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Mountain Terrain | High Sierra Backpacker

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Mountain Terrain


Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

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

Status Update

MAY 2019
Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

 

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Peter's Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Report June 2014 sticky icon

Introduction
Upon the first publication of this report on June 8th 2014 Peter had just completed an early season snow-hiking trip along the Classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route. At that time he sent us very valuable information about early season conditions early in the season, which we first put up here on June 8 of 2014.

This information is not only valuable for backpackers trying to ascertain the conditions along the unmaintained segments of the trail, but also preps backpackers for the difficulties and challenges of hiking and navigating the Sierra Crest and backcountry through Spring snow conditions.

Though the particular stage of Spring conditions Peter describes transpires at a different times during each season's unique progression from Winter to Summer conditions, Peter well describes mid-to-late Spring conditions in the High Sierra.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Loops and Trips sticky icon

Medium and Long distance
Backpacking Loops
and trips
in the
Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Despite the Fire, Some Beautiful Places to Visit
Summer's Here. The Eastern end of the Carson Iceberg is pretty much closed South of Clarks Fork Road, excepting the route of the Pacific Crest Trail, which is complimented by the still open segment of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail coming South down from Lake Alpine to Woods Gulch.
Now, prospective Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hikers will need to make use of our alternative routes, just to get around the closed section of the TYT across the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Alternative Year...
The route tying together what we can hike of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail across the Carson Iceberg, then connecting with the Pacific Crest Trail as described below, is where we can bend our route either North into a nice Summer Backpacking trip, maybe ending at Ebbetts Pass despite the carnage of last year's Donnell Fire, or turning South along the PCT to bypass these closed segments of the TYT, so we can hike South to Sonora Pass along the PCT, to pick up the TYT again by hiking South out of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station.

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bee News sticky icon

Bee News 

BEE WORRIED

Insect Identification

Latest All Bug News

 

BEE NEWS

THE BUZZ

2019
Updated

July 12

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Big Jap Bumbler & Its Timed Plant Pal Demonstrate That...

Changing Timing of Life is Bleeding the Fertility Out of Nature

 

 

 

June 20

 

THE BUZZ

Commercial Bees Taking Heavy Losses, Hanging in There...

US Beekeepers Lost Over 40% of Colonies Last Year, Highest Winter Losses Ever

 

 

 

June 7, 2019

 

EURO-BEE NEWS

16% Colony Loss over Winter of 2018

Alex Wierbinski's picture

BUTTERFLY NEWS sticky icon

Video embed: 
See video

Endless Butterflies Video

 

Identification
Art Shapiro High Sierra Butterfly Identification by Common Name

 

Trail Guide
High Sierra Butterfly Identification & Resources

 

Review
High Sierra Nevada All Living Things Forum

 

 

BUTTERFLY NEWS
 The whole web of life is being distorted by the  changing character of the seasons on and around the the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean.

 The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is a significant element in the complex relationship of the North Pacific Ocean weather patterns with the North American continent.

 The relationship between North Pacific weather patterns and the High Sierra is vitally important for the vast overlapping webs of social and natural life depending on bountiful and predictable weather patterns.
These predictable and bountiful resources no longer exist on their own, in Nature, nor in the context of the vast populations to overwhelm Nature that we have spawned.

We have overwhelmed Nature and its resources fundamentally and on its face..

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

GEOLOGY NEWS, RESEARCH, & INFO
for
HIGH SIERRA HIKERS

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.

Everyone entering the High Sierra should know something about its Geological History, its Current Geo-Status, and its Future Geological Potentials. In fact, backpackers everywhere should equip themselves with some, "foundational" information about the geology of their region, as well as its contemporary seasonal stellar configuration.

Everything we navigate today was first formed, and is being subsequently sculpted, by these profound Geological Forces, after this batch of star dust consolidated. In other words, our knowledge of the history of the ground and the sky provide an almost timeless context for our natural surroundings, the same Earth & Sky that provides the, "bookends," of our daily hiking experience. The more we know about it, the more deeply we can appreciate its beauty and power.

Good
High Sierra Geology Introductory Texts, Links, & Resources

On the Trail Guide

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Mammals Reference-Identification sticky icon

High Sierra Small Mammals Forum, Identification, and References 

 

 

References

Mammals, identification, Greg Lasley Photography.

Mammals of Yosemite National Park, (1952) by Harry C. Parker.

For more links about animal, plant, geology, and astronomy information for backpackers see the High Sierra Backpacking links page on the trail guide.

 

 

MAMMAL NEWS

 

 Last Update

 

2019

 

March 27

SMALL MOUNTAIN MAMMALS

The Kangaroo Jumping Rat

Alex Wierbinski's picture

July 2015 TYT Unmaintained Trail Update: Clarks Fork Trailhead to Saint Marys Pass Trailhead

Video embed: 
See video

Tropical storm brings heavy hail, lightening to Saint Marys Trailhead, just below the Sierra Crest, July 8 2015.

  

Status Update

MAY 2019
Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

 

Post-Storm July Tropical Sunset
Fine tropical-influenced sunset from Clarks Meadow hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in July of 2015
  From the North Edge of Clarks Fork Meadow along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Clarks Fork Trailhead 
to
Saint Marys Pass Trailhead
on
Highway 108
11.25 miles along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
 The Iceberg, sitting across Iceberg Meadow from the Clarks Fork Trailhead at the end of Clarks Fork Road.
Above: The Iceberg sitting across Iceberg Meadow from the Clarks Fork Trailhead at the end of Clarks Fork Road.

July 2015 TYT Status Report
The Trail

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Scott's Summit City Creek Trail Report June 2014

Introduction

An excellent way to approach the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail is as a section hiker. This is how Scott, his hiking partner Rich, and their backcountry hiking dog Melika approached the difficult Carson Pass to Lake Alpine section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Carson Pass
Scott Rich and Melika begin their TYT section South out of Carson Pass.

Mokelumne Wilderness Backpacking Map

Scott and Rich executed this TYT section hike early in the hiking season. Despite the drought conditions and earlier Spring Thaws a late May hiking trip is still early in the backpacking season.

Hitting the Snow at Frog Lake
Melika digging the snow with Frog Lake in the background.

  High water levels in the river fords, the potential for extensive snow covering the trail, and the much more unpredictable weather during early Spring brings makes Spring a challenging time to hike an already challenging trail.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Cow Anxiety in Upper Clarks Fork Canyon

Close Encounter of the Cow Kind

As I was hiking down the Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus on the unmaintained Tahoe to Yosemite Trail I picked up the enchanting sound of softly clanging cow bells bouncing off the rocky canyon walls until absorbed by the forest.

I figured I'd meet some cows. The narrow canyon certainly makes "our" shared route along the visible bits of route along the unmaintained trail the best solution for both grazing stock and passing backpackers to reach our respective goals. It's cozy. No problem. I like cows.

My goal is always to get past cows with as little trouble as possible. I've dealt with cows many times before, and always gotten myself through quickly, sometimes employing sweet talk, and other times threatening a re-branding if cow-cooperation is found lacking.

I will go freeking cowboy on their huge cow asses.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

SUMMER & FALL
FIRE-BACKPACKING
SEASONS
of
2018

 

High Sierra
Fire and Smoke Information

 

ALL
SMOKE INFORMATION

 

ALL
FIRE & SMOKE INFORMATION

All Federal Fires
Managed Fires
Parks, Forests, and 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...

 

 

All California State Fires
Managed Fires
CALFIRE Incident Information

  

 

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Cookware and Utensils: Backpackers Favorites for High Sierra Travel

Members Favorites

 

Backpacking
Cookware and Utensils

Having the best, simplest setup that serves our food and camp beverage needs keeps everything simple and light.

 

CLASSICS

Surfbum                   Spork 

 

PRIMUS

gbrahaney               Primus EtaPower Group Cookset   POTS AND PANS

 

MOUNTAIN LAUREL DESIGNS

cmcrooker                850 mL titanium mug from Mountain Laurel Designs for my pot to cook dinner.

 

BATCHSTOVES

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Flashlight and Headlamps: Members Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Headlamps and Flashlights 

 Reliable light at night is vital on the trail.

 

leesonza               flashlight

 

AlexW                      Princeton Tech

                                 Petzl

                                 Black Diamond Astro

 

abramrodd              Black Diamond Ion Headlamp

 

I've used maglights, a dozen different Petzl Headlamps, and now deploying a Princeton Tech Headlamp. Used a Black Diamond this year, 2018.

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.

 

Snags are standing dead trees. Backpackers interact with snags in a number of ways. The most common is hiking by or through them. Next comes camping in proximity to snags, and finally we find fallen snags providing bridges over narrow necks of surprizingly wide rivers. Occassionally we find ourselves climbing a wall of downed snags like a jungle gym. That generally happens while hiking cross country or after bad storm seasons where snags are swept down canyons. A freshly fallen snag also provides the best firewood if you are into making fires.

The only truth is snags constantly and always fall, maybe blown down by wind, swept away by water, or when their internal structure rots to the point it can no longer support its own weight, or yours.

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

Where I Belong - by Richard Persike

  Where I Belong

A Poem by Richard Persike

 

As the sun sinks in the west and the light fades in the sky

I can see the crimson clouds reflected in your eyes

I can feel a warm breeze blowin, a tingle on my face

I can hear the water flowin, I'm happy in this place

 

Crickets sing in harmony, like music to my ears

It provides distraction to my mind, all my hopes and fears

Coyotes howling far away, a hawk soars up above

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Gaiters: Members Favorites for High Sierra Backpackers

 Members Favorites

Gaiters

Reaper            Dirty Girl Gaiters

Run gaiters during Summer? Or just when it's snowy or wet? Tell us about your best gaiters.

 

High Sierra Backpacking Gear List

Backpacker's Gear: Gaiters

 

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Upper Body Insulation & Layering: Members Favorite for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Upper Body Insulation for High Sierra Backpackers

Proper layering to remain comfortable on the trail and camp is vital for High Sierra backpackers. Each hiker being different requires different combos of base and insulation layers. Though each hiker is unique, our range of selections to choose from is not.

It behooves us to get the best materials in the proper quanities and combinations to meet our needs for warmth in camp and on the trail.

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

New Unmaintained Section of Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South of North Fork of the Stanislaus River

We've been recieving increasing reports of trail deterioration along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail once we cross the North Stanislause River Northbound  climbing the ridge separting the river from Rock Lake.

We get this fine report from Highlands on his 2015 passage:

 

We started at Lake Alpine and stayed at Rock Lake the 1st night. The next day we proceeded to Highland Creek near the bottom of Jenkins Canyon.

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