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High Sierra Backpacker | The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide's Magazine & its Backpacker Trails & Topics Forums

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.  


Alex Wierbinski's picture

January of 2020 All High Sierra Backpacker, Hiker, Outdoors, & Nature News Index sticky icon

 

Updated
January 25,  2020

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

Last Month
DECEMBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
January,  2020

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. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Permafrost shifts to Carbon Contributor as Changing Arctic Climate Drives Chemistry & Ecology Changes sticky icon

 

OCEANS, ICE, & OUR MELTING PERMAFROST

Caribou on the Permafrost
A caribou atop cliff bluffs that are eroding into a coastal lagoon along the Beaufort Sea on the North Slope of Alaska. UMass Amherst/M. Rawlins.
A caribou atop cliff bluffs that are eroding into a coastal lagoon along the Beaufort Sea on the North Slope of Alaska. A new analysis of the changing character of runoff, river discharge and other watershed features on the North Slope of Alaska reveals significant increases in the proportion of subsurface runoff and cold season discharge, fine photo by UMass Amherst/M. Rawlins.

 

Permafrost Now a Carbon Contributor with Changing Chemistry & Ecology as Arctic Warms

Thawing Permafrost Affecting Northern Alaska's Land-to-Ocean River Flows,
University of Massachusetts Amherst, December 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Ongoing PFAS Industrial Pollution Continues After Decades of Contamination sticky icon

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, & ONGOING INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION

Ongoing PFAS Industrial Pollution Continues After Decades of Contamination

A Solution for Cleaning up PFAS, one of the World's Most Intractable Pollutants,
Colorado State University, December 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Problem Bonding
"The carbon-fluorine chemical bond, among nature's strongest, is the reason behind the wild success of these chemicals, as well as the immense environmental challenges they have caused since the 1940s."

PFAS Distribution
Mass Production Crap in Everything
"...given us nonstick coatings, polishes, waxes, cleaning products and firefighting foams used at airports and military bases. They are in consumer goods like carpets, wall paint, popcorn bags and water-repellant shoes, and they are essential in the aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, data storage, electronic and healthcare industries."

PFAS Distribution in Nature
"PFAS residues have been found in some of the most pristine water sources, and in the tissue of polar bears."

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The High Social and Natural Costs of Mass Population, Mass Industrial Production Pollution sticky icon

 

HEALTH, MEGACITY INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Study finds BPA Levels in Humans Dramatically Underestimated,
Washington State University, December 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

BPA
"BPA can be found in a wide range of plastics, including food and drink containers, and animal studies have shown that it can interfere with the body's hormones. In particular, fetal exposure to BPA has been linked to problems with growth, metabolism, behavior, fertility and even greater cancer risk."
See
Oct 2019
Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta

FDA-INDUSTRIAL PERSPECTIVE
"...the FDA has evaluated data from studies measuring BPA in human urine and determined that human exposure to the chemical is at very low, and therefore, safe levels."

Boom!
New BPA Test
"Researchers have developed a more accurate method of measuring bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans and found that exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical is far higher than previously assumed."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Changing Climate Shifting Seasons Changing Bird Migrations, (& Everything Else...) sticky icon

 

BIRDS CLIMATE MIGRATION TIMING

Shifting Seasons Shifting Bird Migrations, (& Everything Else...)

Birds' Seasonal Migrations Shift Earlier as Climate Changes, new research shows,
University of Massachusetts Amherst, December 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Continental Scale
"...one of the first studies to examine climate change impact on the timing of bird migration on a continental scale..."

24 Years of Nocturnal Migration
"...analyzed 24 years of radar data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for this study of nocturnal bird migration."

Lotsa Bird Migration Data
"...observed nighttime migratory behaviors of hundreds of species representing billions of birds, as "critically important" to understanding and learning more answers about shifting migration patterns."

Changing with Warming
"...the greatest changes in migration timing occurring in the regions warming most rapidly. Timing shifts were less apparent in fall, they add."

Shifting Spring Migration
"...spring migrants were likely to pass certain stops earlier now than they would have 20 years ago"

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Will get Bigger Due to Climate Change? sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING WEATHER CHANGES

Blocking Event Scaling Law
Blocking Event Scaling Law Chart, by P. Hassanzadeh at Rice University.
Rice University fluid dynamicists have found a mathematical formula called a scaling law that relates the size of atmospheric blocking events to the width, latitude and strength of the jet stream, all of which are well-studied and measured, by P. Hassanzadeh at Rice University.

 

Warming Rapidly Changing the Jet Stream Triggering More Warming by Ridging

Stalled Weather Patterns Will get Bigger Due to Climate Change,
Rice University, November 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Blocking Ridge Intensification Happening Now
"Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure weather systems called "blocking events" that have already produced some of the 21st century's deadliest heat waves."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

February 2020 High Sierra & General Wilderness News of Man, Science, & Nature

 

Updated
February 12,  2020

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

Last Month
JANUARY ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
February
,  2020

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. 

The vast majority of our reporting on Nature comes from the American Association of Scientists summarizations of each day's bounty of the peer-reviewed research published by academic institutions and journals around the world.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

GROWING TO PHYSICAL & PERSONAL DESTRUCTION: Megacity Morons of Mexico City

UPDATED!
Air Pollution Causes Significant Childhood Brain Degradation

Childhood Air Pollution Linked to Schizophrenia

Pollution feeds Childhood Brain Degradations

 

GROWING TO PHYSICAL & PERSONAL DESTRUCTION

Megacity Morons of Mexico City

Air pollution in Mexico City is associated with the development of Alzheimer disease,
IOS Press, December 21, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Relentless Alzheimer's Pathology
“...concerns over the evolving and relentless Alzheimer's pathology observed in young Metropolitan Mexico City (MMC) urbanites.”

THIRD WORLD SHITHOLE
“Metropolitan Mexico City is an example of extreme urban growth and serious environmental pollution and millions of children are involuntarily exposed to harmful concentrations of PM 2.5 every day since conception.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Health & Fitness in the Winter & Spring of 2020

 

 

Health, Fitness, & The Human Condition 
News and Science

Updated
January 8, 2020

 Winter & Spring
of
2020

January 1, 2020:
HAPPY-HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

  

 

Latest News Below

 

Earlier
Summer & Fall of 2019

Health & Fitness, Fall & Winter of 2019

Health & Fitness News, 2018

Health & Fitness News, 2015-2017

Our goal here is to provide the best information how to deal with internal and external threats to your health. But why?

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

No Evidence that Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Exist

 

Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Lost in the Noise,
Penn State, January 3, 2020.

MAIN POINTS

PDO Does Not Exist
"The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) do not appear to exist..."

Static
"Using both observational data and climate model simulations, the researchers showed that there was no consistent evidence for decadal or longer-term internal oscillatory signals that could be differentiated from climatic noise -- random year to year variation."

No PDO Evidence
"Given the current sophistication of climate models as seen in their ability to capture the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, we would expect to see consistent evidence for oscillations across a suite of climate models... We found no such evidence."

Nada-Ziltch
"...we found no other signals, no Pacific or Atlantic climate variability on decadal or longer timescales that could be characterized as a true oscillation. Such variability was essentially indistinguishable from random noise."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Assessing the U.S. Climate in November 2019

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

November 2019 Mean US Temperature Percentiles
November 2019 Mean US Temperature Percentiles, NOAA.
NOAA tracks bipolar month of November: Warm West, Cool East.

 

NOAA Tracking Our Devolving Climate & Weather

Assessing the U.S. Climate in November 2019,
NOAA, December 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Below Average November Temperatures
"...contiguous U.S. average temperature was 41.2°F, 0.5°F below the 20th century average, ranking in the middle third of the November record."

Warm West
"Above- to much-above-average November temperatures were observed from the West Coast to the Rockies and across parts of southern Florida."

Cold East
"Below- to much-below-average temperatures were present from the central U.S. to the East Coast. Average temperatures across Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Vermont ranked among the coldest ten percent of Novembers on record."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

NOAA Assesses the Global Climate in November 2019: Second Hottest on Record

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Global Land & Ocean Temp Percentiles November 2019
Global Land & Ocean Temp Percentiles November 2019
Bubble, Bubble, Boiling Heat, Toil, & Trouble: November on Earth. NOAA.

 

NOAA Tracking Our Devolving Climate & Weather

Assessing the Global Climate in November 2019,
Globe had the second warmest November on record,
NOAA, December 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Second Hottest November Ever
"...November 2019 was the second highest for the month of November in the 140-year NOAA global temperature dataset record. The September–November 2019 and January–November 2019 temperatures were also the second highest such periods on record."

"...1.66°F (0.92°C) above the 20th-century average of 55.2°F (12.9°C) and was the second highest for November in the 1880–2019 record. Only November 2015 was warmer."

"November 2019 marked the 43rd consecutive November and the 419th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, Winter & Spring of 2020

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People,

Winter & Spring
2020

 

This is the High Sierra
Fish, Oceans, Ice, Sealife, & Water News

"Water as it Stands, Pools, Flows, Freezes, and Precipitates"

The Fish News has been stretching into Fish & River News, now into covering Water Issues generally. We cover water as it stands, pools, flows, freezes, and precipitates. A step further, we cover how water affects the things that most directly depend on it, the things that grow, swim, drink, ship, & store water.

 

NOAA West Coast Fisheries

All Sierra Snow

All Sierra Precip

 

Earlier

Summer & Fall of 2019

Winter & Spring of 2019

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Climate & Ecological Change, The Winter & Spring of 2020

 

CHANGING WEATHER, 
&
CHANING WORLD,
NEWS

2020

Updated Daily 

January 16,  2020

 ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Winter & Spring
of
2020

The transitions between seasons, their basic character, their timing, temp, and humidity transitions have all changed. The directions from which the seasonal winds blow have changed. These changes are reverberating through and disrupting webs of life that wrap around the whole planet.

Blooming, feeding, mating, and migration patterns of all living things are changing around the world.

Here we track the obvious and the subtle human affects on Nature. The club and the knife, if you will.

 

Previous Reports-Research

Summer & Fall of 2019

Spring of 2019

Winter of 2019

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Looking into the Mirror of Life: Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Science News & Research for Good Observers, Winter & Spring of 2020

 

ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS 


Really Big and Really Small Scale Sciences

The Fundamental Nature of Reality Big to Small... 

We follow Astro-physics and Science News for fun, because the Nature of Life itself is pretty darn entertaining on its own merits. Understanding the Nature and construction of our reality is a pragmatic move for all its "operators," but especially for backpacker's finding context in, and navigating the terrain to both ascertain & clarify our place in the Universe.

This is the amazing universe we are walking through.

Interestingly enough, we have to understand the fundamental nature of the motions & relationships within the Universe around us to find our precise position on this Earth, to understand our context within its Nature, and how we can or cannot fit perfectly into the greater Universe around us.

We follow science to better understand ourselves, what we are hiking through, and our choices along our journey.

 

 

Updated 

January 7, 2020

 

LATEST NEWS BELOW

 

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Diets, Fake Sugars, & Chemicals DON'T Make Up for a Lack of Natural Physical Engagement

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, & FAKE LIFESTYLES

Diets & Chemicals DON'T Make Up for Lack of Natural Engagement

Here's a Bitter Pill to Swallow: Artificial Sweeteners May be Doing More Harm than Good,
University of South Australia, December 17, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Sweeteners"
"...people who use low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are more likely to gain weight, the exact opposite of what consumers expect."

Low Calorie Sweeteners
"...a 200 per cent increase in LCS usage among children and a 54 per cent increase among adults in the past 20 years."

False Justification
"Consumers of artificial sweeteners do not reduce their overall intake of sugar. They use both sugar and low-calorie sweeteners and may psychologically feel they can indulge in their favourite foods."

Bad Sugar
"Artificial sweeteners also change the gut bacteria which may lead to weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes."

Death & Heart Problems
"Artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) are also linked with increased risks of death and cardiovascular disease, and strokes and dementia among older people, but it is not clear why."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Half of US Population Projected to, "Have," Obesity by 2030

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, & FAT-ASSES

Mister Creosote
John Cleese and Terry Jones in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. Must See TV...
John Cleese and Terry Jones in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. A Brit Metaphor for the Obesity of American Desire, in this case. Must See TV... Sorry...

 

Exercise & Deep Engagement with Nature Lost to Average American

Close to Half of US Population Projected to have Obesity by 2030,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, December 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Wave of Fat Approaching
USA: 75% Fat Content by 2030
"About half of the adult U.S. population will have obesity and about a quarter will have severe obesity by 2030..."

"Have," obesity? Did they, "catch," it?

USA: 58% Fatties NOW
"...currently, 40% of American adults have obesity and 18% have severe obesity."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Warming Waters Making Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the "PDO," Less Predictable

 

OCEANS, WARMING, & LONG-RANGE WEATHER FORECASTING

 

Pacific Decadal Oscillation Temperatures
Pacific Decadal Oscillation Sea surface temperatures during cold phase of PDO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Sea surface temperatures during cold phase of PDO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

 

Warming Waters Making Pacific Decadal Oscillation Less Predictable

Seasonal Forecasts Challenged by Pacific Ocean Warming,
CSIRO Australia, December 17, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Less Predictable
"The research found that the PDO would become less predictable as the planet warms, because warming conditions result in a significantly shortened PDO lifespan."

PDO Definition from NOAA
PDO Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Currently at a Negative Value
"The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is often described as a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability."-NOAA.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

West Coast Ahead of the Curve on Everything, Including Ocean Acidification

 

WATER, OCEANS, WARMING, BIG CIRCULATION CYCLES, & ACIDIFICATION

Scene of the Crime
Foraminifera Shell
This image of a foraminifera shell has been magnified 650 times its size by a scanning electron microscope. NOAA.
This image of a foraminifera shell has been magnified 650 times its size by a scanning electron microscope, thanks to NOAA an example of our tax dollars working well...
 

West Coast Ahead of the Curve on Everything

Tiny Shells Reveal Waters off California are Acidifying Twice as Fast as the Global Ocean,
NOAA Headquarters, December 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Big Changes Quick
"NOAA scientists and academic partners used 100 years of microscopic shells to show that the coastal waters off California are acidifying twice as fast as the global ocean average -- with the seafood supply in the crosshairs."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Thinning Antarctic Ice Shelf & Ice Sheet's Slippery Relationship

 

OCEANS, ICE, & THE ANTARCTIC

Antarctic Ice Shelf & Ice Sheet's Slippery Relationship

Evidence: Antarctica's Thinning Ice Shelves Causing More Ice to Move from Land into Sea,
Northumbria University, December 2, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Theory
Corked & Bottled-Up Ice
"Satellite measurements taken between 1994 and 2017 have detected significant changes in the thickness of the floating ice shelves that surround the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These shelves buttress against the land-based ice, holding them in place like a safety band."

"It is believed that the ice shelves may be thinning due to changes in ocean heat content, either by ocean warming or from changes in how the ocean circulates around and below the shelves..."

Glaciers Uncorked
"There are other processes in play as well, but we can now state firmly that the observed changes in ice-shelves do cause significant changes over the grounded ice, speeding up its flow into the ocean."

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Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

I NEED HELP!
If you feel these efforts are valuable, I'm cordially inviting you to support them, here:

 

 

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