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

11 Year Sun Cycle Explained by Orbital Cycle of Planetary Alignments

 

DEEPLY SPACED

Our Star
Extreme UV image of huge prominence, ESA/NASA/SOHO
Extreme UV image of huge prominence on Our Star, ESA/NASA/SOHO

 

11 Year Sun Cycle Explained by Orbital Cycle of Alignments

The Sun Follows the Rhythm of the Planets,
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, May 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

11 Year Solar Cycle
"...the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle."

Elusive Cycle
"...past models have been unable to adequately explain the very regular cycle of the sun."

How Cause was Found
"...systematically compared historical observations of solar activity from the last thousand years with planetary constellations, statistically proving that the two phenomena are linked."

"There is an astonishingly high level of concordance: what we see is complete parallelism with the planets over the course of 90 cycles."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Fishing Fleets Grown and Growing far Beyond Fish Stocks & Fish Fertility

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & FISH

Fleets Grown and Growing far Beyond Fish Stocks & Fish Fertility

More fishing vessels chasing fewer fish, new study finds,
University of Tasmania, May 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Global Fishing Fleet Doubled, Catch Fell 80%
"...the world's fishing fleet doubled in size over the 65-years to 2015 but for the amount of effort expended the catch fell more than 80 per cent."

Mighty Fleet
"...the global fishing fleet grew from 1.7 million vessels in 1950 to 3.7 million in 2015."

Fish & Fertility Decline
"...the findings reflect growing pressure on marine resources and a fall in the abundance of fish."

As the Fleet Grows
"What we have seen over the last 65 years is more and more fishing vessels chasing fewer fish."

Fish vs Fleet
"...this measure paints a dark picture of the state of the ocean's resources."

Demand Growing as Resources Shrink
"...Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Southern Mediterranean indicates their fisheries expanded at a much faster rate than fish stocks could support."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019: Earth's Mountain Glaciers Breaking Down Rapidly, Feeding 10 Inches Sea Level Rise by 2100

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & FISH

Kennicott Glacier
The Kennicott Glacier flows out of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. Regina Hock, UofA.
See it now... The Kennicott Glacier (gog mapguide) flows out of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. A new review of glacier research found that glaciers worldwide will lose up to 36% of their mass by 2100, resulting in almost 10 inches of sea level rise. By Regina Hock.

 

Mountain Glaciers Breaking Down

Melting Small Glaciers could add 10 inches to Sea Levels,
University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"...a future planet with a lot less ice and a lot more water."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Ancient Supernova Radiation Set the Forest Fires that Evolved Footloose Humans?

 

ASTRO-ANTHROPOLOGY?

Tycho Supernova Remnant
Tycho Supernova Remnant four centuries after the brilliant star explosion, MPIA/NASA/Calar Alto.
How the Tycho Supernova (more) looks four centuries after the brilliant massive star explosion witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era. Image credit: MPIA/NASA/Calar Alto Observatory.
Also see the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant.

 

Supernova Cosmic Radiation sets Forest Fires that Evolved Footloose Humans?

Researchers wonder if Ancient Supernovae prompted Human Ancestors to Walk Upright,
University of Kansas, May 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Hella Light Show
"Supernovae bombarded Earth with cosmic energy starting as many as 8 million years ago, with a peak some 2.6 million years ago, initiating an avalanche of electrons in the lower atmosphere and setting off a chain of events that feasibly ended with bipedal hominins such as homo habilis, dubbed "handy man."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Asia's Departing Glaciers Provide(d) a Now Disappearing Buffer against Drought Times

 

WATER, SNOW, & ICE

Glaciers Departing Rapidly Everywhere

Asia's Glaciers Provide Buffer against Drought,
British Antarctic Survey, May 29, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Role
"...assess the contribution that Asia's high mountain glaciers make to relieving water stress in the region..."

Where
"The high-mountain region of Asia, known as the Third Pole, encompasses the Himalayas, Karakoram, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan, Kunlun Shan and Alai mountains and has 95,000 glaciers in total. About 800 million people are partly dependent on their meltwater."

Vital Drought-Time Water Supply
"...during droughts, glaciers become the largest supplier of water to some of Asia's major river basins. This melt-water is important for the people living downstream when the rains fail and water shortages are at their worst."

Massive Summertime Glacial Water Subsidy
"Each summer, glaciers release 36 cubic kilometres of water - equivalent to 14 million Olympic swimming pools - to these rivers. This is enough water to fulfil the basic needs of 221 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Transgenic Fungus Rapidly Killed Malaria Mosquitoes in West African Study

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, SKEETERS, & GENETICS

Welcome to The MosquitoSphere
Simulated Village Setting for the Fungal Spider Toxin Study
The MosquitoSphere, Etienne Bilgo, University of Maryland.
MosquitoSphere, a roughly 6,550-square-foot, screened-in structure in Burkina Faso, West Africa, was designed to simulate a village setting and included plants, huts, small pools of water and a food source for mosquitoes. Etienne Bilgo, University of Maryland.

 

Island of Doctor Moreau? Are We Warping an Entire Planet?

Transgenic Fungus Rapidly Killed Malaria Mosquitoes in West African Study,
University of Maryland, May 30, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Skeeter Scope
"...malaria affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, killing more than 400,000 annually."

Whoops
"...insecticide use has failed to control mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite and has led to insecticide-resistance..."

Next
"...scientists began genetically modifying mosquitoes..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Mountain Health, Fitness, & Safety: Two Ways to Die Under the Snow: Suffocation & Freezing

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, & FAILED MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Two Ways to Die Under the Snow: Suffocation & Freezing

Avalanche Victims: When can Rewarming Lead to Survival?
Eurac Research, May 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"This study analysed the data relating to 103 avalanche victims admitted with cardiac arrest to seven major hospitals in Europe, between 1995 and 2016."

Two Types of Avalanche Deaths
"Of the 103 victims, 61 were rewarmed, but only 10 per cent survived; in the other cases it was not the hypothermia that caused the cardiac arrest, but suffocation during the avalanche or trauma."

The Survival Standard
Frozen or Suffocation Heart Stoppage?
"...hospitals require accurate guidelines based on significant evidence to justify extracorporeal rewarming using the heart-lung machine."

Survival Standards Found
"The factors that have emerged as decisive in this study are the core temperature and the concentration of serum potassium, the latter is related to cell degeneration. Using both these parameters, doctors can assess which patients have the potential to survive and which do not."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May of 2019 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index

 

Last
Updated

May 31, 2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

APRIL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

JUNE HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
May
, 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. 

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

The Relationship between Jet Stream Breakdown, Polar Vortex Instability, & Loss of Sea Ice

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

The Jet Streams
Actual Jet Stream Configuration, Lyndon State College Meteorology.
Actual Jet Stream Configuration, Lyndon State College Meteorology.

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

The Relationship between Jet Stream Breakdown, Polar Vortex Instability, & Loss of Sea Ice:

A Warming Arctic Produces Weather Extremes in our Latitudes,
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research,
May 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Increasing Jet Stream Disruptions-Freak Outs
"For years, climate researchers around the globe have been investigating the question as to whether the jet stream's winding course over the Northern Hemisphere - observed with increasing frequency in recent years - is a product of climate change, or a random phenomenon that can be traced back to natural variations in the climate system."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Our Freak, "Modern," Weather: Nope, It's Not Natural

 

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Nope, It's Not Natural

Natural Cycles had Little To Do with 20th-Century Temperature Trends,
Ars Technica, May 21, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Question
How Much Climate Change is Natural Variability?
"...a look at the influence of natural causes on the temperatures of the last century."

The Answer
Natural Variability Not A Factor
"...the study shows that our knowledge of the climate system can explain the major 20th century temperature changes without much contribution from natural ups and downs..."

Not Natural Change
"Overall, the study shows that our knowledge of the climate system can explain the major 20th century temperature changes without much contribution from natural ups and downs, contrary to uninformed claims that global warming is “just a cycle.”

 

The Bottom Line

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Lots of Water on Mars

 

DOING GEOLOGY on MARS

Target: Martian North Polar Ice Cap
A view of Mars showing the planet's northern polar ice cap. A new study has found remnants of ancient ice caps buried in the north polar region, that if melted, would cover the planet in five feet of water. ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla.
A view of Mars showing the planet's northern polar ice cap. A new study has found remnants of ancient ice caps buried in the north polar region, that if melted, would cover the planet in five feet of water. ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla.

 

Lots of Water Ice on Mars

Massive Martian Ice Discovery Opens a Window into Red Planet's History,
University of Texas at Austin, May 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"...layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars' north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet." 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May, 2019: Important Recent West Coast Seismic Activity?

 

GEOLOGICAL NEWS

Important Recent Seismic Activity?

Small tremors along West Coast could lead to 'big one.'
This is called a "slow slip" event,
KOIN, May 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"A small burst of tremors have been recorded along the West Coast in the last few weeks, causing scientists and geologists to pay close attention."

"This is what we call a slow slip type of movement."

"...scientists predict the "big one" will likely occur during one of these slow slip events."

"He cautioned that the slow slip events are a good reminder to be prepared and have a plan with family and an emergency kit at your home."

 

Bottom Line

Life Happens
Be Ready
There's not much we can do to change the odds of a major earthquake occuring, but we can hedge our outcomes as backpackers, by keeping a pack set-up sufficient for the current season, with at least a three-day food supply, ready to go. I call it my, "Safety Pack." Everyone should have one...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May 2019 Mono SAR Rescue: Back Country Skier Falls, Breaks Leg Badly

 

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Nasty Accident above Twin Lakes

Back Country Skier Falls, Breaks Leg Badly,
Mono Search and Rescue, May 20, 2019.

Rescue of May 18-19, 2019.

Little Slide Canyon, off Robinson Creek, above Twin Lakes

Backpacking Trail Map

MAIN POINTS

Adventure
"...up Little Slide Canyon. About 30 minutes after crossing the creek, they hit the snowline, and put on their skis and skins and continued up the canyon."

Little Slide Canyon

Knarly Back Country Accident
"On the descent, one of the skiers fell from about 3/4 height, and tumbled and slid down the couloir, and when the fall ended, he found he had multiple left leg fractures, but most notably an open tib-fib with considerable bone exposed."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Highest, Coldest, Permafrost is Changing Rapidly

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: PERMAFROST

Cluster of Retrogressive thaw Slumps
Cluster of High Longitude Retrogressive thaw Slumps, Melissa Ward Jones, McGill University.
Due to record summer temperatures in recent years, high Arctic polar terrain is changing at Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands, located at approximately 80 °N! Melissa Ward Jones, McGill University.

 

Highest, Coldest, Permafrost is Changing Rapidly

Widespread Permafrost Degradation seen in High Arctic Terrain,
McGill University, May 23, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Observing
"...close to 30 years of aerial surveys and extensive ground mapping of the Eureka Sound Lowlands area of Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands located at approximately 80 °N."

Retrogressive Thaw Slump
"...a particular landform (known as a retrogressive thaw slump) that develops as the ice within the permafrost melts and the land slips down in a horseshoe-shaped feature. The presence of these landforms is well documented in the low Arctic."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

China Cheating the World: Ozone Edition

 

ECO-CRASH NEWS

China's Illegal, Cheating Ozone Emissions
Emissions Inferred from Atmospheric Observations at Gosan and Hateruma Monitoring Stations
China's Cheating Ozone Emissions Inferred from Atmospheric Observations at Gosan and Hateruma Monitoring Stations, University of Bristol.
These are emissions inferred from atmospheric observations at Gosan and Hateruma monitoring stations show an increase from eastern China between the periods 2008 - 2012 (left) and 2014 - 2017 (right). The emission rise is primarily from Shandong and Hebei and surrounding provinces. University of Bristol.

 

China Cheating the World

Again...

Scientists discover the source (China) of new CFC emissions,
University of Bristol, May 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

CFC-11
Cheating, Again
"Since 2013, annual emissions of a banned chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) have increased by around 7,000 tonnes from eastern China..."

"...despite a global phase-out since 2010 under the Montreal Protocol."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Temperature Dataset Correlation Supports Grim Climate Models

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

UPDATE

Global Warming-2014-2018
Compared to GISTEMP's 1951-1980 baseline
Global Warming-2014-2018, compared to GISTEMP's 1951-1980 baseline, NASA.
The years 2014-2018, averaged on this map, were the warmest years in the modern record compared to GISTEMP's 1951-1980 baseline. The areas in red experienced warmer than normal temperatures, while the areas in blue were cooler than normal during this period. NASA, Big.

UPDATE

New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, May 23, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May 2019 High Sierra Storm Activity to Recharge High Sierra Snow Pack

 

HIGH SIERRA WEATHER PROSPECTS

A, "Spring Recharge," is Underway...

Highly Unusual Sequence of Winter-Like Storms Headed for California (In late May!),
Weather West, May 14, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

End of Dry-Warm Strecth
"A very warm April and relatively warm start to May–coupled with rather dry conditions throughout the state during that period–will come crashing to an end tomorrow."

"...perhaps even downright stormy, conditions are expected across most of California over the next 10 days or so."

PCT & Widespread Effects
"...highly unusual nature of widespread significant rainfall (and mountain snowfall) this late in the season will likely catch a lot of folks by surprise, and will have some substantial impacts for the agricultural sector and those traveling (not to mention those poor souls just starting out on the Pacific Crest Trail)."

Get Ready to Rumble
"Widespread soaking rains will arrive across the northern half of California tomorrow, and will continue on and off for the next 10-12 days. Significant rainfall is also possible across much of southern California, although that will more likely come from subsequent systems."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Wolf Return Conflicts & Solutions

Updated
Dogs Present Genetic Threat

 

LIVING THINGS and GENERAL NEWS

Endangered Wolves Moving into Northern California
Wolves Moving into Northern California. Lassen Pack 6, remote trail camera, June 29, 2017, CDFG.
Lassen Pack 6, remote trail camera, June 29, 2017, CDFG. Bigger, and More.

 

Wolf Return Conflicts & Solutions

The Return of the Wolves,
University of Freiburg, May 20, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Success Breeds Problems
"The current return of wolves to human-dominated landscapes poses a major challenge for the protection of this species."

This Study
"...analyzed the existing knowledge on how to deal with large carnivores living in the wild in Europe and other parts of the world."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Moon Morphology and Geology: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

 

SPACE GEOLOGY

Moon Impact Image
Planetary Demolition Derby
Moon Impact Image, Planetary Demolition Derby, NASA/JPL-Caltech.
New research suggests the stark difference between the Moon’s heavily-cratered farside and the lower-lying open basins of the nearside were caused by a wayward dwarf planet colliding with the Moon in the early history of the solar system, thanks to NASA/JPL-Caltech.*

 

Moon: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Giant Impact Caused Difference Between Moon's Hemispheres,
American Geophysical Union, May 20, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Very Different Faces of the Moon
"...stark difference between the Moon’s heavily-cratered farside and the lower-lying open basins of the Earth-facing nearside has puzzled scientists for decades."

GRAIL Gravity Survey
"Measurements made by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012 filled in more details about the structure of the Moon..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

F&W Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Delisting of Gray Wolves

 

LIVING THINGS & GENERAL NEWS

RETURNEE
Rare Californian: Adult gray wolf

Adult gray wolf in Lassen National Forest, July 2018. Photo by T. Rickman, USFS.
Happy Boy! Adult gray wolf in Lassen National Forest, July 2018. Photo by T. Rickman, USFS. More rare Ca Gray Wolves.

 

Gray Wolf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Short-Changing Gray Wolf

F&W Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Delisting of Gray Wolves

Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Delisting of Gray Wolves

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-affirming the success of this recovery with a proposal to remove all gray wolves from protection under Endangered Species Act (ESA)."

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is extending by 60 days the public comment period on a proposed rule to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act."

 

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system

Latest News: RSS FEED

Syndicate content

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:

 

 

I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!

 

Why Support Tahoe to Whitney?
Mission Statement