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Search Continues for Missing Marine sticky icon


Badass Behind Schedule

Update: Multi-agency search for missing Marine,
Sierra Wave, March 10, 2019.


Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24

See Calendar, End of Feb
Heavy snow fall from 25th to 27th, followed by short break with lite to moderate snow through the 7th.

Arrival Date:
Twin Lakes on the 5th

“This is the sixth day of an intense multiagency search for missing Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Matthew Kraft...”

"1st Lt. Kraft’s planned itinerary is the 195-mile Sierra High Route; he is believed to have hiked out of Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24 with a plan of concluding his hike near the Twin Lakes area by Bridgeport, CA on March 4 or 5."

"Both aerial and ground search operations have been utilized; however, weather conditions in the Sierra have been a significant challenge."

"In addition, two Marines from Kraft’s unit are assisting authorities with search efforts at the Search and Rescue Coordination Center."



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

First Aid Kit for High Sierra Day Hikers & Backpackers

 Red Cross, international symbol of First Aid, wiki by Jon Harald Søby

Be Ready
High Sierra Day Hikers & Backpackers

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.

Day Use
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. My bag is not huge and contains all the things I need to survive the sun, rain, cold, bugs and injury/illness for a few days.

Injuries Encountered
The injuries that I have encountered on the trail are blisters, splinters, cuts and scrapes and the occasional laceration that needs stitches. The illness that I have encountered are mild cases of upset stomach, sunburn, bug bites, sore/strained muscles, heat exhaustion and high altitude sickness.


First Aid Gear:

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March 6




PCT-JMT-TYT-TWT Hikers Summer Condsiderations

A "Tropical" Winter
With this last storm, the third Tropical Transport Mechanisms since the beginning of Feburary 2019, (4th since the middle of January), the High Sierra Snowpack is right on the verge of equalling the massive snowpack of 2017. (averages)

High Siera Calendar

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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


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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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Who’s Responsible for Your Mountain Safety?


The Folks Who Pull Us Out:
California Mountain Rescue Association

MRA met in Mammoth Lakes California to test in "Snow and Ice" for their yearly Re-Accreditation test, hosted in 2016 by Inyo County Search and Rescue. Credit Adorabutton.
MRA met in Mammoth Lakes California in 2016 to test in "Snow and Ice" for their yearly Re-Accreditation test, hosted by Inyo County SAR. Map. Photo Credit, Adorabutton, Wiki.


Who’s Responsible for Your Mountain Safety?

Should we stop rescuing people in wilderness?
Adirondack Explorer, February 12, 2019.


New York Wilderness
New York’S 288 conservation officers and 134 forest rangers participated in 346 search-and-rescue missions in 2018.

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Death on the Mist Trail: Visitor Fatality in Yosemite National Park


Death on the Mist Trail

Happy Isles Trailhead
Happy Isles Trailhead for the John Muir Trail, Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite Valley, the start point of the JMT, from the trail guide.

Visitor Fatality in Yosemite National Park,
February 25, 2019.

Yosemite Valley Backpacking Map


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Mountain Lion Attack Repelled, Lion Killed in Colorado



Mountain Lion Attack Repelled in Colorado

 North American Cougar
(Puma concolor couguar)
North American cougar (Puma concolor couguar) in Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. By the National Park Service.
Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. National Park Service


A Mountain Lion Attacked a Runner. He Choked It to Death and Escaped.
NY Times, February 5, 2019.


“A man running along a trail in Colorado who was attacked by a young mountain lion this week managed to choke it to death and escape...”

“The body of the mountain lion, which officials said was less than a year old and weighed under 70 pounds, was found on the trail near some of the man’s possessions and was taken to a lab for examination.”

“The man, who had been running along the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space — about 65 miles north of Denver...heard “something behind him on the trail,” and when he turned around to see what it was, the lion lunged at him and bit his face and wrist.”

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Tahoe Winter Mountain Safety Event

Beacons and Beers offers backcountry advice ahead of ski season,
Sierra Sun, November 17, 2018.


“...representatives from Black Diamond, Mammut and ORTOVOX gave presentations on the latest beacons, probes and avalanche rescue techniques.”

Safety Skills
"We want to remind people that traveling in the backcountry is dangerous, and we want to make sure that people have the skills to be safe."

Backpacking is Dangerous

Gear & Knowledge
“...centered on the importance of having proper equipment and knowing how to use it before heading into the backcountry.”

What You Are Getting Into
"It's just really important to know what you are getting into and to travel smartly in the backcountry. That's what it comes down to for us."



Bottom Line

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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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

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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."

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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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2018: Green Water Widespread Across United States & Whole Northern Hemisphere


Vast Summer 2012 Blue Green Algal Outbreaks across Northern Hemisphere

Three Reports: Western US, Northern Europe, Great Lakes and Florida


Green Water Widespread Across Western United States This Summer

Hot Weather, Land Abuses Fueling Algal Blooms in Western Waters,
Water Deeply, July 30, 2018.


"This summer has witnessed an explosion of algae problems in Western water bodies."

"Blooms are even popping up in unlikely places, such as high-elevation mountain lakes."

"No one knows precisely how often blooms occur because there is no monitoring of the problem on a national scale."

Environmental Working Group

"...EWG decided to gather their own data by recording how often algal blooms were mentioned in the news media...their resulting report, released in May, they documented 169 blooms in 2017 – up from 51 the year before."

EWG 2018 Blue Green Report

Monitoring Outbreaks & Conditions

California State Water Resources Control Board
Public Algae Reporting

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