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December of 2019 All High Sierra Backpacker, Hiker, Outdoors, & Nature News Index


January 4,  2019









High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

, 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. 

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Daily Lottery for Camp 4, 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.


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

An Inspirational Fraud on the PCT?



An Inspirational Fraud on the PCT? 

How Did No One Notice This Inspirational Hiker On The Pacific Crest Trail?
Deadspin, September 26, 2017.

Here's my April 1, 2017 Backpacker Alert.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Isabella Lucy Bird

Isabella Lucy Bird


I had a whole article written. The cat pulled down all the computer peripherials, ironically rendering the mouse worthless. And the keyboard too. While a whole article was up, but made inaccessible by the cat's pulling apart the wiring connecting my computer with everything that makes it work.

It's not even my cat. I am cat-sitting. This fricking cat has already killed an article, damaged my computer, and pissed me off real good. Cat will not stay here in the future.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Apex Ultralight Backpacks

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Apex Mountaineering

Ultralight backpacks

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Dave Bewley completes Pacific Crest Trail at 72

Over the years hiking South from Tahoe to Whitney I've had the pleasure to meet a lot of Northbound PCT hikers.

Though many of these encounters are fleeting, they can be deeply rewarding and satisfying. I've met a whole lot of amazing folks over the years.

One of those folks is Dave Bewley, a section hiker out of Florida. Well, let's let Dave tell us about it.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Melika carries pack across the unmaintained TYT from Carson Pass to Lake Alpine

Scott Turner, his pal Rich, and Scott's dog Melika hiked the unmaintained section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Spring of 2014. Check out  Scott's Trail Report

Trail Guide References:


Carson Pass Region Hiking Map

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2013 Trail Culture Report: Supplement and Comments

High Sierra Trail Culture Report 2013: PCT, TYT, JMT, hikers, horseman, riders, trail crew, day hikers, car campers and resupply folk add your questions, comments, experiences to our report and perspective here.

This page and the comments feature are for additions, corrections, and comments for the 2013 Trail Culture Report in the Trail Guide.

highlands's picture

Tahoe Yosemite Trail

I am looking for some trailhead infromation for the Tahoe - Yosemite Trail. So far I have hiked from Fallen Leaf Lake to Mt. Reba (three hikes).  The next section will be from Lake Alpine to Clark Fork and then Clark Fork to Kennedy Meadow.

 I am concerned about the lenght of the Kennedy Meadow - Tuolumne Meadow section (71 miles). The book I have inidcates there are no trailheads between Kennedy and Tuolumne Meadows. Does anyone know of any trailheads I could use to break this hike into smaller sections?    


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Science News for Backpackers: GPS in the Head?

I'm not a great fan of GPS. I don't own one, use one, and I generally plug my ears and walk away singing "La-La-La" when someone pulls out a GPS on the trail.

I'll show you where we are on the map, and in the terrain.

I belive in map and compass. I belive in careful observation, sharp analysis, and experience. I believe in careful planning and measuring the elevations, conditions, and distances of my trips prior to departure.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

WuDang Mountains, China

Though I strive to keep this forum focused on backpacking, and centered on the High Sierras, the indescribable beauty of nature does not confine itself within my artificial limits.

This beautiful video of Chines Wildlife was produced by what appears to be a Chinese Citizen living in the US. I may be mistaken. This video was relayed to me by a third party.


This video cannot be embedded: You must view it at Ying's Channel.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail: Blue Lakes Road to the Mokelumne Wilderness

Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail: Blue Lakes Road to the Mokelumne Wilderness.

Trail Guide Page: Blue Lakes Road to the Mokelumne Wilderness Boundary

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Adam Blauert: Wild times in the Sierra

Adam Blauert: Wild times in the Sierra

Merced Sun-Star, August 7, 2010

Adam's article addresses backpacker hazards that we all should consider, and be prepared for, before we enter any natural area where there is no infrastructure, and especially when backpacking in the High Sierras.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

More "Into the Wild" News: Backpacker Drowns near McCandliss Bus

This page tracks Updates, Information, and News about the social effects of Christopher Mc Candless' death and tracks the "Into the Wild" social phenomen among urban folk, and the revulsion of country folk at this romantization.

Background:  Christopher McCandless caused his own foolish and unnecessary death in 1992 by not having the experience, gear, or preperation for his Alaskan Wilderness "quest."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Rabid Bobcat Attacks Hikers Near Tucson

Rabid Bobcat Attacks Hikers Near Tucson

Backpacker Online, Sunday, August 3, 2010

Whoa, this is a damn crazy story!

Read the Article


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Missing Sierra backpacker found alive

Missing Sierra backpacker found alive

Examiner, August 3, 2010

Read the Article 

As a long-distance four-season solo backpacker this reminds me of why I always leave a detailed trip plan with a reliable person.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

July 21, 2010 Trip Plan: Walker to Kennedy Meadows, to Tuolumne Meadows

 What follows is the trip plan that I am executing tomorrow. It is actually my safety report that I sent to a trusted individual who I will contact at my resupply point and at the end of the trip. If I do not report in a timely fashion, they will report this to the proper authorities.

This report includes route and time estimates for each leg of this two-part trip between Rodriquez Flat, on the Eastern Sierra Flank above the town of Walker Ca, on Hwy 395, to Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite National Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Video IIa: Spring Snow Backpacking trip, Round Lake to Showers Lake, June 6, 2010

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Spring in the Sierras 

Rifts great and small are opening up in the snow cover. Intense streams have cut fantastic shapes through their snow covers as they hurry down the mountain, while the meadow snows are suffering a different fate.

Run off from the mountains surrounding Meiss Meadow is flowing under the great sheets of snow covering the meadow, first undercutting, then collapsing the snow on the meadow.

Showers_Lake_Frozen_Spring 2010
Alex Wierbinski's picture

Video I: Spring Snow Backpacking trip, South Upper Truckee to Round Lake, June 5, 2010

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 This video takes us from the snow free trail head on South Upper Truckee Road up to Round Lake on June 5, 2010.. Round Lake sits about 5 miles South of the trail head at 8000 feet.

We ran into trails running like streams about a mile and a half up from the trail head, and hit the snow line about two miles past the trail head.

The Snow is heavier, at lower elevations, and persisting later into Spring than typical.

Map embed: 

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