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Snow/Ice | High Sierra Backpacker

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Ground conditions. 

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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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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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May 2019 Mono SAR Rescue: Back Country Skier Falls, Breaks Leg Badly




Nasty Accident above Twin Lakes

Back Country Skier Falls, Breaks Leg Badly,
Mono Search and Rescue, May 20, 2019.

Rescue of May 18-19, 2019.

Little Slide Canyon, off Robinson Creek, above Twin Lakes

Backpacking Trail Map


"...up Little Slide Canyon. About 30 minutes after crossing the creek, they hit the snowline, and put on their skis and skins and continued up the canyon."

Little Slide Canyon

Knarly Back Country Accident
"On the descent, one of the skiers fell from about 3/4 height, and tumbled and slid down the couloir, and when the fall ended, he found he had multiple left leg fractures, but most notably an open tib-fib with considerable bone exposed."

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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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First Trans-Sierra Snow Road Closures, 2017, Tioga Road & Sonora Pass



Fall-Winter of 2017

Tioga Pass Road Closed Due To Snow,
Sierra News Online, September 21, 2017.


Hwy 108 Closed at Kennedy Meadows

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Tahoe to Whitney on NPR: Insight explores Winter Survival Skills

Friday December 13 2013 was a lucky day for Tahoe to Whitney.

Alex Wierbinski, the backpacker behind the Tahoe to Whitney trail guide and forum projects, was heard on National Public Radio's Insight, "A daily, in-depth interview program providing context and background to the issues that face our region." Alex was one of host Beth Ruyak's three guests discussing the hazards of Winter travel and dealing with emergency Wintertime situations.

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December Trail Conditions Update: 2010. Looking Ahead, Looking Behind

Looking back, Since my last High Sierra Trail update in early October, I have been closely tied to this computer, working ceaselessly to compile, organize, layout and present the vast amount of digital and literary information I've collected about the trails between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.

This work on the content of the trail guide has pulled me away from reporting on current conditions, let alone experiencing them.

In the meantime, Fall has deepened, and Winter conditions have established themselves across the Sierras.

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Idiot Tip: Emergency Snowshoes

Many years ago a friend of mine moved to Meyers, nestled in beautiful Christmas Valley below Echo Summit. This is on the Southeastern side of Lake Tahoe. I was a downhill skier, and enjoyed much of what Tahoe offered during the Winter. I visited all the time, and especially during Winter. Though a backpacker, I had no Winter skills at that time.

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Video 5: Spring Snow Backpacking, Day 3 to Round Top Lake, Day 4 out at Carson Pass

Video embed: 
See video
Snow Backpacking Trip video #6: Woods Lake to Round Top Lake, and out the next day...

After departing our lunch spot to continue down the snow-covered road towards Woods Lake, we almost immediately cross an equally snow-covered foot bridge to our left. Across the bridge we turn right, South, and begin to look for the blue diamond marked route up through the forest heading South towards Round Top. We are located  just to the East of Woods Lake.

Map embed: 

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The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

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