Widespread Plastic
“...plastic litter is a key environmental challenge for this generation - detected in soil, rivers, oceans, and lakes...”

Microplastic Airborne Transport, Too?
"We suggest that microplastics can reach and affect remote, sparsely inhabited areas through atmospheric transport."

“Tucked in one of the most untouched areas of Europe, these samples show a similar level of atmospheric plastic pollution to megacities like Paris - at times, even more so.”

This, “...small pilot study now suggests that tiny fragments of this synthetic material are raining down in some of the most remote regions of the world.”

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GRACE Gravity Survey Measures the Masses of Climate Changes sticky icon

 

ASTROPHYSICS, GEOGRAPHY, & CLIMATE

The Satellite Twins GRACE
The satellite twins GRACE with the Earth's gravitational field, AIRBUS/GFZ.
The twin satellites GRACE revealing the Earth's gravitational field.

 

Gravity is our Friend. Until it Isn't

What Earth's Gravity Reveals about Climate Change,
GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre, April 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

GRACE
“Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment”

Launched
March 17, 2002

Surprise Duration
“...the mission lasted a good 15 years - more than three times as long as expected.”

“...recorded the Earth's gravitational field and its changes over time in more than 160 months.”

Ice Sheets and Glaciers

“...produced the first direct measurement of ice-mass loss from ice sheets and glaciers ever.”

Man-Made Ice Loss
“...between April 2002 and June 2017 Greenland lost about 260 billion tons of ice per year, Antarctica about 140 billion tons.”

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April 2019: A Disjointed, Mis-located El Nino sticky icon

 

 

WEIRD-ASS WEATHER

Disjointed, Mis-located El Nino

NASA sees El Niño conditions prevail in the Central Pacific Ocean,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, April 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Not a Normal El Nino
“A Different Thing”
“This is what is known as El Niño “Modoki” (Japanese for “a similar but different thing”) or a Central Pacific El Niño, wherein enhanced SSTs and rainfall occur near the dateline and not near the coast of Peru.”

 

Bottom Line

That’s one weird, weak El Nino… but, along with the rest of our weather, we’re experiencing, “A Different Thing.” We are experiencing a Global, “Modoki.” Enjoy the ride...

On October 16, of 2018 I put the odds of an El Nino at half those called by NOAA, and I have been half-vindicated by this half-ass Modoki El Nino.

 

February 2019 NOAA: Weak El Nino Here? To Persist?

 

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