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.  

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2018 Fields Medal Award Winner Peter Scholze


The Newest-New Math

A Master of Numbers and Shapes Who Is Rewriting Arithmetic,
Quanta, August 1, 2018.

2018 Fields Medal Award Winner

Peter Scholze

"...30-year-old Scholze was awarded the medal (the Fields Medals — mathematics’ highest honor) at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, making him one of the youngest Fields medalists ever. His award cites “the revolution that he launched in arithmetic geometry...”

"...developing a unified theory called prismatic cohomology, which envisions these different cohomologies essentially as bands of light in a cohomological rainbow."

A Fascinating Story

"...profile of Scholze from June 28, 2016..."

"Scholze’s key innovation — a class of fractal structures he calls perfectoid spaces — is only a few years old, but it already has far-reaching ramifications in the field of arithmetic geometry, where number theory and geometry come together."

"...perfectoid spaces are hard for other researchers to grasp..."

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Big Quakes can Trigger Big Quakes on opposite side of Earth


Bi-Polar Quakes

Research finds quakes can systematically trigger other ones on opposite side of Earth,
Oregon State University, August 2, 2018.

"New research shows that a big earthquake can not only cause other quakes, but large ones, and on the opposite side of the Earth."

"...looked at 44 years of seismic data and found clear evidence that temblors of magnitude 6.5 or larger trigger other quakes of magnitude 5.0 or larger."

"It had been thought that aftershocks – smaller magnitude quakes that occur in the same region as the initial quake as the surrounding crust adjusts after the fault perturbation – and smaller earthquakes at great distances – were the main global effects of very large earthquakes."

"...analysis of seismic data from 1973 through 2016 – an analysis that excluded data from aftershock zones – using larger time windows than in previous studies, provided discernible evidence that in the three days following one large quake, other earthquakes were more likely to occur."

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Scripps Pier Records Highest Ocean Temperature in its 102-year History


Hot Times in SoCal

San Diego's Scripps Pier records highest ocean temperature in its 102-year history,
San Diego Union Tribune, August 2, 2018.

"...sea surface temperature at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla hit 78.6 degrees on Wednesday, the highest reading in the pier’s 102-year history, according to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography."

"...broke the previous record of 78.4 degrees, which was set in 1931."

"The institute has been taking sea surface temperatures there since August 1916 as part of its scientific research."

Weird Times

"Southern California coastal waters have been anomalously warm since the beginning of 2014, when we experienced a marine heatwave."

“This event was popularly known as ‘the blob’. The following year, during 2015-2016, we had one of the strongest El Nino’s of the the last few decades and the local ocean continued warming."

“Since then SoCal waters are still anomalously warm — that is the water has not returned to temperatures that were normal in the previous seven years."

“The warm waters are posing a challenge for lifeguards, who’ve had to watch over enormous crowds.”


The Bottom Line

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Eco-Crash News: The Great Northern Hemisphere Heatwave of 2018


The New Heatwave Normal

Record 2018 Death Valley & Northern Hemispheric Heat

Death Valley posts hottest month ever recorded on Earth, for the second July in a row,
Washington Post, August 2, 2018.

Hottest of the Hot

"Last July, California’s Death Valley endured the hottest month ever measured on the planet. This July ended up even hotter."

"Over both day and night, the temperature at Death Valley averaged 108.1 degrees, ahead of the mark set a year ago by about a half-degree. That previous mark had broken a record that stood for 100 years."

"...this July’s temperature has averaged nearly six degrees above the average of 102.2."

"The high temperature hit at least 120 degrees on 21 days, sailing past the normal high of 116.5 degrees."

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Warm Soil, Heatwaves & Microbes: Two Pieces of Climate Change-Soil Disaster Research



Two Pieces of Climate-Soil Research

1> Climate Change-driven Droughts & Heatwaves are getting Hotter

2> As temperatures rise, Earth's soil is 'breathing' more heavily



Climate Changed Soils Magnifying Droughts & Heatwaves

Climate change-driven droughts are getting hotter, UCI study finds,
University of California - Irvine, August 1, 2018.

Higher Drought Temps

"...report that temperatures during droughts have been rising faster than in average climates in recent decades, and they point to concurrent changes in atmospheric water vapor as a driver of the surge."

Hotter Hots

"Available soil moisture can remove surface heat through evaporation, but if the land is dry, there is no opportunity to transport it away, which increases the local temperature."

More Problems Now

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OCEANS, CHEMISTRY, & CLIMATE: Cooking Up a Toxic Brew


Cooking Up a Toxic Brew

Scientists draw new connections between climate change and warming oceans,
University of Toronto, August 1, 2018.

Climate Changes Ocean Chemistry

"...shows how an increase in CO2 in Earth's atmosphere more than 50 million years ago (the PETM), dramatically changed the chemistry of the planet's oceans."

"...global warming is not only about extreme weather events, or hotter summers, but it has the potential to alter the ocean structure with unknown consequences for fisheries."

"We show that the last time large amounts of CO2 were injected into the atmosphere, not only did the planet get hot -- which is known as the so called Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, about 55 million year ago -- but it also changed the chemistry of the ocean quite markedly."


"The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, about 55 million year ago) gets its name from the boundary between two periods in Earth's past. The amount of CO2 input into the atmosphere during the period was similar to the predicted trajectories of CO2 in the atmosphere towards the year 2100..."

Toxic Brew Ocean

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Forest News: Moving West in Response to Climate Change


Forests Responding to Multiplex of Changes

Trees travelling west: How climate is changing our forests,
Ecological Society of America, August 1, 2018.

“...studies on the impacts of global temperature rise have suggested that the range of trees will migrate poleward and upward.”

“...different combinations of changes in temperature and precipitation can result in different impacts, and different species can have different responses.”

"...found that 73 percent of tree species have experienced a westward shift while 62 percent have experienced a poleward shift. It appears that the shifts are largely associated with changes in moisture availability."

“The results suggest that changes in moisture availability have stronger near-term impacts on forest dynamics than do changes in temperature.”



I’ve been watching the predominant direction from which our seasonal precipitation comes shifting from the Northwest to the Southwest over the past forty years.

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2018, Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated


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."

"H40 launched but shortly after was forced to return to their base due to the heavy smoke and low visibility in the area."

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The Hottest Summer of 2018: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else


Climate-Driven Antrhopocene

The Hottest Summer of 2018: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else

Record Heat, Fires Worsened By Climate Change,
KQED, July 30, 2018.

Hottest Ever, Again

"Heat waves are setting all-time temperature records across the globe, again. Europe suffered its deadliest wildfire in more than a century, and one of nearly 90 large fires in the U.S. West burned dozens of homes and forced the evacuation of at least 37,000 people..."

"Flood-inducing downpours have pounded the U.S. East this week."

"...it’s all being made worse by human-caused climate change..."

“Weirdness abounds.”

Records Falling, again...

"Japan hit 106 degrees on Monday, its hottest temperature ever. Records fell in parts of Massachusetts, Maine, Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico and Texas. And then there’s crazy heat in Europe, where normally chill Norway, Sweden and Finland all saw temperatures they have never seen before on any date, pushing past 90 degrees.

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Eco-Crash News: Weather Changed in the US Northeast


Weather Changed in the US Northeast

What is causing more extreme precipitation in the northeast?
Dartmouth College, July 31, 2018.

Where & What

"From Maine to West Virginia, the Northeast has seen a larger increase in extreme precipitation than anywhere else in the U.S."

53% Increase in Extreme Precip

"...these heavy rain and snow events, defined as a day with about two inches of precipitation or more, have been 53 percent higher in the Northeast since 1996."


"...hurricanes were responsible for nearly half of the increase in extreme rainfall across the Northeast. A warmer Atlantic Ocean and more water vapor in the atmosphere are fueling these storms, causing them to drop more rain over the Northeast."

"Severe thunderstorms along "fronts," especially intense downpours along cold fronts, accounted for 25 percent of the increase in extreme precipitation."

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HEALTH & FITNESS: Coffee Reduces Death


Coffee Reduces Death

Research suggests coffee consumption associated with reduced risk of death,
Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, July 31, 2018.

Less Death for Coffee Drinkers
“...presented unpublished original research studying a cohort of almost 20,000 participants over an average of ten years...research suggests that coffee consumption at intakes of 3-6 cups of coffee a day reduces all-cause mortality. Within this cohort, there was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day.”

Not Just the Caffeine
“...suggested that caffeine alone was unlikely to explain the effect on mortality, mentioning a potential role for polyphenols found in coffee, which may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”

Less Death
“Meta-analyses have suggested that coffee consumption versus no coffee consumption is associated with an up to 17% risk reduction of all-cause mortality.”

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Climate-Driven Anthropocene: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else with Heatwaves

The Climate-Driven Anthropocene

Killing Ourselves and Everything Else

Heatwave deaths will rise steadily by 2080 as globe warms up,
Monash University, July 31, 2018.

“If people cannot adapt to future climate temperatures, deaths caused by severe heatwaves will increase dramatically in tropical and subtropical regions, followed closely by Australia, Europe and the United States”

Death Model

"Researchers developed a model to estimate the number of deaths related to heatwaves in 412 communities across 20 countries for the period of 2031 to 2080."

Death Factors

"...projected excess mortality in relation to heatwaves in the future under different scenarios characterised by levels of greenhouse gas emissions, preparedness and adaption strategies and population density across these regions."


"Future heatwaves in particular will be more frequent, more intense and will last much longer."

Aussies Take it in the Ass

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At the Center of Our Galaxy: Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed


At the Center of Our Galaxy

Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed
(4971 Miles Per Second)

GRAVITY confirms predictions of general relativity,
CNRS, July 30, 2018.

"Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* Black Hole) sits at the centre of our galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth."

Sagittarius A* and its star cluster
Sagittarius A* and its star cluster
Credit, Copyright by Paris Observatory / LESIA

"...to follow one particular star in the Sgr A* system - S2 - before and after it passed close to the black hole on 19 May 2018. GRAVITY achieved a resolution of 50 microarcseconds: the angle at which a tennis ball placed on the moon would be visible from Earth."

"When S2 passed by Sgr A* at a distance just 120 times that of the Earth from the Sun, it reached an orbital velocity of 8000 km/s: 2.7 % of the speed of light. These extreme conditions suffice for the S2 star to be subjected to the effects of general relativity."

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Lobotomizing the Web of Life: Coral Escape Limits

Study shows ocean acidification is having major impact on marine life,

University of Plymouth, July 27, 2018.

"Carbon dioxide emissions are killing off coral reefs and kelp forests as heat waves and ocean acidification damage marine ecosystems."

...researchers say that three centuries of industrial development have already had a marked effect on our seas."

"...if CO2 levels continue to rise as predicted, the coming decades and lowering seawater pH levels will have an even greater and potentially catastrophic impact."

Volcanic CO2 Seeps Mimic our Future

"Their predictions follow a comprehensive study of the effects of recently discovered volcanic CO2 seeps off Shikine Island, Japan, which is on the border of temperate and tropical climates."

"...the volcanic seeps indicate how rising CO2 levels will affect future ecology, both in the northwest Pacific Ocean and across the world."

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Lobotomizing the Web of Life: King Penguins Disappearing

Lobotomizing the Web of Life

Penguins Disappearing

Largest king penguin colony has shrunk nearly 90 percent,
CNRS, July 30, 2018.

1982 "...the colony included 500,000 breeding pairs and consisted of over two million penguins."

Colony in 1982
The colony of king penguins on Île aux Cochons in 1892, in the southern Indian Ocean.Credit, Copyright by Henry Weimerskirch

"They found that the colony has shrunk, yielding its territory to encroaching vegetation. Photographs taken from a helicopter during the Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition confirm that the colony's penguin population has plummeted."

"...the decline began in the late 1990s, coinciding with a major climatic event in the Southern Ocean related to El Niño."

"...none of these possibilities seems to offer a satisfactory explanation for a decline of the magnitude observed on Île aux Cochons."


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Lobotomizing the Web of Life: CO2 Increase a Time Machine to the Palogene Era



Lobotomizing the Web of Life

Humans Working Overtime

Ever-increasing CO2 levels could take us back to the tropical climate of Paleogene period,
University of Bristol, July 30, 2018.

"A new study led by scientists at the University of Bristol has warned that unless we mitigate current levels of carbon dioxide emissions, Western Europe and New Zealand could revert to the hot tropical climate of the early Paleogene period - 56-48 million years ago."


"The early Paleogene is a period of great interest to climate change scientists as carbon dioxide levels (around 1,000 ppmv) are similar to those predicted for the end of this century."

"Most of the existing estimates of temperatures from this period are from the ocean, not the land - what this study attempts to answer is exactly how warm it got on land during this period."

Land Temps of Paleogene Scary

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Video Four: Packing a Five Day Food Supply for easy storage and weather protection

The Youtube Video that lives here
Breaks Security:
Video #4, Properly Packing a Five Day Food Supply
Full five day Wintertime backpacking food supply, packed tight and waterproof.
Five day backpacking Food Supply, packed tight and waterproof



Video Four
Packing it Dry and Tight

Video Two: 
Food, Part One: Planning a Five Day
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Important JMT Access Point Severed: Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin Access Closed


Highway 168 OPEN

State Route 168W to open JULY 27 at 8 PM,
Sierra Wave, July 27, 2018.

"Since the initial rockfall/mudslide last Sunday, July 22nd, Caltrans, Inyo County, and the CHP worked relentlessly to assist over 70 stranded vehicles and 150+ people beyond the slide at Sabrina and North Lake campgrounds."

"USFS will also be reopening the North Lake Campground and Sabrina Campgrounds.  Additionally, the Sabrina Lake and North Lake trailheads (Paiute Pass and Lamarck Lakes) are now open. The USFS will honor wilderness permits held for these trailheads starting tomorrow, July 28th, and will be issuing new permits (within the quota) as well.  Please call the Wilderness Permit Office at 760-873-2483 if you have questions."


Hwy 168



Original Story

JMT Access Severed by Mudslide

Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin Access Closed

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NORTH HEMISPHERE HEATWAVE, Everything Frying: Three Articles, UPDATED



Heatwave Turns Europe Brown,
NASA Earth Observatory, July 30, 2018.


JULY 28.

The Incredible Northern Hemisphere Heatwave

Heatwaves from the Arctic to Japan: a sign of things to come?
AFP, July 27, 2018.

"Intense heatwaves...are set to become increasingly frequent around the world due to climate change, experts warn."

"...in Northern Europe the recent heatwave is exceptional, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts temperatures will continue to beat the seasonal average from Ireland to Scandinavia and the Baltic countries until early August."

Super Heatwave
"Generally we have heatwaves in one part of the planet...But now we have the entire northern hemisphere being hot -- it's stunning."

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July 2018 All High Sierra News Index


July 31, 2018









High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature


July, 2018

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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