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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The Seasons Already Changed, Clear Human 'fingerprint' for Changes


The Seasons Have Already Changed

A 'fingerprint' for Anthropogenic Climate Change in the Changed Seasons

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Beetles Devastate Western Pines, Heat, Droughts, Beetles, & Fires All Continue Rising


Beetles Devastate Billions of Western Pine Trees

Heat, Droughts, Beetles, & Fires All Continue Rising

A tiny beetle has left Yosemite dangerously vulnerable to fire,
SF Chron, July 18, 2018.

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Filters and Purification: MEMBER's FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

 Member's Favorites

What are, and how do we select the best Water Filtration, Purification, Treatment, and Usage System for High Sierra backpackers?

The fundamental requirement for me is clean water quickly. By clean I mean taste as well as purity, so chemicals are regaled to emergency status.

Next, I want to purify as little water as possible. I will filter only the water for drinking, while my cooking and cleaning water will remain unpurified. Thus I need a system to bring unfiltered water to camp for cooking, cleaning, and to provide stock for purified water.


Build Your Backpacking Water Systerm
Water Filter/Filtration Basics

"The Alex"
Water System
Gear List


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Research: Atlantic circulation is not collapsing


Atlantic Ocean Circulation OK!

Nothing Happening Here, Keep Moving Along...

Atlantic circulation is not collapsing -- but as it shifts gears warming will reaccelerate,
University of Washington, July 18, 2018.


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Adaptive Optics Advance: Surface of Neptune Imaged from Surface of Earth


Astrophysics News

Adaptive Optics

Neptune Imaged from the Surface of Earth
Surface of Neptune from the Surface of Earth
Photo: ESO

Surface of Neptune Imaged from the Surface of Earth

Supersharp images from new VLT adaptive optics,
ESO, July 18, 2018.

What it Is

"The AOF (Adaptive Optics Facility) provides adaptive optics for instruments on the VLTs Unit Telescope 4 (UT4). MUSE was the first instrument to benefit from this new facility and it now has two adaptive optics modes -- the Wide Field Mode and the Narrow Field Mode."

What it Does

"...corrects for the effects of atmospheric turbulence up to one kilometre above the telescope over a comparatively wide field of view. But the new Narrow Field Mode using laser tomography corrects for almost all of the atmospheric turbulence above the telescope to create much sharper images, but over a smaller region of the sky."

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High Sierra Fire, Smoke, and Mountain Safety Information

High Sierra
Fire and Smoke Information


High Sierra & Major California Fires

FERGUSON FIRE, Feds, Mariposa

CARR FIRE, Calfire, Shasta

New, Troubling Fire in the High Sierra:
DONNELL FIRE, Feds, Stanislaus NF

More Info

Largest Fire in State History
MENDO FIRE, Feds, Clearlake


, Feds, San Berdo




All Federal
Managed Fires
Parks, Forests, and Lands


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Climate News (updated): Cape Town gets a Break, "Day Zero" Posponed



Cape Town’s Reservoirs Rebound

Original Article
Global Weather Changes

Cape Town gets a Break

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2018 Valley Subsidence a Symbol of Overproduction Abuses


Ripping Off the Taxpayer to Continue Draining California


Original Story

Still Got that Sinking Feeling?

Good, As We’ve Destroyed the Natural Foundations of Our Own Bounty & Beauty

The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water,
Sacbee, July 13, 2018.

Valley Subsidence a Symbol of Long-Term Overproduction Abuses


The Last Chapters

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Particulates the "Icing on the Cake?" of Tree Mortality?



Drought & Pollution Driving Tree Mortality

Particulates the "Icing on the Cake?"

Particulate matter increases drought vulnerability of trees,
University of Bonn, July 16, 2018.

More Dimensions of Forest Danger

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High Sierra 2019 Roadwork: Caltrans Replacing Echo Summit Bridge on HWY 50 next Spring


High Sierra Roadwork

Major Work, Big Delays Upcoming into Tahoe on 50

Caltrans to replace Echo Summit Bridge on US 50,
Tahoe Daily Tribune, July 9, 2018.


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Teflon in Everything: Dangerous PFAS Systamatically and Intentionally Ignored



Health & Fittness

Teflon in Everything

Dangerous PFAS Systamatically and Intentionally Ignored

How the EPA and the Pentagon Downplayed a Growing Toxic Threat,
ProPublica, July 9, 2018.


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July 10, 2018: Whitney Portal Closed & Evacuated by Georges Fire, UPDATED INFORMATION



Inciweb: Georges Fire

July 10

Whitney Portal Evacuated and Closed

Original News Report

Original Forest Alert-Warning

No Trips Starting Out the Whitney Portal


July 16

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Forest Expansion: Forni Meadows now part of Eldorado Forest



The El Dorado Forest Expands

The Edge of The Desolation Wilderness

Under the Southern Shadow of Pyramid Peak

Forni Meadows now part of Eldorado Forest,
Lake Tahoe News, July 10, 2018.

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Yosemite Bear Activity: Bear Facts, June 17 – June 30, 2018


Yosemite Bear Activity

Summer 2018

Yosemite Bear Facts, June 17 – June 30, 2018,
Sierra News Online, July 6, 2018.

This Year

"Compared to this week in 2017 (the lowest year on record for bear incidents), park rangers say bear incidents in 2018 are down by 63% and damage amounts (in dollars) are down by 39%."

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A Metaphysical Transfer Point: DNA, Cold Weather, Brown Fat, & You



Environmental Genetics

A Metaphysical Transfer Point

DNA, Cold Weather, Brown Fat, & You

Environmental impact passed on to offspring,
ETH Zurich, July 9, 2018.

The Cold Factor

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When the Lights Went On: Earliest Quasar Shines Light on Universe's Early galaxy formation




Deepest Space, Earliest Times

When the Lights Went On

Plasma-spewing quasar shines light on universe's youth, early galaxy formation,
Carnegie Institution for Science, July 9, 2018.

"Quasars are comprised of enormous black holes accreting matter at the centers of massive galaxies."

"...this newly discovered quasar's light has been traveling nearly 13 billion of the universe's 13.7 billion years to reach us here in Earth. P352-15 is the first quasar with clear evidence of radio jets seen within the first billion years of the universe's history."

"The Big Bang started the universe as a hot soup of extremely energetic particles that were rapidly expanding. As it expanded, it cooled and coalesced into neutral hydrogen gas, which left the universe dark, without any luminous sources, until gravity condensed matter into the first stars and galaxies."

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Allies Against the Bugs: Program and Scorecard for the Battle of "The Birds Vs The Bugs"



Bird News

Our Buddies Against the Bugs

Program and Scorecard for the Battle of "The Birds Vs The Bugs"

Birds eat 400 to 500 million tonnes of insects annually,
Springer, July 9, 2018.


Birds & Bugs

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Freak Weather, 2018: Record Rains Devastate Japan



Freak Weather

Record Rains Devastate Japan

Death toll increases as record rains devastate parts of Japan,
Guardian, July 7, 2018.

49 killed, 48 missing.

"historic" "torrential"

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Watch Out for the Green Water: Blue-Green Algae News and Safety Information

Watch Out for the Green Water

 Do not drink, or allow your animals or children to drink from or play in water containing cynobacteria, otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae. Review the Blue-Green News just below and the safety information at the bottom of this page:

Blue-Green Algae Safety and Identification Information


July 2018,
August 2015:
Rising heat and declining waters are creating conditions even more favorable for cynobacteria,otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae.

In the Sierra the source of nitrogen feeding the blue-greens is cattle grazing. This is the same grazing that preserves High Sierra meadows, and for which the series of check dams that gave birth to countless lakes were created.

High Sierra Water Quality Articles



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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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