Lingering snow poses safety risk for mountain hikers

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 01 September 2011

Matt Wieser is an excellent reporter for the Sacramento Bee, and a fine observer of man and nature to boot. The heavy snows of Spring 2011 persisted through August all along the Sierra Crest.

This created a situation where the conditions in the Sierra Nevada did not match the date on the calendar, and when many Summertime backpacker's vacation time came up, they hit the trail, only to find the trail dissappear under 10 feet of snow at 8000 feet. They found river fords at Springtime cresting levels in July.

This resulted in a record amount of deaths during the Spring and Summer of 2011. Matt explores the genesis of these tragedies in his article,

Lingering snow poses safety risk for mountain hikers, Matt Weiser, July 1, 2011, Sacramento Bee.

This fine article offers insights to new and inexperienced backpackers about the character of the environment they are entering.

I repeatedly state that Backpacking is Dangerous throughout this Forum and the related Trail Guide. The greatest dangers in the Sierra are those brought there by the people who visit.

Improper gear, insufficient gear for the conditions, bad fitness, bad or no information about trail, fording, and weather conditions are typical of the dangerous conditions that backpackers create for themselves when they venture into the Sierra.

Matt's article, and this forum and trail guide generally, are set up to give you the information you need to build the gear, experience, fitness, and "scouting" skills to prepare you for High Sierra Backpacking.


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