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Bear News and Research sticky icon

 

The repository of Bear news, research, and stories we come across.

I've written about my experiences with High Sierra Black Bear Behavior in the Trail and Camp Skills section of the Trail Guide. Remember, bears act differently in different locations, and can be quite unpredictable in most situations.

Most times we can figure out what they want, and that typically boils down to two things: Food, and/or to be "left alone." Bears have personalities and feelings, which make them almost as unpredictable as that most deadly of beasts, humans. Almost...

   

 October 26

BEARS

How to Get Along with Bears

Conservationists predict bear/human conflict hot-spots

 

 

 

 July 10

 

Yosemite Bear Activity

Summer 2018

Yosemite Bear Facts, June 17 – June 30, 2018

 

 

 

July 6

 

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Bee News sticky icon

Bee News 

BEE WORRIED

Insect Identification

Latest All Bug News

 

BEE NEWS

THE BUZZ

Updated

2018

 

November 9

THE BUZZ

Nicotine-Based Poisons affecting the Home Lives of Bees

Bees on the brink

 

 

 

October 30

 

BEES IN THE UK: NEW SCORECARD

2 of 25 Species Extinct, 8 Endangered

UK bumblebee population trends

 

 

 

July 3, 2018

 

BEE NEWS

Manzanita Bee in Trouble

Climate change linked to potential population decline in bees

 

 

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News of Health Science, Fitness, the Human Past, Potential & Pitfalls for Backpackers sticky icon

 Health, Fitness, & The Human Condition 
News and Science

Updated

December 21

 

Latest News Below

 

2018 Health & Fitness News

 

Our goal here is to provide the best information how to deal with internal and external threats to your health. But why?

 

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Looking into the Mirror of Life sticky icon

ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS
&
Really Big and Really Small Scale Sciences

The Fundamental Nature of Reality Big to Small... 

We follow Astro-physics and Science for fun, because the Nature of Life itself is pretty darn entertaining on its own merits. Understanding the Nature and construction of our reality is a pragmatic move for all its "operators," but especially for backpacker's finding context in, and navigating the terrain to both ascertain & clarify our place in the Universe.

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High Sierra Nevada Backpacker and Hiker Geology Sources, Information, NEWS, and Resources sticky icon

This is the "go to" general page for geological sources, resources, and information.  For now we can use it to store information before it's sorted any further or lost to indexing.

Good
High Sierra Geology Introductory Texts, Links, & Resources

On the Trail Guide

Weather is the Speed of Life.
We consider the interrelationship between geological and biological processes.

 

Volcanic Tomb for a Granite Range.
We observe the slow reemergence of ancient hard granites as thousands of years of erosion scour the soft volcanic material off the buried High Sierra granite landscapes underneath.

 

Recent Discoveries.
A short set of links to a series of articles explaining the recent evolution of our understanding of the complex geology of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, but the latest information from 2015 to 2018 is chronologically listed below.

 

GEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

SUMMER & FALL
FIRE-BACKPACKING
SEASONS
of
2018

 

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


High Sierra
Fire and Smoke Information

ALL
SMOKE INFORMATION

 

 END
of
High Sierra & Major California Fires
2018

 

Wrapping Up the Summer & Fall
of
2018

LAST REPORT

November 26

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Stoves: MEMBERS FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Existential Zone

 

 The Existential Zone

Research increases distance at which supernova would spark mass extinctions on Earth
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, May 11, 2017.

 

ISSUE:

“The Supernova Kill Zone,”

“The Big Rock from Space,”

along with

Super-Volcanos,

and Humans:

Q: Which term above is different from the others?

A: Humans. The other events were not created by will and choice, but by Nature.

 

UPDATES
BELOW

 

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

Every now and again Nature kills everything on a planet, on a regular basis. This brings up important questions for an evolving life form, once they figure out death is coming for them.

The spectre of inevitable extinction, if not our typical, individual deaths, makes important the broader questions of what are we as living things, and what Nature itself is doing with Life. Nature's "big program" could be used to give some context to our individual lives by understanding what IT is doing and where IT is going, contrasted against our behavior.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking: Crabtree to Gem Lake, Deer Lake, and More

Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

A fantastic  4 day Backpacking Trip into the Emigrant Wilderness from trailhead East of Pinecrest Lake near Highway 108.

Peter describes food resources there and back, roads, fishing, trail culture and terrain descriptions that make this a fantastic description of a fantastic backpacking trip.

Trail into Emigrant Wilderness from Crabtree Trailhead.
 Backpacking Trail into Emigrant Wilderness through Crabtree Trailhead

Thanks to Peter and Jason for sharing this!

Maps
Emigrant Wilderness NF PDF

All Tahoe to Whitney MAPS
INDEX
Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Maps
PCT & TYT

 

Trailhead 
Emigrant Wilderness Trailheads NF PDF

TW Emigrant-N Yosemite TRAILS
INDEX
Highway 108 to Highway 120 Trail Guide

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Filters and Purification: MEMBER's FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

 Member's Favorites

What are, and how do we select the best Water Filtration, Purification, Treatment, and Usage System for High Sierra backpackers?

The fundamental requirement for me is clean water quickly. By clean I mean taste as well as purity, so chemicals are regaled to emergency status.

Next, I want to purify as little water as possible. I will filter only the water for drinking, while my cooking and cleaning water will remain unpurified. Thus I need a system to bring unfiltered water to camp for cooking, cleaning, and to provide stock for purified water.

 

Build Your Backpacking Water Systerm
Water Filter/Filtration Basics

"The Alex"
Water System
&
Gear List

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Watch Out for the Green Water

 Do not drink, or allow your animals or children to drink from or play in water containing cynobacteria, otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae. Review the Blue-Green News just below and the safety information at the bottom of this page:


Blue-Green Algae Safety and Identification Information

 

July 2018,
&
August 2015:
Rising heat and declining waters are creating conditions even more favorable for cynobacteria,otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae.

In the Sierra the source of nitrogen feeding the blue-greens is cattle grazing. This is the same grazing that preserves High Sierra meadows, and for which the series of check dams that gave birth to countless lakes were created.



High Sierra Water Quality Articles

ALL WATER NEWS

 

The Latest
BLUE-GREEN NEWS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Snags: Camp, Trail, Cross Country and River Crossing

 

Mountain Safety

Snags

June 2018
The High Sierra Tree Mortality situation induces me to repost this at the top of the list as Summer Backpacking season gets started. Snags are presenting heightened dangers this year, as is the related threat of fire.

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Boots and Footwear: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Member's Favorites
BACKPACKING BOOTS & FOOTWEAR

 

Selecting Backpacking Boots and Footwear from among our many, many Options. The goal is to get exactly what you need fit perfectly.

 

INTRODUCTION

The Range of Choices
 We have an extensive selection of types and styles of backpacking footwear available from extremely heavy to virtually none at all. The barefoot and neoprene fads are quite amusing...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Forty Day Backpacking Plan: Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney 2002

2002 Tahoe to Whitney 40 Day Backpacking Trip

Planning and Execution Notes

Below we have one element of my trip planning notes from a forty day hike I took from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney during 2002.

I've done Tahoe to Whitney Trips in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2012. Injury is the determining factor in my "backpacking year" scheduling. If I am fit I am backpacking.

The backpacking plan is both a plan that determines what each resupply bucket will contain, and is my selection of nightly campsite locations.
It lists the dates and locations I expected to camp each night. It lists when and what I was going to pick up my resupply buckets, and was my shopping list for additional items I needed to get.

Note that I made this list in May of 2002 for departure on July 9. It was in May that I brought together all my food for packing into resupply buckets to begin shipping. This is the point where my itinerary came together to determine my exact food needs. The schedule and the food planning must come together simultanously.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Tent Selection

Backpacking Tent Selection
Nowadays there are two basic schools, or philosophies, of backpacker tent use: Lightweight or None. These are not mutually exclusive catagories.

I typically fit into both categories, depending on the circumstances. Oh, and my five pound tent also likely puts me in what most would consider as using a, "heavyweight" tent, too.

No Tent Selection

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts: Backpacking the High Sierra.

 

Skeeter Video One
Attack in the Emigrant Basin, Emigrant Wilderness

 

  Backpacking the High Sierras 

MOSQUITO NEWS 

 

2017-2018 News of Note
1> NEW PLAYERS on the FIELD
2> DEET FAILING

 

Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts

Two important things about the changing seasons in the High Sierras
    Two deeply interrelated realities strike me as being very important to average backpackers about the seasonal temperature changes in the High Sierras. The first concerns shifting your gear with the changing temps. The second is the High Sierra Mosquito Cycle.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sonora Pass - Mono Road, Clarks Fork Road History

Below we have a chronology of the history of Western travel over the areas South, North, and that now crossed by Highway 108 through Sonora Pass.

Sonora-Mono Toll Road.

This history evolved in three parts as its route evolved.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Dam Life: The Life & Times of Oroville Dam

Dam Life: 
The Life & Times of Oroville Dam

This is written to give greater context to the costs identified in the opinion piece:

Editorial: Taxpayers deserve transparency on Oroville expenses,
Mercury News, March 13, 2017.

A Tour de Force of Irony...

March 14, 2017

From March News 

markskor's picture

thanks for kind words

After 40+ years backpacking Sierra...still too many places to see. Working now in Tuolumne Meadows store is a 2-edge sword...Great central location but only 3 days a week to do art and explore. Still. kind of like the views from outside the office.

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