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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New Forest-Climate Relationships Revealed by “Super Studies” Amassing & Organizing Vast Information

FORESTS, TREES, CLIMATE, & TECHNOLOGY

New Relationships Revealed by “Super Studies” Amassing & Organizing Vast Information

These nine measures reveal how forests are controlled by climate,
Santa Fe Institute, December 27, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Super Study
Functional Traits
“...vital signs for a forest are captured in key traits such as the amount of nitrogen in a tree's leaves, the leaf area, or the density of the wood. These "functional traits" can impact how trees grow -- and therefore how forests respond to climate change.”

“...analyze existing data from trait studies on forest communities to see what could be revealed about these shifts on a global scale.”

“...take what functional data we have available from databases and pair this with locally collected field data, as well as data about species abundance, to say something about climate-biodiversity relationships that we couldn't say before."

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Health News: Bacteria found in Ancient Irish Soil Stops Superbugs

HEALTH & FITNESS NEWS & RESEARCH

Irish Antibiotic Supersoil Bacteria
Swimming Clean in a Sea of MRSA
Irish Supersoil bacteria swimming clean in a sea of MRSA, G Quinn, Swansea University.
The Supersoil is the brown spot inhibiting the spread of the MRSA which is surrounding it, by G Quinn, Swansea University.

Irish Antibacterial Supersoil

Bacteria found in ancient Irish soil halts growth of superbugs -- new hope for tackling antibiotic, resistance,
Swansea University, December 27, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Irish Supersoil Effective Against Superbugs
“...soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties have discovered that it contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA.”

They have named the new strain Streptomyces sp. Myrophorea.

Boho Highlands
“...originated from an area of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, which is known as the Boho Highlands. It is an area of alkaline grassland and the soil is reputed to have healing properties.”

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Health & Fitness News & Research during the Winter and Spring of 2019

 

Health, Fitness, & The Human Condition 
News and Science

Updated
January 30, 2019

 Winter & Spring
of
2019

January 1, 2019:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  

 

Latest News Below

 

Earlier
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?

 

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2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment

NEWS UPDATE
ECOCRASH NEWS

The Update

CA WATER COMMISSION
Assesses The 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment (Original Article, below)

Climate change effects on the State Water Project and Central Valley Project,
Maven's Notebook, January 3, 2019.

Main Points

This provides a good point-by-point breakdown of the 2018 Nat Climate Assessment, because of this report's clarity and conciseness.

It’s Conclusion?
Let there be Grim-ness.

64,000 Dollar Unasked Question
Why we keep irresponsibly growing mass-population megacities, in arid and desert lands, into the face of at the very least, a very uncertain water, weather, climate, and ecological future, if not creating a growing situation that is itself bringing-on, as well as experiencing the effects of, complete climate change, is way beyond any common sense and complex reasoning I can summon-forth.

I can only say, "stop hitting yourself."

These types of crazy behaviors are not motivated for or by any logic, or social benefit, but by the most destructive of desires, being our unchecked greed.

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Alternative Migration Strategies Part of Monarch Decline?

BUTTERFLIES

The Mighty Monarch Butterfly
Monarch butterfly, Wiki, by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson
Monarch butterfly, by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson

Alternative Migration Strategies Part of Monarch Decline?

Fewer monarch butterflies are reaching their overwintering destination,
De Gruyter, January 2, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Dwindling Numbers of Monarchs
“...monarch butterfly, is currently experiencing dire problems with its migration in eastern North America.”

“Fewer and fewer monarchs are successfully reaching their overwintering destinations, and scientists aren’t sure why.”

Why?

Some midwestern monarchs are overwintering in Florida, rather than Mexico.

An Issue?
"...“alternative” overwintering locations..."

 

Bottom Line

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The Madden-Julian Oscillation Changing in Warming World

WEATHER & CLIMATE

Climate-Changing The Madden-Julian Oscillation
How Climate Changes affect MJO, by Eric Maloney/Colorado State University.
How Warming Climate affects MJO behavior, by Eric Maloney/Colorado State University:

"Current climate is represented in (a), and a warmer climate in (b). As the climate warms, the mean vertical gradient in water vapor (blue) increases. Tropospheric temperature (orange shading) will also increase more than the lower atmosphere."

 

The Madden-Julian Oscillation

Reliable tropical weather pattern to change in a warming climate,
Colorado State University, December 27, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

The MJO
“Every month or two, a massive pulse of clouds, rainfall and wind moves eastward around the Earth near the equator, providing the tropics their famous thunderstorms.”

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News of Climate & Ecological Change, The Winter of 2019

 

 CHANGING WEATHER, 

&
CHANING WORLD,
NEWS

2019

Updated Daily 

February 13,  2019

 

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.

 

2018 Climate News

October-December 2017

 

 

 Updated

 2019

 

February 13

ECO CRASH NEWS: NEW THREATS EMERGING

Hydrate-Capped Undersea Carbon Reservoirs

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Looking into the Mirror of Life: Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Science News & Research for Good Observers, Winter & Spring of 2019

 

 

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 

February 8, 2019

 

LATEST NEWS BELOW

 

 

2018 Astro Phys & Science News

 

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2018 ADVENTURE: Two Explorers Set Out to Cross Antarctica

Keep Updated

TRACKING RUDD

Pre-Start Article, below

Started November 3rd

12 miles to South Pole on Dec 12

Completed on 12-28-18, 56 Days across Antarctica via South Pole

Tracking Captain Lou Rudd, from Shackleton Clothing, London.

 

National Geo End of Trip Article, 12-28-18

 

 

TRACKING O'BRADY

Pre-Start Article, BI, November 4, below

Started November 3rd

3 miles to South Pole on Dec 11

Completed on 12-26-18, 53 Days across Antarctica via South Pole

“...follow his GPS tracker in real time or check his posts on Instagram.”

 

WaPo End of Trip Article, 12-27-18

 

 

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Chemical Industry has put Endocrine Disruptors in Everything

DIRE CHEMICAL THREATS to HEALTH & FITNESS

Chemical Industry has put Endocrine Disruptors in Everything

Prenatal exposure to chemicals in personal care products may speed puberty in girls,
UC Berk Dept Public Health, December 5, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“Girls exposed to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products before birth may hit puberty earlier...“

Study
“...followed 338 children from before birth to adolescence to document how early environmental exposures affect childhood development.”

Developmental Dysfunctions
“Over the past 20 years, studies have shown that girls and possibly boys have been experiencing puberty at progressively younger ages. This is troubling news, as earlier age at puberty has been linked with increased risk of mental illness, breast and ovarian cancer in girls and testicular cancer in boys.”

Girls
diethyl phthalate and triclosan
“...daughters of mothers who had higher levels of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in their bodies during pregnancy experienced puberty at younger ages. The same trend was not observed in boys.”

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41% Sierra & Rocky Mountains Snow Pack Loss since ‘82

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: WEATHER, WATER, and MASSIVE GROWTH

Science in Action
Measuring snowpack in a "snow pit" along Arizona's Mogollon Rim during a snow survey in 2017. Credit Patrick Broxton, copyright 2017.
Measuring snowpack in a "snow pit" along Arizona's Mogollon Rim during a snow survey in 2017. Credit Patrick Broxton, copyright 2017.

Results

41% Snow Pack Loss Since ‘82,

79% of that Gone by 2100

 

Research

Declining snowpack over western US mapped at a finer scale,
University of Arizona, December 12, 2018

Original Research Report Above, for the Article Below

 

The Popular Press

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking,
Wired, December 12, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“...the High Sierra and the Rockies are, in effect, shrinking, according to a new analysis of the nation’s snowpack over the past 36 years.”

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Sierra Snowpack Could Drop 79% by End of Century

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: WEATHER, WATER, and MASSIVE GROWTH

California’s Current Irresponsible Population at Risk?

Why’s Our Corporate Leadership Growing our Population into Disaster?

GREED & CORRUPTION

79% Drop in Sierra Snowpack Projected by 2100

Sierra snowpack could drop significantly by end of century,
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, December 11, 2018.

West Sierra Flank Watersheds
 Berkeley Lab)
Berkeley Lab researchers analyzed the headwaters of these 10 major California reservoirs. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

MAIN POINTS

Our ongoing self-induced climate destruction, “...will almost certainly feature a decline in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada mountain snowpack.”

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A Closer Look: Korolev Crater & the Moons of Mars

ASTROPHYSICS, ASTRONOMY, & THE ATMOSPHERE of MARS


MARS
 NASA, ESA, and STScI.

Hubble reveals Two Faces of Mars. Credits: NASA, ESA, and STScI

A Closer Look Reveals the Korolev Crater
Korolev Crater filled with ice, Mars, credit to Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.
Credit ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

This image from ESA’s Mars Express shows Korolev crater, an 82-kilometre-across feature found in the northern lowlands of Mars.

 

A Closer Look: Korolev Crater

ESA Inspects the Korolev Crater

Mars Express gets festive A winter wonderland on Mars,
ESA, December 20, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Korolev Crater
“...this feature, known as Korolev crater, is found on Mars, and is shown here in beautiful detail as seen by Mars Express.”

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

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.”

Alzheimer’s in Two Decades
“Non-P-Tau exhibited significant increases with age, an important finding in a young population where axonal changes are present and AD hallmarks are evolving steadily in the first two decades of life. Non-P-Tau is potentially an early biomarker of axonal damage and AD axonal pathology in highly exposed young populations.”

Building our Own Third-World Shitholes
LA, PHOENIX, TEXAS...
“In the USA alone, 200 million people live in areas where pollutants such as ozone and fine particulate matter exceed the standards.”

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Observing the Decline of the Doomed Forests in the Southwestern US

PLANTS, TREES, & FORESTS

Observing the Decline of the Doomed Forests in the Southwestern US

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century,
University of Arizona, December 18, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

75% Productivity Decline
“Southwest forests may decline in productivity on average as much as 75 percent over the 21st century as climate warms...”

Tree Core Survey Recovery
THE LOST CORES
The First Hundred Cores of 20,000 lost cores, John D. Shaw, US Forest Service
“...based on a treasure trove of about 20,000 unanalyzed tree cores discovered in a Utah laboratory about a decade ago. The annual growth rings visible in tree cores reflect each year's climatic conditions.”

Photo by John D. Shaw, US Forest Service.

“The new collection of Forest Inventory and Analysis tree cores turned up when scientists at the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Ogden, Utah, were moving from one building to another. The researchers were surprised to find a bunch of dusty boxes filled with tree cores that had never been analyzed.”

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2018 Ocean Research: O2 Distribution Changing in World’s Oceans

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & MAN

O2 Distribution Changing in World’s Oceans
Critters to Suffer, Krill, first victim of depleated Ocean Oxygen
KRILL
Krill, first victim of depleated Ocean Oxygen credit to Stephani Gordon, Open Boat Films
Credit to Stephani Gordon, Open Boat Films

Lower oxygen levels to impact the oceanic food chain,
University of South Florida (USF Innovation), December 19, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Expanding Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs)
“...looked at many different types of marine zooplankton, which includes fishes and crustaceans that are essential to the marine food chain.”

“...just the slightest change in oxygen level could have tremendous ramifications on the food chain. Rising temperatures are causing mid-water regions with very low oxygen, known as Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs), to expand in the eastern tropical North Pacific Ocean. While some organisms in certain regions may be able to adapt, researchers found those living in OMZs likely cannot as they're already pushed to their physiological limits.”

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OTHER PLANET’S WEATHER: Jupiter has a Seven Year itch

OTHER PLANET’S WEATHER

The Big Dog of Our Solar System
JUPITER
 Credit Christopher Go, & NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Jupiter as seen from Earth, more: Credit Christopher Go, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

 

Jupiter has a Seven Year itch

Planetary astronomers identify cycle of spectacular disturbances at Jupiter's equator,
University of Leicester, December 19, 2018.

 

JUPITER from SPACE
HUBBLE SHOT
Jupiter from Space, Credit to Hubble, NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (GSFC)
Jupiter from Space, Credit to Hubble, NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (GSFC)

 

MAIN POINTS

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Plastics Degrade into Nano Particles

HEALTH, FITNESS, & PLASTIC DISINTEGRATION

Plastics Degrade into Nano Particles

Plastic waste disintegrates into nanoparticles, study finds,
Lund University, December 19, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Fate of Trash Plastic
Macro or Micro?
“The research community is divided on whether the degradation process stops at slightly larger plastic fragments - microplastics - or actually continues and creates even smaller particles.”

Nano!
"We have been able to show that the mechanical effect on the plastic causes the disintegration of plastic down to nano-sized plastic fragments."

Nano Food Chain
“...in an earlier study from Lund University, researchers showed that nano-sized plastic particles can enter the brains of fish and that this causes brain damage which probably disturbs fish behaviour.”

“The emphasis of a number of other recent studies from the research community has been on microplastics and their increased distribution among organisms. There are now intense attempts to also identify nanoplastics in the environment.”

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Chemicals Secretly Known by 3M to be Very Bad for Health, Distributed Everywhere, Now in Everyone

WATER NEWS

3M’s PFAS, “Teflon & Scotchguard”

Secretly Known by 3M to be Very Bad for Health, Distributed Everywhere, Now in Everyone

Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water,
Bloomturd, November 2, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

3M
3M manufacturing plant along the banks of the Mississippi River in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

PFAS
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
The "Forever" Chemical
"3M’s factory had been churning out some varieties since the 1950s for the water- and stain-repellant Scotchgard. 3M also sold its PFAS to other companies to make Teflon, outdoor gear, greaseproof food papers and firefighting foams. The company stopped using some kinds in 2002, but has since made others. And the same property that makes them so effective in consumer products—one of the strongest molecular bonds ever discovered—means they are almost impossible to get rid of  and don’t break down in the environment."

PFAS Accumulate in Nature and Humans
"...“forever” chemicals had long been detected in most people’s bodies, research has shown how they accumulate  and can take years to leave."

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The End of Cold, 2018: Tibet & Andes Glaciers are Going Away, so is their Water

WATER, OCEANS, ICE

OSU Science Digging into the Quelccaya Glacier along the Andes in Peru
OSU Science on the Quelccaya Glacier in the Andes in Peru, photo credit to Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
Photo Credit to OSU Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

 

The End of Cold: Glaciers are Going Away

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas,
Ohio State University, December 17,2018.

MAIN POINTS

“Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau...”

Most Populous Nations
“...glaciers in both parts of the world are melting more rapidly than at any point in the last 10,000 years--mean the water supply in parts of Peru, Pakistan, China, India and Nepal will decline, soon.”

Peru
Half Ice Gone by 2100, maybe 66%
"By 2100, the best case scenario is that half of the ice will disappear. Worst-case scenario: two-thirds of it will. And you've got all those people depending on the glacier for water."

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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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