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

California Aims to Drop Fossil Fuels for Electricity by 2045


Greening the Corporate Growth Machine of Death

California Aims to Drop Fossil Fuels for Electricity by 2045,
US News, September 10, 2018.


“…goal of phasing out electricity produced by fossil fuels by 2045...”

“...along with an executive order Brown signed directing California to take as much carbon dioxide out of the air as it emits...”

“...require California's utilities to generate 60 percent of their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources by 2030. That's 10 percent higher than the current mandate.”

This is All Propaganda
“It's merely a goal, with no mandate or penalty for falling short.”

Oil State
“...Brown has often faced criticism that he's too lenient with the oil industry, including from environmental groups pushing him to create a moratorium on new oil and gas wells in the state.”

“California has nearly 54,000 active wells, some of them close to urbanized areas in Southern California and the Central Valley...”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Pretty Pretty Gavin Newsom: How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works


How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works

How eight elite San Francisco families funded Gavin Newsom’s political ascent,
LA Times, September 7, 2018.


on the
Creation, Care, and Feeding of Our Corporate Elite

Pretty-Pretty Gavin Newsom


Gavin Newsom, like his father before him, is a footsolider in the Getty Political Family/Machine.

This article shows us how our corporate elite, “groom,” corrupted politicians as a pedeophile grooms children. Except, in this case, both of the participants are the worse kind of criminals.
These are the criminals who assault the very nature of our political principals, who show that many American’s love of our country and its most fundamental democratic principals are far weaker than their love of money and their love of themselves. Pretty Pretty Gavin and the Getty Machine are those kind of people, the, “better,” kind of people who's vast wealth earns them the rigth to rule over us from their palaces of superority and privilidige.

Kind of like how the Spanish elite rules over Mexico...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Brown signs bills blocking Trump Offshore Drilling Plan


California Blocks Federal Offshore Drilling

Gov. Brown signs bills to block Trump's offshore oil drilling plan,
LA-LA Land Times, September 8, 2018.

This article shows Jerry Brown pointing out his own hypocrisy, how his fundamental programs of endless growth into California, and endless offshoring of our manufacturing to China, both demand more and more oil for more and more, “consumers,” here in California, while his offshoring all our manufacturing to China has not only broken our environment, but gutting California’s manufacturing broke our middle class, too.


“Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed two bills that would block new offshore oil drilling in California by barring the construction of pipelines, piers, wharves or other infrastructure necessary to transport the oil and gas from federal waters to state land.”

“Today, California’s message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now,” Brown said in a statement. “We will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy our treasured coast.”

(Jerry & the Dims do that in California...)

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Brown & Dems Stuffing The Twin Tunnels Down our Throat


Massive Irresponsible Growth and Development

& Stuffing The Twin Tunnels Down our Throat

Clendaniel: Stop the Delta debacle before property owners get gouged,
How atrocious twin-tunnels mega-deal could cost Californians billions,
Mercury News, September 6, 2017.


"...Brown’s administration will try for a third time to secure a political mega-deal that would commit millions of California property owners to pay for the $19.9 billion Delta twin-tunnels water grab. Without approval of voters or the Legislature."

Corporate Growth Machine of Death
"It’s an atrocious abuse of the political system that must be stopped. Blocking the effort would save property owners thousands of dollars over the next 20-40 years and help preserve the health of the Delta for the next generation and beyond."

Another Brown Scam
"...the state Department of Water Resources convinced the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to schedule a hearing that would enable backers of the Delta tunnels to extend state water contracts for another 50 years."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Hermitfest 2018 Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Benefit


Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Benefit September 8

Hermitfest 2018, Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway

Save the Date – Hermitfest 2018,
EPNSB, 2018.


The 12th Annual Ebbetts Scenic Celebration or Hermitfest is September 8th,
Pine Tree, September 3, 2018.


The Bottom Line
All the mountain folk have been having a real bad fire year, so far, which has seriously affected life. So head on up the Highway 4 Corridor to show your support for the people and the place, especially during the hard times.

The Carson Iceberg Wildernesss is still closed, (as of the 5th), but there's a couple of days of potential free car camping on the East Flank, after the concert, and Highway 108 has opened up as the Donnell Fire comes under control, so a nice loop route visiting the Toiyabe NF and Emigrant Wilderness looks do-able now.

Donnell Fire



The Hiker's Physical Perspective

Terrain North & South of Ebbetts Pass

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Trouble in the Cloud Forests, Birds Ascending 23 Feet a Year


Cloud Forests Rising

Birds retreating from climate change, deforestation in Honduras cloud forests,
University of Utah, August 6, 2018.

"A cloud forest is an ecosystem that derives much of its moisture from water vapor in the surrounding air."

"A 10-year study of bird populations in Cusuco National Park, Honduras, shows that the peak of bird diversity in this mountainous park is moving higher in elevation. Additional land protection, unfortunately, may not be enough to reverse the trend, driven in part by globally rising temperatures."

"...predicted that rising temperatures and changes in precipitation would cause species, particularly birds, to shift to higher elevations, shrinking their habitat and boosting the risk of extinction."

"That...is exactly what’s happening."

"...most species moving upslope, at an average of 23 feet (7 m) per year."

Not Just Climate
"One factor is the continuing development and deforestation within the park."

"The terrain’s status as a national park...doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent for those seeking to expand agricultural land."

But Climate is Changing
“Increased protection is unlikely to mitigate the effects of climate change.”


Alex Wierbinski's picture

2018 American Space Policy: Gateway to Moon or Giant Leap into Quicksand?

Space Policy Unknown

Spending to Eternity without any clear goals

NASA says it’s building a gateway to the Moon—critics say it’s just a gate,
or, “It is the next giant leap into quicksand."
Ars Technica, September 6, 2018.


The article above discusses the state of American Space Policy.


American Space Policy

A Discussion

The Rocket to Nowhere?
This article points out the lack of any clear goals or destination for NASA’s manned spaceflight programs, except to figure out how to spend money.

In the unmanned realm, the policy has been to shift from NASA providing our orbital, scientific, and manned capacities to dispensing massive contracts to private companies such as Space-X, marking what looks like the complete corporatization of America’s unmanned orbital spaceflight capacity necessary for orbital and scientific tasks, for communications and GPS, and potentially for manned flights to keep the space station running.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Amazing Ancient Human Climate Interactions


Amazing Human-Climate Interactions

What a Long, Strange Trips It’s Been

Ancient farmers spared us from glaciers but profoundly changed Earth's climate,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 6, 2018.


Human Global Warming began a Long Time Ago
“Millenia ago, ancient farmers...may have been fundamentally altering the climate of the Earth.“

“...without this human influence, by the start of the Industrial Revolution, the planet would have likely been headed for another ice age.”

First Human Tipping Point
“...the Holocene reversed direction 5,000 years ago, hitting peak concentrations of both gases by 1850.”

The Long Cycle
“For most of Earth's 4.5-billion-year history, its climate has largely been determined by a natural phenomenon known as Milankovitch cycles, periodic changes in the shape of Earth's orbit around the sun - which fluctuates from more circular to more elliptical - and the way Earth wobbles and tilts on its axis.“

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Mono County Sheriff Search & Rescue: Third Pillar of Mt. Dana


Broken Ankle Rescue
Mono Sheriffs SAR lowering down to accident victim, Mt. Dana, Sept 2018.
Mono SAR Lowering Down to accident victim on Mt Dana. Photo Credit: Mono SAR

Third Pillar of Mt. Dana,
Mono County Sheriff Search & Rescue, FACECROOK, September 3, 2018.


“At 1310 the Team received a call for a 38 year old climber from Alameda, CA with a reported fractured ankle at the bottom of the last pitch of the 3rd Pillar of Mt. Dana. “

“The Team responded to Lee Vining airport anticipating an air insertion, but all air resources were reporting as unavailable or available with significant delay, so a hike in was necessary. “

“A Team member was lowered with a litter over the edge of the 700' cliff to the subject. The subject was packaged, and as other members of the field team arrived, a raising was begun with a 7:1 mechanical advantage. The litter stuck briefly at the edge, but was vectored successfully over the lip. ”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2018 Selfie Tourist Death off Nevada Falls


Tourist Death off Nevada Falls

Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park
Nevada Falls, Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide

Teen from Israel reportedly dies in Yosemite after taking selfie atop Nevada Fall,
SFGate, September 6, 2018.

“A teen visiting Yosemite National Park from Israel fell to his death Wednesday while trying to take a selfie, according to an Israeli news report.”

Sign at Nevada Falls

Safety Sign at Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park.


Yosemite Valley Map

Yosemite Valley to Merced Lake or Cathedral Pass

Click red dots for trail guide pages


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Amazing Macrophage Porn Videos


Amazing Micro Video Images of Amazing Celluar Life
University of Queensland Macrophage Porn Video
Macrophage Porn Credit U of Q

Powerful images reveal how immune cells patrol to keep us healthy,
University of Queensland, August 28, 2018.


"...exquisite, real-time detail how immune cells survey their surroundings to detect threats to our health. The imaging also provides insights into how aggressive cancer cells sustain their growth."

"...discovered new structures they termed ‘tent-pole ruffles’ on the surface of immune cells called macrophages; the ruffles help the cells gulp the surrounding fluid for sampling."

"...Macrophages (Greek for 'big eaters') are a type of white blood cell, whose job it is to detect and engulf any material that may be a potential danger..."

"They survey all tissues of the body by taking in large gulps of surrounding fluid to identify anything they don't recognise as healthy, triggering immune responses when necessary to ward off infection."

"...a cutting-edge laser microscope called a lattice light sheet, which captures huge 3D images with great precision..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Last Massive El Nino Foreshadows Magnitude of Next


Last Massive El Nino Foreshadows Magnitude of Next

El Niño fears grow as starving baby birds wash up on California beaches,
SF Chron, September 4, 2018.


“Scores of starving baby seabirds have been washing up on Northern California beaches this summer, raising fears among scientists that a climatic cycle like the one that wreaked havoc on sea creatures a few years ago may be moving in.”

“...100 undernourished common murre babies have been plucked from beaches from Monterey to Marin County by biologists and volunteers with International Bird Rescue and are being rehabilitated at the organization’s Fairfield center.”

"...rising ocean temperatures may have made it difficult for the fathers to find the cold-water fish the birds normally eat. Large numbers of beached seabirds have also been found in Alaska this year."

“...the babies are coming in healthy but starving”

“Record high ocean temperatures in Southern California in August created widespread alarm among marine biologists. Now they are concerned that conditions could worsen if predictions about an El Niño weather pattern over the next few months come true.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Colorado River Flows Drop By 15 Percent Over Last 100 Years


Water Source for Millions Going Away...

Colorado River Flows Drop By 15 Percent Over Last 100 Years,
KUNC, September 5, 2018.


"Warming temperatures are sapping the Colorado River, the water source for more than 40 million people in the southwest. A new study finds over the last 100 years the river’s flow has decreased by more than 15 percent."

"Warming temperatures throughout the Colorado River watershed accounted for more than half the decline in flows. Other factors include changes to precipitation patterns and loss of snowpack in high altitudes."

"From 2000 to 2014 flows in the river averaged 19 percent below those recorded the previous 93 years."

“It’s disturbing...I think we’re going to see a very different world as the 21st century unfolds with all these climate change impacts.”

The Situation

2018: New Weather Patterns Diminishing Rio Grand & Colorado Rivers

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tropical Downpour Contributes to Fatality, Flash Flood Warning for Donnell Fire Area



Two Reports

Tropical Downpour Contributes to Fatality

NWS Issues Flash Flood Warning for Donnell Fire Area


Inciweb, Donnell Fire

September 5, 2018

Flash Flood Warning
"Yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Donnell Fire area. All personnel were notified of the incoming thunderstorm, and efforts were made to notify any public that may have been in the area. The fall rainy season is upon us, and severe mountain thunderstorms can develop quickly with little to no warning. The recent fire in conjunction with rainfall has the potential to produce landslides over the affected area."


The Bottom Line
The warning above relates the general outlines of the risks of flooding and avalances in fire-ravaged areas.
But, we've got to remember that lightening and unexpected intense weather are serious threats to hikers in the High Sierra at any time, during any season, as are the tropical downpours that often accompany Summertime tropical weather, weather that can turn itself into Summertime snowstorms across higher elevations.

Alex Wierbinski's picture


Started July 16,
LAST Updated August 29th


July & August 2018


These fires are finally winding down, meaning this page is approaching the end of its life, and will soon be retired.


All Fed Fire Info

All State Fire Info


Best Map
2018 Statewide Fire Map


Serious Hazard Conditions


Alex Wierbinski's picture



Two Articles

PG&E Flexes Political Muscle, Democrats Bow before Sauron

Wildfire bill to aid PG&E clears Legislature despite ratepayer concerns,
Sac Bee, August 31, 2018.


"After dedicating weeks of hearings to the liability law, Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, said the Legislature would not change the inverse condemnation law in the court system this year."

“The Legislature had no appetite to change our Constitutionally bound liability laws, which then allowed the conversation to focus on better fire prevention,” said Nicole Evans, a spokeswoman for three major insurance trade associations. “These laws provide an essential counterbalance to the utilities’ ability to seize private property in providing electricity.”



Though the Bill, SB 901 does not eliminate inverse condemnation, as stated in the Bee article above, the Bee fails to mention it creates gaps in the law that PG&E can drive a utility truck through.
Tthe article from the LA Times below points out SB 901 gives the private utilities a huge path to putting the cost of fires they cause directly on the public.



Alex Wierbinski's picture

Rise and Fall of Diet Mythologies: Dairy not as Bad as Thought


Rise and Fall of Diet Mythologies

Dairy not as Bad as Thought

Current advice to limit dairy intake should be reconsidered,
European Society of Cardiology, August 28, 2018.


"...consumption of dairy products has long been thought to increase the risk of death, particularly from coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, and cancer, because of dairy's relatively high levels of saturated fat. Yet evidence for any such link, especially among US adults, is inconsistent. With the exception of milk, which appears to increase the risk of CHD, dairy products have been found to protect against both total mortality and mortality from cerebrovascular causes."

Good News for Dairy
"...dairy products have been found to protect against both total mortality and mortality from cerebrovascular causes, according to research presented today..."

"A meta-analysis of 29 cohort studies published in 2017 found no association between the consumption of dairy products and either cardiovascular disease (CVD) or all-cause mortality."

Bad News for Milk
"Yet a large 20-year prospective study of Swedish adults...found that higher consumption of milk was associated with a doubling of mortality risk, including from CVD, in the cohort of women."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

August 2018 All High Sierra News Index


August 31, 2018









High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature


August, 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. 

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

Hungry-Hungry Heated-Up Bugs: Twice Crop Loss Coming due to Heated Bugs


Hungry-Hungry Heated-Up Bugs

Crop losses due to insects could nearly double in Europe's bread basket due to climate,
University of Colorado at Boulder, August 30, 2018.


Globally Warmed Insects
“...models increases in insect populations and their metabolic rates in a warmer world. It projects a 50 to 100 percent increase in pest-induced crop losses in European wheat and 30 to 40 percent increases in North American maize even if countries meet their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “

"In some temperate countries, insect pest damage to crops is projected to rise sharply as temperatures continue to climb, putting serious pressure on grain producers...”

Future Bugs
“Future bugs, however, in a warmer climate are expected to be even hungrier and more numerous. Warmer temperatures have been shown to accelerate an individual insect's metabolic rate, leading it to consume more food during its lifespan.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Drought Never Ended? Groundwater loss Sinking San Joaquin Valley


Drought Never Ended?

Drought, groundwater loss sinks California land at alarming rate,
Cornell University, August 29,2018.

“...the large agricultural and metropolitan communities that rely on groundwater in central California experienced only a short respite from an ongoing drought.”

The Drought Never Ended
(July 27, 2017)

The Problem, Physical
“...the ground has continued to sink, by up to a half-meter annually...”

“...by early summer the subsidence continued at a similar rate we observed during the drought.””

The Problem, Human
“…the San Joaquin Valley. This region, like many others in the western United States, faces ongoing groundwater extraction, happening faster than it can be replenished. ”

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...

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