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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Eco-Crash News, Birds: Rising Sea Temps Threaten Juvenile Albatross



Eco-Crash News: Birds

Multiplex of Environmental Factors Failing

Rising sea temperatures threaten survival of juvenile albatross,
British Ecological Society, June 18, 2018.


The Black-Browed Albatross

"Climate affects this seabird species in complex ways."

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New Quake Mechanism ID'd in CA: "Slow" Earthquakes Change San Andreas Risks




New Earthquake Mechanism ID'd in CA

'Slow earthquakes' on San Andreas Fault increase risk of large quakes, say ASU scientists,
Arizona State University, June 18, 2018.




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Climate Crash News: Status of East Antarctic Ice



Climate Crash News

Status of Antarctic Ice

Will E Ant Melt? Will Humans Exceed Pliocene CO2? Stay Tuned?

Land-based portion of massive East Antarctic ice sheet retreated little during past 8 million years,
National Science Foundation, June 15, 2018.

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Dept of Flying Spiders: The Complex Webs Nature Weaves




Dept of Flying Spiders

The Complex Webs Nature Weaves

Flying spiders sense meteorological conditions, use nanoscale fibers to float on the wind,
PLOS, June 14, 2018.


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ASTROPHYSICS NEWS: Fireworks as Black Hole Eats a Star




Celestial Fireworks

Astronomers see distant eruption as black hole destroys star,
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, June 14, 2018.


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Galactic Evolution: How the Milky Way Galaxy Came to Be




How the Milky Way Came to Be

Galactic Evolution

New GAIA data reveals mergers in Milky Way,
University of Groningen, June 12, 2018.

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Mariposa Grove Restoration Complete




Mariposa Grove Restoration Complete

From parking lot to giant sequoia grove. Yosemite transformation finally complete,
Fresno Bee, June 13, 2018.

"...three-year restoration project in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias."

"...around 500 mature giant sequoias and is the largest and best-known of Yosemite's three sequoia groves."

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The End of Tahoe as We Know It: Water Clarity in Steady Decline



Ending an Era: Watching the Transformation of The Sierra and Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Clarity at Lowest Ever

Lake Tahoe clarity decreased 9.5 feet in 2017,
Tahoe Daily Tribune, June 13, 2018.


"The numbers from the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center follow a 3.9-foot decrease in average annual clarity in 2016. The decrease in 2017 dropped the average annual clarity level to 59.7 feet."

"...the measurement plummeted past the previous lowest recorded average of 64.1 feet, which was recorded in 1997..."


Average "Modern" Clarity 70 Feet

"The five-year average lake clarity is approximately 70 feet."


Age of Extremes

"In 2017, Lake Tahoe's low clarity was primarily the result of two extreme climatic and hydrologic events ...the combination of arguably the most extreme drought period ending with the most extreme precipitation year produced the low clarity values seen."

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High Sierra Spring of 2018

High Sierra Spring of 2018
Evolution of Conditions

Page Started
March 20, 2018

 Winter 2017
Setting the Scene for the Spring of 2018



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June, 2018: Serious Spring Snow Accident on Mount Whitney




Serious Spring Snow Accident on Mount Whitney

Pro Rescue brings Two off Whitney by Helo, One able to Self-Rescue

Inyo, Mono Search and Rescue members aid hikers,
Sierra Wave, June 12, 2018.




"...approximately 9:30 am on Sunday June 10th…"

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Eco-Crash News: Warming to Disrupt Global Corn Production


Eco-Crash News

Warming to Disrupt Global Corn Production

Warmer climate will dramatically increase the volatility of global corn crops,
University of Washington, June 11, 2018.


The Big Four Producers

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2018 Water Woes Deepening in the Southwest



Water Woes Deepening in the Southwest

No Solution for Crazy Development Using more Water during Drying Times

Physical Tools can't Fix Greedy Fools

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HEALTH & FITTNESS, Medicinal Nutrition, Foods that Fight Disease



Foods that Fight Disease

Scientists identify foods that fight disease,
Nutrition 2018, June 10, 2018.


The Foods

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Two Works of Research: Bacteria Moving Effectively to Counter Human Antibiotics



Microscopic Bacterial Magic

Bacteria Moving Effectively to Counter Human Antibiotics

DNA HUNTERS: Spearing and Plasmid Sharing



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INDEX: ALL Mosquito and Tick News and Information for High Sierra Backpackers

Tick and Mosquito News
Mosquitoes are a major issue in the High Sierra,

ticks less so the higher you go.


August 15, 2018





Also See
Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts:
Backpacking the High Sierra



The Winged Hazard

Mosquitoes WILL BE a significant issue from the dawn of Spring until the moisture dries out of the soils along both flanks and the crest. Each of these dates, of the beginning of Spring and the end of moisture vary every year, but we do have averages. The mosquitoes dry-out by August 15 during an "avergage" year. But the averages are changing, Spring has been coming earlier, while the swings between very wet and very dry seasons seems to be getting abrupt and more intense.

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Snags: Camp, Trail, Cross Country and River Crossing


Mountain Safety


June 2018
The High Sierra Tree Mortality situation induces me to repost this at the top of the list as Summer Backpacking season gets started. Snags are presenting heightened dangers this year, as is the related threat of fire.


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Summer of 2018: Watch Out for the Green Water, Salem Oregon Water Supply Compromised



Salem Water Supply Turns Green

Salem drinking water contaminated, children advised to avoid tap water,
KGW8 Portland, May 31, 2018.

"Low levels of toxins caused by algae blooms in Detroit Lake have been discovered in Salem's drinking water..."

"The toxins originated with algae blooms first detected last week in Detroit Lake. That water continues down the North Santiam River, which becomes the Santiam Canyon and City of Salem's drinking water source."

"Other affected cities include Turner and Stayton."

"Algae blooms in Detroit Lake are common in the late spring and early summer. But the algae blooms observed this year appear to be more widespread and potent."

"There are about 185,000 people who live in the cities that draw their municipal drinking water from the North Santiam River, not including farms in rural communities that draw water from the river."

"People with compromised health and immune systems also are being told not to drink tap water."

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Boots and Footwear: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Member's Favorites


Selecting Backpacking Boots and Footwear from among our many, many Options. The goal is to get exactly what you need fit perfectly.



The Range of Choices
 We have an extensive selection of types and styles of backpacking footwear available from extremely heavy to virtually none at all. The barefoot and neoprene fads are quite amusing...

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Introduction to Backpacks: The Best High Sierra Backpack for You, Your Trail, and the Season

Best High Sierra Backpack for Various Applications

Getting the correct backpack for your backpacking depends on properly determining what you are going to need out of a backpack. The proper backpack for a five day cross-country Wintertime snow trip is going to be different in a number of ways than the proper backpack for a two-day Summer hike along well-marked trails. 

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