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Tahoe to Whitney on NPR | High Sierra Backpacker

Tahoe to Whitney on NPR: Insight explores Winter Survival Skills

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 14 December 2013

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.

Insight is produced and broadcast by Capitol Public Radio. CPR is National Public Radio's Sacramento affialiate, covering the central San Joaquin Valley area, Lake Tahoe and the Western Sierra foothills, also reaching East to cover the greater Reno metropolitian area.

During this interesting segment host Beth Ruyak explored the successful resolution of a lost family's surviving being stranded in cold snowy conditions and how they were rescued with Major Justin Ogden of the Cellular Forensics Technical Specialist Air Force Rescue Coordination Center out in Colorado.
The analysis of celluar data pointed Search and Rescue to the stranded family, who were holding their own in cold conditions. Major Ogden provided interesting insights into the power and limits of digital technology in search and rescue situations.

Ranger Matt Green, a California State Park Ranger out of the very isolated and cold location of Bodie State Park warned travelers crossing cold and snowy roads or trails to always anticipate and plan for the unexpected. Ranger Green gave some great advice.

Alex spoke to the need for all travelers to observe the nature of all environments we are entering, analyze the expected risks inherent in that environment, and then engage the proper gear and planning to mitigate the expected dangers. Then throw in an extra layer for the unexpected!

This segment had excellent effects. It brought attention to the dangers inherent in travel, and the necissity to observe, think, and plan. It brought attention to backpacking and specifically Winter backpacking. And it brought attention to the Tahoe to Whitney trail guide and forum.

I strongly suggest that Winter travelers in car and on foot check out this interesting discussion and take its broad range of advice under consideration when crossing potentially hazardous environments.

Be smart, safe, and secure in all conditions.


Listen to Mp3 file of Winter Hazards Segment

Insight, Dec 13 2013 program web page

Insight, news interview radio program web page

Capitol Public Radio


Winter Safety 

A four-season gear list

Winter Backpacking Forum



Maj. Justin Ogden
Cellular Forensics technical specialist

Air Force Rescue Coordination Center

Tyndall unit coordinates Nevada rescue


Ranger Matt Green
California State Park Ranger 

Bodie Winter Conditions

Bodie State Park

Bodie History

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