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Backpacking Safety

Information and tips to improve your back country and backpacking safety practices.

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INDEX: ALL Mosquito and Tick News and Information for High Sierra Backpackers sticky icon

Tick and Mosquito News
Mosquitoes are a major issue in the High Sierra,

ticks less so the higher you go.


November 9, 2018





Also See
Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts:
Backpacking the High Sierra



The Winged Hazard

Mosquitoes WILL BE a significant issue from the dawn of Spring until the moisture dries out of the soils along both flanks and the crest. Each of these dates, of the beginning of Spring and the end of moisture vary every year, but we do have averages. The mosquitoes dry-out by August 15 during an "avergage" year. But the averages are changing, Spring has been coming earlier, while the swings between very wet and very dry seasons seems to be getting abrupt and more intense.

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High Sierra Mountain Safety. Hazards & Alerts: Winter of 2018 sticky icon



Hazards & Alerts: High Sierra Winter of 2018

 Also See
Observation & Analysis

THE WINTER of 2018

Previous Report
Fall 2017 Hazards & Alerts


Cayenne's picture

Safety First! First Aid Kit for High Sierra Backpackers sticky icon

 Spring has come to the eastern Sierras and time to spring clean the first aid kit. Alex has provided excellent information about his first aid kit in the gear list. I am an avid day hiker, so the contents of my bag are a bit different. I also have extensive medical training and access to prescription drugs, so I try to keep stuff to help out others on the trail. This is the time of year I pull the first aid kit from the depths of my day pack and inspect and refill the contents.

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The High Sierra Backpacking and Hiking Mountain Safety News & Topics Page sticky icon

The video embeded here broke
Site Security, So,
Tropical storm brings heavy hail, lightening to Sierra Crest July 8 2015


High Sierra Mountain Safety




High Sierra Mountain Safety 

High Sierra Mountain Safety TOPICS


High Sierra Mountain Safety NEWS



The Other Page 
All Wilderness-Outdoor-Mountain Rescues & Events Log 



Current Backpacker Alert(s)

Sierra Status, June 7, 2018


Labor Day 2017 Heat, Fire, & Smoke HAZARDS 

Labor Day 2017, TRAIL NEWS


Video Two: 
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September-October, & (November!) 2018 California Fires


Page begun
September 5, 2018

LAST Update
November 25th

All Tree & Plant News



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:




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Mountain Safety, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, October, 2018


SEKI INCIDENTS: What Not to Do...

Incidents in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks,
Kaweah Commonwealth, October 23, 2018.


Mineral King


"October 14— At 1:45 a.m., rangers were notified of a satellite device activation atop Franklin Pass registered to a 34-year-old male. Rangers were not able to obtain details of injury/illness. Search-and-rescue operations were planned to be initiated early the following morning. At 8 a.m., Park dispatch was contacted via cell phone by the individual who had activated his PLB. The individual was uninjured, not requesting assistance, and hiking out under his own power. The individual stated that he had activated his PLB when his tent was surrounded by three mountain lions during the night. A further investigation will be conducted. Sequoia-Kings Canyon wildlife officials have been notified of the incident."


Grant Grove

"October 9— Rangers provided medical aid to a hunter who was gored by a deer. It was a walk-in medical at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center. The individual initially self-applied a tourniquet to his left leg, and bleeding was later controlled by the ranger. The hunter was later transferred to Sequoia Safety Council and transported."

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Two Visitors Fall from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park



Fall Fatalities

Two Visitors Fall from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park,
Yosemite National Park, October 25, 2018.

“A male and female visitor died in an apparent fall from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park Rangers are recovering the bodies this morning.”

“This incident is under investigation and no further details are available. No photos or videos are available. The identification of the deceased has not yet been determined.”


Taft Point

Taft Point is West of Glacier Point




Tourist Death off Nevada Falls

Yosemite’s Deadly Distraction



Yosemite National Park Maps

7.5 minute Yosemite Valley Detailed Hiking Map
Click Red Dots for Trail Guide entries for that location

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Sept, 2018: Mountain Lion Fatality, Oregon, Near Mount Hood


Mountain Lion Fatality

Oregon wildlife officials to hunt for killer cougar,
AP, Yahoo, September 12, 2018.


“…officials with guns and dogs will hunt for a cougar believed to have killed a woman while she was hiking in rugged terrain...”

“Diana Bober, who at 55 was an avid and experienced hiker, apparently fought the cougar with repellant, a sharp object and a stick, her sister said.”

"Diana stood at only 5 feet, 4 inches..."

“...body was found Monday, almost two weeks after she was last heard from. She was the first person known to have been killed by a cougar in the wild in Oregon, and the second in the Pacific Northwest this year.”

...“body was found along the Hunchback Trail, Wolfer said. The trail is described by OregonHikers .org as "wild and rugged" with frequent signs of cougars and coyotes.”

“Diana loved the outdoors, and that's how she should be remembered.”

“In May, a mountain biker in Washington state was killed by a cougar on a trail east of Seattle, the first fatal attack in that state in 94 years.”


Spring 2018 Mountain Lion Attack A Bit West of PCT at Snoqualmie

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Mono County Sheriff Search & Rescue: Third Pillar of Mt. Dana


Broken Ankle Rescue
Mono Sheriffs SAR lowering down to accident victim, Mt. Dana, Sept 2018.
Mono SAR Lowering Down to accident victim on Mt Dana. Photo Credit: Mono SAR

Third Pillar of Mt. Dana,
Mono County Sheriff Search & Rescue, FACECROOK, September 3, 2018.


“At 1310 the Team received a call for a 38 year old climber from Alameda, CA with a reported fractured ankle at the bottom of the last pitch of the 3rd Pillar of Mt. Dana. “

“The Team responded to Lee Vining airport anticipating an air insertion, but all air resources were reporting as unavailable or available with significant delay, so a hike in was necessary. “

“A Team member was lowered with a litter over the edge of the 700' cliff to the subject. The subject was packaged, and as other members of the field team arrived, a raising was begun with a 7:1 mechanical advantage. The litter stuck briefly at the edge, but was vectored successfully over the lip. ”

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2018 Selfie Tourist Death off Nevada Falls


Tourist Death off Nevada Falls

Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park
Nevada Falls, Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide

Teen from Israel reportedly dies in Yosemite after taking selfie atop Nevada Fall,
SFGate, September 6, 2018.

“A teen visiting Yosemite National Park from Israel fell to his death Wednesday while trying to take a selfie, according to an Israeli news report.”

Sign at Nevada Falls

Safety Sign at Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park.


Yosemite Valley Map

Yosemite Valley to Merced Lake or Cathedral Pass

Click red dots for trail guide pages


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Tropical Downpour Contributes to Fatality, Flash Flood Warning for Donnell Fire Area



Two Reports

Tropical Downpour Contributes to Fatality

NWS Issues Flash Flood Warning for Donnell Fire Area


Inciweb, Donnell Fire

September 5, 2018

Flash Flood Warning
"Yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Donnell Fire area. All personnel were notified of the incoming thunderstorm, and efforts were made to notify any public that may have been in the area. The fall rainy season is upon us, and severe mountain thunderstorms can develop quickly with little to no warning. The recent fire in conjunction with rainfall has the potential to produce landslides over the affected area."


The Bottom Line
The warning above relates the general outlines of the risks of flooding and avalances in fire-ravaged areas.
But, we've got to remember that lightening and unexpected intense weather are serious threats to hikers in the High Sierra at any time, during any season, as are the tropical downpours that often accompany Summertime tropical weather, weather that can turn itself into Summertime snowstorms across higher elevations.

Alex Wierbinski's picture


Started July 16, 2018
LAST Updated August 29th

Tree News

July & August 2018


These fires of Summer are finally winding down, meaning this page is approaching the end of its life, and will soon be retired.

Start at the bottom of this page, with the May Warnings of a dire fire season approaching, then work your way back up here to the top, through reports on this year's Summer Fires, and then onto the next page, for the Fall Fire Season of 2018.


All Fed Fire Info

All State Fire Info


Alex Wierbinski's picture

PG&E Spends $1 Million+ on Bribes to Brown, Dims, & California officials to Evade Wildfire Laws


August 18, Update,


Direct to Article

PG&E’s bid to change wildfire liability rules appears dead for now,
SF Chron, August 18, 2018.

For now is the operative phrase. PG&E is determined to saddle their costs of doing business, and substantially expand their profits, at the public's expense.


August 1 Update

How our Law & Environment are Really Managed

Open PG&E Bribery Finally Hinted at by Press, below




July 26

How Politics Really Works

Jerry Brown: Corporate Whore of PGE


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Inyo SAR Middle Palisade Fatal Hiker Fall Recovery


Inyo SAR Hiker Fall Fatality

Middle Palisade Recovery,
Inyo SAR, August 23, 2018.


"In the late afternoon of the 18th, (the 61-yearold male) texted his wife in Indiana saying he was behind and may need to camp on the trail."

"On the evening of Saturday, August 18 ICSO SAR coordinators received multiple reports of a deceased subject located on the NE face of Middle Palisade in the Sierra Nevada mountains."

"A hasty team of two Inyo SAR members was sent out of the south fork of Big Pine creek Sunday morning..."

"The individual was located around approximately 13,000 ft in steep class 3 terrain and appeared to have taken a tumbling fall."

Image from recovery site
Position of fatality recovery, Middle Palisade, INYO SAR.
Depicting the steep and loose terrain of the NE Face. Photo Credit INYO SAR

"In his final communication with family, the subject indicated that he was moving more slowly than his anticipated pace, potentially resulting in his ascent/descent occurring in the dark and increasing the inherent danger of the route."

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2018, Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated (Injury Update)

Injury Update, August 17



Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated

Many come to aid of climber trapped between granite slabs,
Sierra Wave, July 30, 2018.

"On July 29, 2018, at approximately 1:30 pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) received a call from a pair of climbers in the area of the north ridge of Mount Conness."

"The pair explained that they could hear someone screaming for help approximately 1/2 to 3/4 miles northeast of their location. They were unsure of the exact location of the voice but provided SAR with an approximate GPS location..."

"The approximate location of the victim was around 11,400 feet elevation near the base of the Conness Glacier."

"Twelve (12) SAR personnel responded and readied at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead, and the SAR Team then began the hike into the area to attempt to locate and assist the injured person. CHP Helicopter H40 was requested to the area to conduct an aerial search of the area as well."

"H40 launched but shortly after was forced to return to their base due to the heavy smoke and low visibility in the area."

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August 2018: Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue


Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue

Hiker rescued after fall in Mount Ritter area,
Sierra Wave, August 16, 2018.

“The victim and her partner were at approximately 12,200’ elevation on the south side of Mount Ritter.”

“The female had lost her footing and slid 50 to 100 feet down a glacier on the south side of the mountain, colliding with the rocks below. She sustained head and facial injuries as well as lacerations to her extremities.”

“Their helicopter resource was not able to contact the victim as the altitude was too great. The only assistance they were able to offer was to drop a survival kit, as they were not prepared for overnight conditions.”

“Madera County Sheriff’s Office also had a ground team driving through Yosemite to the Agnew Meadows trailhead to begin the trek to the victim as Mount Ritter is easier to access from Mono County.”

“At 9:10 pm, a team of (4) four Mono SAR personnel and gear was loaded onto the Seahawk to insert them below the victim. At 9:58 pm, the Seahawk was able to drop the SAR team at an elevation of 9,600’ approximately 1.2 miles from the victim’s location.”

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August 2018, Remains of Missing Hiker Found in North Yosemite


Updated August 20

Initial Report August 14


Missing Hiker Found in North Yosemite

Remains Of Missing Hiker Found In Yosemite,
Sierra News Online, August 20, 2018.

“...located the remains of a hiker missing for nearly a month.”

“The remains of Scott Tenczar, 48, were discovered on Saturday, Aug. 18, in the far northeastern portion of the park above Tuolumne Meadows.”

Original Post


Mountain Safety News Page



August Trail News

August Trail News Forum




News from Nature


Climate Destruction News


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




Good, Let’s Buy their Bankrupt Asses (for Pennies on the Dollar) for a State Public Utility


Original Article

Jerry Brown: Corporate Whore

Jerry Brown’s plan lowers PG&E’s liability for wildfire damages,
Sac Bee, July 25, 2018.

About the Article Above:

Here we Are

It’s Taken a Long time to get “here,” where PGE’s blowing up cities and burning down our state is “indemnified” by bribed politicians. It took a lot of bribed politicians to get here...

Deregulated Pirates

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July 10, 2018: Whitney Portal Closed & Evacuated by Georges Fire, UPDATED INFORMATION



Inciweb: Georges Fire

July 10

Whitney Portal Evacuated and Closed

Original News Report

Original Forest Alert-Warning

No Trips Starting Out the Whitney Portal


July 16

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



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