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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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
 

A CLOSE UP VIEW
West US

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Carol Crooker Trip Report Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop. sticky icon

Carol Crooker Trip Report
Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop.
Member Profile

 

Trip Statistics
Lower Echo Lake North PCT
to Middle Velma Lake.
West to Camper Flat.
South to Lake Aloha,
PCT to Lower Echo Lake

Distance & Duration
40 miles in 9 Days
June 9 to 18, 2015

Temps and Weather
33 degrees and the highest was 83 degrees

Starting Pack Weight
About 32 pounds

Trail Guide Resources 
Desolation Wilderness Map

Detailed Map of Carol's Route

Trail Guide
Lower Echo Lake Trailhead

Permits
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

 

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BIRD BRAINS? Chickadees Understand Complex Sound Emotions at Distance sticky icon

 

BIRD BRAINS

Black-Capped Chickadee
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay.
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay. Note the  beak on the bird in the image with the research notice below kind of looks like a Jackdaw (??), whatever it is, but not a Chickadee, not with that beak...

 

Complex Emotions Understood at Distance

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other,
University of Alberta, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Duh
"The idea is that some species can understand other species' vocalizations."

"For instance, a songbird is able to understand the call of distress of a different type of songbird when they are in the presence of a predator, like an owl or a hawk. Or, for example, if your friend scared you and you screamed. Both of these are high-arousal vocalizations, and being able to understand what that sounds like in a different species can be very useful."

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Changing Timing of Life Bleeding Fertility Out of Nature, The Case of the Japanese Bumblebees sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Big Jap Bumbler & Its (Once) Perfectly Timed Plant Pal
Jap Bumblebee Visits Corydalis Ambigua after Overwintering, Yuimi Hirabayashi (Bihoro Museum), Hokkaido University.
Coming in for Landing: A far Northern Japanese Bumblebee visits Corydalis ambigua after overwintering, by Yuimi Hirabayashi (Bihoro Museum), Hokkaido University.

 

Changing Timing of Life Bleeding Fertility Out of Nature

Early arrival of spring disrupts the mutualism between plants and pollinators,
Hokkaido University, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bummer for Jap Bumblers & Flowers…
"...demonstrated that early snowmelt results in the spring ephemeral Corydalis ambigua flowering ahead of the emergence of its pollinator, the bumblebee."

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Bribed Dems Make Us Pay PGE to Burn Us Down sticky icon

 

CORPORATE CAPTIVES on FIRE

Bribed Dems Make Us Pay PG&E to Burn Us Down

Newsom authorizes $21 billion fund to protect utilities from fire costs,
SF Chron, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Demon Corporate Rats
"AB1054, which overwhelmingly passed both chambers of the Legislature..."

Public Funded Private Profits
"...a new wildfire fund for claims associated with future blazes started by power lines, mandates safety investments from the major utilities and changes crucial aspects of how the state regulates them, among other provisions."

MASSIVE Corporate Subsidy
"The fund is expected to be $21 billion, with half of that coming from utility customers through the extension of a charge on their bills that would have otherwise expired. Lawmakers anticipate that the three major utilities will cover the other $10.5 billion through shareholder profits, not rate increases."

Bought & Paid For
"...I couldn’t be more proud,” Newsom said..."

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Cautionary Levels of Blue-Green Algae in Lake Isabella sticky icon

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, & MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Warming Climate & Human Runoff Turning Waters Green

'Potentially harmful' blue-green algae found in Lake Isabella, lake users should exercise caution,
Bakersfield Californian, July 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Kern County Public Health Services Department, "...received water samples from eight different locations in Lake Isabella, and two water samples indicated the presence of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, at a cautionary level. This type of algae can be considered potentially harmful."

Main Page

Watch Out for the Green Water: Blue-Green Algae News and Safety Information


Recent Blue-Green Algae News, Research, & Information

Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming

Summer of 2018: Watch Out for the Green Water, Salem Oregon Water Supply Compromised

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Loggerhead Turtles Face Extinction due to Global Warming sticky icon

 

ANTHROPOCENE

Loggerhead Turtles
Loggerhead turtles in Cape Verde, University of Exeter, Lucy Hawkes.
Run little turtles, run! Loggerhead turtles in Cape Verde, University of Exeter, Lucy Hawkes.

 

Turtle Troubles

No New Males: Climate Change Threat to Cape Verde Turtles,
University of Exeter, July 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Hot End of Loggerhead Turtles
"...by 2100 - more than 90% of loggerhead nests on the Cape Verde islands could incubate at "lethally high temperatures", killing turtles before they hatch."

Turtle Troubles
"The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by incubation temperature..."

Low Heat Not Happening…
"Even under a scenario based on low future emissions and warming, by 2100 just 0.14% of hatchlings would be male."

Realistic
"Under mid and high-emissions scenarios, hatching of male loggerheads could cease entirely."

Nearing the End
"We estimate that 84% of current hatchlings are female, and warmer temperatures will increase this proportion."

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Solar System Formation, Planets & Moons sticky icon

 

ASTROPHYSICS

Circumplanetary Disk
Young planet designated PDS 70 c has a circumplanetary disk, a feature that is strongly theorized to be the birthplace of moons, credit to ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) A. Isella; ESO.
This is a composite image of the young star system PDS 70. Comparing new ALMA data to earlier VLT observations, astronomers determined that the young planet designated PDS 70 c has a circumplanetary disk, a feature that is strongly theorized to be the birthplace of moons, credit to ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) A. Isella; ESO.

 

Solar System Formation, Planets & Moons

'Moon-Forming' Circumplanetary Disk Discovered in Distant Star System,
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, July 11. 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Distant Moon Formation
"...made the first-ever observations of a circumplanetary disk, the planet-girding belt of dust and gas that astronomers strongly theorize controls the formation of planets and gives rise to an entire system of moons, like those found around Jupiter."

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Nasty Asian longhorned Tick Rapidly Filling up Staten Island, NY, & East Coast sticky icon

 

UPDATED

July 2019
Direct to Article

Savage Tick-Clone Armies are Sucking Cows to Death; Experts Fear for Humans, ArsTechnica, July 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Deadly Tick Attacks
"Ravenous swarms of cloned ticks have killed a fifth cow in North Carolina by exsanguination—that is, by draining it of blood—the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services warned this week."

Clone Armies of Death
"...a single well-fed female can spawn up to 2,000 tick clones parthenogenetically—that is, without mating—in a matter of weeks."

Unique Persistence
"...unlike other ticks that tend to feast on a victim for no more than seven days, mobs of H. longicorni can latch on for up to 19 days."

"...the National Veterinary Services Laboratories looked back through their tick samples and discovered a larval H. longicornis was isolated from a white-tailed deer in Tyler County, West Virginia, in 2010, backdating the first case known in the US. Still, researchers don’t know when the tick first arrived and were it came from."

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Big Ohio Study Matches Global Butterfly & Insect Declines sticky icon

 

BUTTERFLIES

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail on flower, Oregon State University, Rob Liptak, Ohio Lepidopterists.
Swallowtail on flower, Oregon State University, Rob Liptak, Ohio Lepidopterists.

 

Big Ohio Study Matches Global Butterfly & Insect Declines

Decades-Long Butterfly Study Shows Common Species on the Decline,
Oregon State University, July 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

2% Annual Decrease
33% Loss Over 21 Year Study
"...butterfly abundance in Ohio declined yearly by 2%, resulting in an overall 33% drop for the 21 years of the program."

All Over World?
"The findings also are in line with those of butterfly monitoring programs in multiple European countries."

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NOAA Climate Assessment for the U.S. Climate in June 2019 sticky icon

 

 

TRACKING THE CHANGING CLIMATE & WEATHER

US Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events, June 2019
US Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events, June 2019, NOAA.

Big Version. NOAA

 

State of US Climate & Weather
Extreme Rain, Rather than Heat, Marks 2019, So Far

Assessing the U.S. Climate in June 2019,
NOAA, NCEI, July 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

An Average Temp June

Average June Temps
June average US temp of, "...68.7°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the middle third of the 125-year record."

Wettest June on Record

June Precip Record
"...June precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.30 inches, 0.37 inch above average, and ranked in the upper third of the 125-year period of record.

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Thwaites Glacier to be Gone in between 200 & 600 Years sticky icon

 

OCEANS, FISH, ICE, & WATER

Thwaites Glacier's Edge
Thwaites Glacier's Edge, credit Georgia Institute of Technology, NASA/James Yungel.
"Thwaites Glacier's outer edge. As the glacier flows into the ocean, it becomes sea ice and drives up sea level. Thwaites Glacier ice is flowing particularly fast, and some researchers believe it may have already tipped into instability or be near that point, though this has not yet been established." Credit, Georgia Institute of Technology, NASA/James Yungel

 

Everything Changing Rapidly

Instability in Antarctic Ice Projected to make Sea Level Rise Rapidly,
Georgia Institute of Technology, July 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Antarctic Surprise
"...instability hidden within Antarctic ice is likely to accelerate its flow into the ocean and push sea level up at a more rapid pace than previously expected."

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OCEANS, WATER, & LIFE: Human Imbalances Filled by Nature. With Seaweed... sticky icon

 

OCEANS, WATER, & LIFE:

Massive Sargassum Seaweed Bloom Grounding in Mexico
It's Hitting the Fan, Now...
Sargassum Seaweed Grounding, Cancun, March 20, 2015, by Michael Owen.
Cancun, March 20, 2015, by Michael Owen.

 

Human Imbalances Filled by Nature. With Vast Seaweed Blooms...

Scientists Discover the Biggest Seaweed Bloom in the World,
NASA Earth Observatory, July 8, 2019.

USF Article

MAIN POINTS

“Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt.”
"...the belt of brown macroalgae called Sargassum can grow so large that it blankets the surface of the tropical Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. This happened in 2018 when more than 20 million tons of Sargassum—heavier than 200 fully loaded aircraft carriers—floated in surface waters and wreaked havoc on shorelines in the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico."

“The scale of these blooms is truly enormous."

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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

Updated
July 7, 2019

 

2019
SNOW PACK STATUS
THIS YEAR

A Heavy Snow Year

July 5 2019
A Month of Warm-"Temperate" Temps with Rapid & Slow periods of Thawing.
Heavy Spring Snowpack Persisting into Summer: Extra Caution, Information, Skills, Fitnesss and Proper Gear still REQUIRED.
71% of Average Snowpack
Calendar

June 17 2019
Two Weeks of Warm Temps & Rapid Thawing
120% of Average Snowpack
Calendar

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Science Performs Intellectual Gymnastics to Preserve Paris Accord Farce sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Modern Industrial Infrastructure
A Power Plant
 Last of the Mohicans, if Paris is going to, "work?" Credit Carnegie Inst. Sci.
Last of the Mohicans, if Paris is going to, "work?" Credit Carnegie Inst. Sci.

 

Science Performs Intellectual Gymnastics to Preserve Paris Accord Farce

Two-degree climate goal attainable without early infrastructure retirement,
Carnegie Institution for Science, July 2, 2019.

Main Points

Current CO2 Production
"...China is predicted to produce the largest share--41 percent--and the United States and European Union 9 percent and 7 percent respectively."

What about India?

Present Costs Exceed Limits
"...future emissions from these existing facilities would take up the entire carbon budget needed to to limit mean warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and close to two-thirds of the budget needed to constrain warming to below 2 degrees Celsius over the next three decades."

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Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire sticky icon

 

CRITICAL UPDATES

May 29 & June 17, 2019
Donnell Lake and Crabtree Trailhead Closures ADDED

May 23, 2019
Forest Closure Order Modification,
North & East Carson Iceberg Wilderness Opened, Half TYT still Closed
 

 

SPRING 2019
DONNELL FIRE AFTERMATH REPORT

During the Donnell Fire, August 2018
Bringing Water to Fire

FEO Engine 344 on Groveland Ranger District, by Josiah Dewey.
Photo by Josiah Dewey, FEO Engine 344 of Groveland Ranger District. More.

 

Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

Stanislaus National Forest, Recent Forest Orders,
Stanislaus National Forest. Alerts & Notices.

The Donnell Fire

Donnell Fire Timeline

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Alaska Setting Heat and Dryness Records during July of 2019 sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

FREAK WEATHER

It Was A Balmy 90 Degrees Yesterday In Anchorage — For The First Time On Record,
NPR, July 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

90 Degrees
"...the all-time heat record for the northerly city."

"Anchorage's previous record high (at least since 1952) was 85 degrees Fahrenheit, set on June 14, 1969."

Hottest & Driest June Ever
(After Shortest Winter Cold)
"...hottest June ever, according to the National Weather Service. Average temperature for the month was 60.5 degrees, 5.3 degrees above normal. It was the 16th consecutive month with above-average temperatures."

"...the driest June on record."

Baking Alaska
"Several Alaskan cities set or matched all-time heat records on Thursday: 89 degrees in Kenai and King Salmon, 88 in Palmer."

Fire & Smoke
"...battling wildfires across the state, and on Monday authorities issued an air quality advisory for south-central Alaska."

 

More Information

Better than NPR

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Minaret Summit Road, Highway 203, Reds Meadow to Open Thursday, July 4, 2019 sticky icon

 

HIGH SIERRA ROADS

Minaret Summit Road Shuttle
Minaret Summit Road Shuttle to JMT at Reds Meadow and PCT at Agnew Meadow.
Only access to and from JMT to Reds Meadow, PCT to Agnew Meadow, & Devils Postpile

Minaret Summit Road, Highway 203

Reds Meadow Pack Station, Devils Postpile, JMT-PCT Trailheads Access into the sweet hiking, scrambling, and climbing terrain of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Reds Meadow to open Thursday, July 4,
Sierra Wave, July 1, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"...made the decision to open the area to the public with the provision of the mandatory shuttle and the placement of restroom facilities for day-use visitors."

"The Reds Meadow Shuttle is scheduled to operate seven days/week through Wednesday, September 4, 2019."

"Backcountry hikers can purchase shuttle tickets from the bus driver in the valley."

"Due to the winter storm impacts and required infrastructure repairs, no campgrounds are open in the Reds Meadow area."

 

 

Shuttle Service Information

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

 

Updated
July 12, 2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

JUNE ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
July
, 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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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.

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