Welcome to the High Sierra Backpacker's Magazine, including forums for local and long-distance hikers sharing info about hiking the Sierra between Tahoe and Whitney.

This Magazine covers everything Sierra. Its
Forums cover TYT, PCT, & JMT and alt-route hiker input from the Guide. The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide explores the trails  & the necessary skills, fitness, and gear required to hike from Tahoe to Whitney. This evolving Magazine covers Current Conditions, News, the Arts, Sciences, Physicality, Spirituality, Gear, Environment, History, and Cultures of hiking Tahoe to Whitney. 

Purposes: Expand Knowledge, Explore Potential

for Beginners: To get you off the couch, gear you up, get you into Sierra Shape, and onto the High Sierra Trails. Find info. Ask questions, get feedback, generate self-understanding and terrain awareness. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest.

for Backpackers: Get you in deeper, longer, and higher. Train for the long trails. Find your next-steps trips. Hit the Long Trails. Hike the TYT and JMT. Find and explore side trails, alternative, and cross-country routes until you hike your skills into Winter compentency. Explore your potential.

for Experts: The information to come from anywhere in the US or world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. The Sierra Nevada is the ultimate wonderland for expert backpackers in top shape. But don't get cocky! The Sierra is bigger, stronger, and has been, and will be here much longer than any of us.  


tmorton23's picture

Matterhorn Canyon Ford

Matterhorn Canyon Ford & Campsite
North Yosemite Backcountry

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Five

 

 

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Matterhorn Canyon Ford
tmorton23's picture

Smedberg Lake Sunset

Smedberg Lake Sunset
North Yosemite Backcountry

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Four

 

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

 

Smedberg Lake Sunset
tmorton23's picture

Sunrise at the Southern Pond in Seavy Pass

Sunrise on Southern Pond in Seavy Pass

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

Sunrise at the Southern Seavy Pass Pond is one of the most beautiful conjunctions of times and places we can come up with in the whole High Sierra. The terrain and the ponds in the mountain-channel Seavy Pass runs through are incredible all the time, but the scene lights up at sunrise.

Here our hike on the Bensen Lake Loop has joined us up with the combined routes of the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails across the North Yosemite Backcountry.

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Trail Guide
Approaching the South Pond

Sunrise at the Southern Pond in Seavy Pass
tmorton23's picture

Southern Pond in Seavey Pass

Northeast Corner of Southern Pond in Seavy Pass

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Southern Pond in Seavey Pass
tmorton23's picture

Looking Down into Upper Kerrick Canyon from Rock Island Pass

At the Top of Kerrick Canyon
Under
Rock Island Pass

 

The broad and gentle descending expanse of Upper Kerrick Canyon streches out below Rock Island Pass's 10,160 feet as we cross the Sierra Crestline passing out of this sliver of the Hoover Wilderness' narrow slot of terrain.
We are crossing over from the precipitous climb that brought us up the sheer East Flank of the Sierra, now crossing over into what looks like the much more expansive terrain of the North Yosemite Backcountry. But these initial gentle looks down the gentle expanse of Upper Kerrick Canyon are quite deceiving.

Insane Terrain
The terrain that sits below us, below this gentle expanse of Upper Kerrick Canyon, can be well-described as following the folds of an insane accordion's bellows, up and down and up and down and...

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

10,160 feet

 

Looking Down into Upper Kerrick Canyon from Rock Island Pass
tmorton23's picture

Rock Island Pass Yosemite Miles Sign

Rock Island Pass
Yosemite Miles Sign at Boundary between Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness

 

Rock Island Pass at 10160 feet at the Top of the Hoover Wilderness sports a trail mileage sign at our entry into the North Yosemite Backcountry.

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

10,160 feet 

 

Trail Information
The next trail mileage sign is where our route down Upper Kerrick Canyon on the Twin Lakes Loop route joins the Southbound combined routes of the PCT & TYT, at the junction where the PCT & TYT cut South out of Kerrick Canyon to cross Seavy Pass to begin the plunge down to Bensen Lake.

 

Trail Guide
Kerrick Canyon-Seavy Pass Trail Junction

Rock Island Pass Yosemite Miles Sign
tmorton23's picture

Rock Island Pass Yosemite Boundary Sign

Rock Island Pass
Yosemite Trail Boundary Sign
Marking Boundary between Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

10,160 feet

Rock Island Pass at 10160 feet at the Top of the Hoover Wilderness sports a, "classic," Yosemite Boundary Sign at our entry into the North Yosemite Backcountry.

Trail Information
The next trail boundary sign like the one above is where our route over Bond Pass on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail brings us into the top of Jack Main Canyon in the most Northwestern Corner of Yosemit National Park. That's a couple of hiking days North of our current position. Check out the trail guide here;

Bond Pass

This map, combined with the maps covering the Twin Lakes Loop, can give us a pretty good idea about the composition of the North Yosemite Backcountry, as it all feeds the:

Rock Island Pass Yosemite Boundary Sign
tmorton23's picture

Rock Island Pass between Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness

Rock Island Pass, linking Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness

 

Rock Island Pass at 10160 feet at the Top of the Hoover Wilderness is our entry into the North Yosemite Backcountry.

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

 

10,160 feet

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Rock Island Pass between Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Snow Lake in the Hoover Wilderness

Snow Lake, Hoover Wilderness

 

Snow Lake at 10180 feet at the Top of the Hoover Wilderness just below our entry into Yosemite through Rock Island Pass.

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Three

 

10180 feet

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Snow Lake in the Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Crown Lake Sunrise, Hoover Wilderness

Crown Lake

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Two

 

9520 feet

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Crown Lake Sunrise, Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Robinson Lakes Pond in the Hoover Wilderness

Robinson Lake Pond

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Two

 

9240 feet

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Robinson Lakes Pond in the Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Barney Lake in the Hoover Wilderness

Barney Lake

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day Two

 

8258 feet

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Barney Lake in the Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Little Slide Canyon Sunrise in Hoover Wilderness

Sunrise over Little Slide Canyon

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day One

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

Little Slide Canyon Sunrise in Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Little Slide Canyon Sunset, Hoover Wilderness

Sunset over Little Slide Canyon

 

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day One

 

Bensen Lake Loop Detailed Map

 

Little Slide Canyon, Hoover Wilderness above Twin Lakes

Little Slide Canyon Sunset, Hoover Wilderness
tmorton23's picture

Twin Lakes Trailhead, Hoover Wilderness

From
Ted Morton's

Trip Report
July 14 – 21, 2018
Bensen Lake Loop
Day One

 

Bending Crestline
The map shown in the image below, mounted-up on the Twin Lake Trailhead's expansive marker, appears to lay out the Hoover Wilderness' arc of terrain running North, wedged under, up to, and along this section of the Sierra's Eastern Crestline, along this unique location where the Sierra Crestline executes a hard bend to the North from the West-Northwestern line it has been making as it wraps around the top of the North Yosemite Backcountry.

This is interesting terrain. Let's do some map study to understand it a little better.

Twin Lakes Trailhead, Hoover Wilderness
Alex Wierbinski's picture

Inital Report: Donnell Fire Threatening Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Wilderness Areas

Initial DONNELL FIRE Report
August 5, 2018

Highway 108 Corridor Just West of Clarks Fork Road

Threatening Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Wilderness Areas

UPDATE PAGE

 

InciWeb
Donnell Fire

 

Statewide Fire Map: Donnell Fire

Backpacking Trails & Maps

 

 

Latest Order

Mandatory Evacuations along Highway 108
Clarks Fork to Kennedy Meadows
August 4, 2018:

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Great Northern Hemisphere Heat Wave of 2018: Two Articles: Sweden Shrinking, Europe Frying

ECO-CRASH NEWS

The Great Northern Hemisphere Heat Wave of 2018

Two Articles: Sweden Shrinking, & Europe Frying

1>Sweden Shrinking

Sweden's Highest Peak Melts Away as Record Temperatures Hit Arctic Circle,
Time, August 3, 2018.

Main Points

Arctic Circle Heatwave
"A summer heatwave in the Arctic circle has claimed a victim in Sweden’s highest point, a glacier on Kebnekaise mountain in the north of the country."

"Melting fueled by the heat has caused the peak to lose 13 feet in height."

"Just a month ago, the glacier reached 6,893 feet above sea level. At the latest measurement on Tuesday, it was just 6,879 feet high...it is now no longer the highest point in the country."

“We know that it has melted because it is very hot."

Arctic Circle at 90F
"Northern Europe has been sweltering in a heatwave that scientists fear is a result of climate change. Banak in Norway, over 350 miles into the Arctic Circle, reached 90 degrees on Monday."

 

More

2>Euros, and even the Northern Euros, are Baking

Alex Wierbinski's picture

HEALTH & STATUS of LAKE TAHOE: 2018 State of the Lake Report

HEALTH & STATUS of LAKE TAHOE

2018 State of the Lake Report

IN HOT WATER? Lake Tahoe sees decreased clarity, highest ever surface water temps in 2017,
Sierra Sun, August 2, 2018.

Introduction to the Destruction of Lake Tahoe
The external, environmental factors that are clouding and warming Lake Tahoe’s waters are accelerating, not diminishing. Where we are “at” right now is just one step along a much longer path to a much warmer, wetter climate, where the majority of our annual precip will fall as rain, rather than snow.

High Sierra Forest Succession
These climate changes are being accompanied by, triggering really, what is looking like a great High Sierra forest succession. It looks to me like we’ve created a situation where the climate and weather no longer suit the contemporary stratification of forests on the West Flank of the Sierra, and they are in the process of transforming into forests that are better suited for the new, emerging hotter climate. Tree Mortality and Fire are the method of succession.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

ASTROPHYSICS & SUCH: Things that Go Boom in the Night, 2018

ASTROPHYSICS & SUCH...

Things that Go Boom in the Night: Dept of Big Rocks

Meteor Explosion Over U.S. Military Base: Fireball Packing 2.1 Kilotons Of Force Detonates Near Base Thule,
Inquisitr, August 3, 2018.

WHAT
“Perplexing media reports state that a mysterious meteor has penetrated Earth’s atmosphere on July 25, exploding over a U.S. military base stationed in Greenland.”

“…managed to slip past the early-warning radar at Thule Air Force Base and remained unnoticed until it disintegrated some 43 kilometers (26 miles) above the base...”

“...the detonation unleashed an energy of about 8.8 trillion Joules, equivalent to the explosion of 2,100 tons of TNT. ”

That's 2.1 Kilotons.

"Luckily, the U.S. personnel stationed at Thule Air didn’t mistake the meteor explosion of an incoming nuke, otherwise the bolide might have sparked a nuclear war," 

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