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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December of 2019 All High Sierra Backpacker, Hiker, Outdoors, & Nature News Index

 

Updated
January 4,  2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

JANUARY ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

NOVEMBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
December
, 2019

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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Black Holes within Massive Black Hole's Accretion Disk?

 

REALITY, BIG & SMALL: BLACK HOLE MERGER GRAVITY WAVES

Simulation of An Accretion Disk Surrounding a Supermassive Black Hole
This is a simulation of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole, Scott C. Noble, Rochester Institute of Technology.
This is a simulation of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole, Scott C. Noble, Rochester Institute of Technology.

 

Explaining Gravitational Behaviors...

New Study Suggests 'Pac-Man-like' Mergers could explain Massive, Spinning Black Holes,
Rochester Institute of Technology, November 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Black Holes within Massive Black Hole's Accretion Disk?
"The largest merger detected (by LIGO) so far seems to have defied previous models because it has a higher spin and mass than the range thought possible."

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Megacity Thieves, Grouse, and Ranchers Fight over Diminishing East Sierra Waters

ECO-CRASHING CONSEQUENCES

Megacity Thieves, Grouse, and Ranchers Fight over Diminishing Waters

Los Angeles reduces Eastern Sierra water deliveries because of climate change. At risk, ranchers say, is a way of life,
LA Times, September 24, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Ranchers Out
“...LADWP has for seven decades provided several lessees in the area about 5 acre-feet of water per acre per year, which made their pastures nutritious through the summer and added luster to the area’s hiking, biking and angling hotspots. (An acre-foot of water equals about 326,000 gallons, more than enough to supply two households for a year.)”

“...new 20-year leases for 10 longtime ranchers in area, the department says lessees should anticipate that little to no water will be available for them.”

Grouse Lifeline

“...it would continue diverting about 1,000 acre-feet of water per year to protect the estimated 600 sage grouse in the area, a segment of a subspecies only found along the California-Nevada border.

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LA Rain Creates Shit-Storms of Filth/Typhus

HEALTH, FITNESS, & WATER

Filth Rains Down on Megacity Madness

LA Rain Creates Shit-Storms of Filth/Typhus

L.A.'s stormwater is so filthy it's illegal,
LA Times, October 22, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Megacity Filth
"The stormwater that streams down our streets and into our creeks and rivers is heavily polluted. Oil, gasoline, industrial runoff, heavy metals and many tons of trash are carried by the rain, untreated, straight to our waterways and ocean. This pollution destroys ecosystems, kills wildlife and dirties our beaches. Not to mention that billions of gallons of much-needed (filthy) fresh water drain out to sea."

Megacity Filth
"L.A. County and the surrounding region has for decades been required to comply with the Clean Water Act, which makes it illegal to allow stormwater pollution to flow into the ocean and other waterways. For decades, the county and its 88 cities have largely ignored the law’s mandates, perhaps in hopes that the costs of compliance could be deferred."

Economic Costs of Megacity Filth
"As soon as 2020, L.A. County and its municipalities will face millions, if not billions, in fines for violating the Clean Water Act. These fines will be passed on to tax payers and businesses."

 

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Warming Arctic Spreading Seal Diseases

 

ICE, WATER, WARMING, & DISEASE

Ribbon Seal
An adult male ribbon seal lays on the ice, NOAA Fisheries, Polar Ecosystems Program.
An adult male ribbon seal lays on the ice, NOAA Fisheries, Polar Ecosystems Program.

 

Warming Arctic Spreads Disease

Melting Arctic Sea Ice Linked to Emergence of Deadly Virus in Marine Mammals,
University of California - Davis, November 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Problem
"Scientists have linked the decline in Arctic sea ice to the emergence of a deadly virus that could threaten marine mammals in the North Pacific..."

"Phocine distemper virus (PDV), a pathogen responsible for killing thousands of European harbor seals in the North Atlantic in 2002, was identified in northern sea otters in Alaska in 2004, raising questions about when and how the virus reached them."

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Emperor Penguins Quick-Marching Towards Extinction

 

ICE BIRDS IN TROUBLE

Emperor Penguins
Emperor Penguins under Climate Extinction Threat, Stephanie Jenouvrier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The fate of emperor penguins is largely tied to sea ice, making them particulary vulnerable to warming. Photo by author, Stephanie Jenouvrier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

 

Antarctic Snow, Ice & Penguin Decline

Unless Warming is Slowed, Emperor Penguins will be Marching Towards Extinction,
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, November 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bye Bye Birdie
"...a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century."

"If global climate keeps warming at the current rate, we expect emperor penguins in Antarctica to experience an 86 percent decline by the year 2100."

"At that point, it is very unlikely for them to bounce back."

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Complex Society Discovered in Birds

 

BIRDS

Vulturine guineafowl
Vulturine guineafowl, James Klarevas, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
Vulturine guineafowl move in highly cohesive groups. This cohesion allows them to coordinate their actions as they move together through the landscape, and therefore maintain stable group membership over extensive periods of time. James Klarevas, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.

 

Some Smart Dino-Birds...

Complex Society Discovered in Birds,
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, November 4, 2019

MAIN POINTS

"Multilevel societies have, until now, only been known to exist among large-brained mammals including humans, other primates, elephants, giraffes, and dolphins."

The Vulturine guineafowl
"...the birds can keep track of social associations with hundreds of other individuals--challenging the notion that large brains are a requirement for complex societies and providing a clue as to how these societies evolved."

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Screen Time Degrading Children's Brains

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Child Brain Degraded by Screen Time
Child Brain Degraded by Screen Time, by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
This lateral brain image of a child exposed to significant screen time shows lower level levels of white matter structural integrity. These effected areas are in blue. Image by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

 

Creating Dull, Stupid Consumers

Screen-Based Media Associated with Structural Differences in Brains of Young Children,
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, November 4, 2019.

Bottom Line

"...study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use."

Manufacturing Morons
"...children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills."

"...include imagery and executive function - the process involving mental control and self-regulation."

"...also have lower scores on language and literacy measures."

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Any Amount of Running Linked to Significantly Lower Risk of Death

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Keep Moving for Health, Department of Running

Any Amount of Running Linked to Significantly Lower Risk of Death,
BMJ, November 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Any amount of running is linked to a significantly lower risk of death from any cause, finds a pooled analysis of the available evidence..."

"...any amount of running was associated with a 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both sexes, compared with no running."

"...associated with a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer."

"Even small 'doses'--for example, once weekly or less, lasting less than 50 minutes each time, and at a speed below 6 miles (8 km) an hour, still seemed to be associated with significant health/longevity benefits."

Caveat Emptor
"...the researchers caution that the number of included studies was small and their methods varied considerably, which may have influenced the results."

Nonetheless
"Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its dose, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity."

 

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NOAA Assessing the U.S. Climate in October 2019

 

CLIMATE, WATER, & WEATHER: US SEPTEMBER

Extremes of US Temperature & Precipitation Continue

Assessing the U.S. Climate in October 2019,
NOAA NCEI, November 6, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Record Cold in NW with Record Heat in Southeast
"Below-average temperatures were observed from the High Plains to the Pacific Coast, while above-average temperatures blanketed the eastern third of the contiguous U.S. Parts of southern Florida were record warm."

October Temperatures
NOAA October US Mean Temperature Percentiles.
October US Mean Temperature Percentiles
 

Extreme Cold Event in Northwest
"An early-season snowstorm and associated bitter cold temperatures affected Rockies and Midwest...All-time record low temperatures for Oct were set across the West.

Extreme October Temperature
Wow
"Peter Sinks, UT, often one of the nation’s coldest locations, dropped to −46°F early on October 30, according to the Utah Climate Center. This temperature may be the coldest October temperature on record across the contiguous U.S."

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

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

NOAA Tracking Our Devolving Climate & Weather

Assessing the Global Climate in October 2019,
NOAA, November 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Second Warmest October Ever,
Second Warmest Year to Date, within range of records…
"The global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average for October 2019 was the second highest for the month of October in the 140-year NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. "

Second Hottest Year to Date
The year-to-date temperature for 2019 was also the second warmest on record for the January–October period."

Global Land & Ocean Temp Percentiles Sept 2019
NOAA Global Land & Ocean Temp Percentiles for September 2019 showing the second hottest October ever.

NOAA charting the heat distribution of the second hottest October ever...

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Summer 2019 MONO & INYO SAR High Sierra Mountain Safety Information and Index

 

Summer of 2019 High Sierra Safety Intro and Reports
The Intro, Index, and Analysis Page

A Selection of Typical High Sierra Mountain Safety Incidents
by
INYO & MONO SAR

Covering
June 19 to September 29, 2019 Over Three Pages

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

 

The Index, Introduction, and Analysis Page
Below

SAR INCIDENTS INDEX

Purpose
To make ourselves aware of the wide range of external and internal threats we confront when departing the safety sphere of civilization entering the HIgh Sierra Wilderness.

More precisely, we use these SAR reports to see how & why people are requiring SAR assistance to better avoid hurting or killing ourselves while engaging the wilderness and wild beauties of the High Sierra.

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HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY: Summer 2019 SAR Incidents & Accidents, Page I

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY
SAR Incidents & Accidents

Summer of 2019 Mountain Safety Review

REPORTS INDEX

 

Page I

 

August 11, 2019
to
September 20, 2019

 

Support SAR

 

12 Rescues of Note

 

Deceased Hiker on PCT above Leavitt Lake

Foot injury, Cooney Lake

Leg Lacerations, Lundy Canyon

Lower Leg Injury, Crystal Lake

Lower Leg Injury, Incredible Hulk

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HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY: Summer 2019 SAR Incidents & Accidents, Page II

 

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY
SAR Incidents & Accidents

Summer of 2019 Mountain Safety Review

REPORTS INDEX

 

Page II

 

July 22, 2019
to
August 10, 2019

 

 Support SAR

 

11 Rescues of Note

 

AMS-HACE, Devils Postpile

Bouldering Accident, Open Fracture, The Dreamers

Unknown, Little Slide Canyon

Injury, Barney Lake

Body Recovery, Minarets

E-Ledges Tumble, Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route

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HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY: Summer 2019 SAR Incidents & Accidents, Page III

 

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY
SAR Incidents & Accidents

III

Summer of 2019 Mountain Safety Review

REPORTS INDEX

Page III
May 20, 2019
to
July 14, 2019

 

Support SAR

 

10 Rescues of Note

 

Technical Nightime Search & Rescue, Incredible Hulk

Lost Bristlecone Bathroom Breaker

Broken Ankle, McLeod Lake

Injured Hiker, Mt. Whitney

Evolution Traverse Fall

Cramps, Sherwin Lakes Trailhead

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Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured; Half-Billion Year Super-Milankowitch Cycles

THE BIG CLIMATE PICTURE

Update
What Caused an Ice Age Expansion from 40 to 100 Thousand Years,
“Despite Orbitally Paced Drivers?”

A Gradually Precessing Elliptical Orbit
A gradually precessing elliptical orbit, WillowW, Wiki.
Thanks to WillowW, Wiki
 

Original Research

NATURALLY CHANGING CLIMATE CYCLES
Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured

Super-Milankowitch Cycles a Half-Billion Years Long Explained,
& the Shorter Epi-Cycles subdividing the Super Cycles,

In ancient rocks, scientists see a climate cycle working across deep time,
The Earth Institute at Columbia University, May 7, 2018.

 MAIN POINTS

"Scientists have for decades posited that Earth's orbit around the sun goes from nearly circular to about 5 percent elliptical, and back again every 405,000 years."

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My 5g Cell Phone Health Concerns Run Deep

HEALTH & FITNESS

5G Phone Rollouts are, "Happening."

CELLPHONY
 a Samsung Galaxy J5 (left) and an iPhone 6S (right). Photo by Senado Federal.
Two smartphones: a Samsung Galaxy J5 (left) and an iPhone 6S (right). Photo by Senado Federa, Wiki.

Direct to Two Reference Articles

Yes it Is
All the proof you need that 5G phones are coming in 2019,
c/net, February 8, 2018.

Cities Quick, everywhere else, Slow
5G hype is coming. Don’t fall for it.
Android Authority, August 26, 2018.

 

Updated
Wi-Fi & Electromagnetic Radiation Research War
Continues

 

My Cell Phone Health Concerns Run Deep

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New Superbug Camouflage

 

HEALTH, FITNESS & SUPERBUGS

SUPERBUG!
Inside the MCR-9 Jumping Superbug's Protein Structure

The mcr-9 gene's protein structure graphic, by Ahmed Gaballa, Cornell University.
This is what death looks like. From, New Super-Resistant Jumping Superbug Gene Discovered, by Ahmed Gaballa, Cornell University.

 

New Superbug Evolutionary Weaponry
Superbug Camouflage

'Wolves in Sheep's Clothing' -- the Superbugs Outsmarting Laboratory Tests,
University of Leeds, October 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

SARM Bacteria
"Our findings highlight the fact that antibiotic resistance can sometimes effectively be hidden: in other words, it looks like you're dealing with an infection that should be treatable with a given antibiotic, but that may not be the case."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

November of 2019 All High Sierra Backpacker, Hiker, Outdoors, & Nature News Index

 

Last Updated
December 1,  2019
Except
For the November, "Catch-Up"

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

DECEMBER HIGH SIERRA NATURE NEWS

OCTOBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
November
, 2019

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

Land Use, Erosion, and Climate Change's Ancient and Modern Relationship

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: LAND USE, EROSION, AND MORE RAIN

Is this What Happened to Summer, Ur, & Babaylon?
Is this What Happened to Summer, Ur, & Babaylon? Photo by Rick Bohn / United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Erosion caused by agriculture is a major cause of land degradation. Photo by Rick Bohn / United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Its Ancient Beginning: Massive Climate Feedback Loop Well Underway

Human Activities Boosted Global Soil Erosion Already 4,000 Years Ago,
Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS, October 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Ancient Land Use Erosion
"...recorded temporal changes of soil erosion by analyzing sediment deposits in more than 600 lakes worldwide. They found that the accumulation of lake sediments increased significantly on a global scale around 4,000 years ago. At the same time, tree cover decreased as shown by pollen records, which is a clear indicator of deforestation. The study suggests that human practices and land-use change have intensified soil erosion long before industrialization."

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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.

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