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High Sierra Backpacker | The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide's Magazine & its Backpacker Trails & Topics Forums

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

September 2019 in the USA brings Extremes of Wet, Warm, and Dry

 

CLIMATE, WATER, & WEATHER: US SEPTEMBER

Extremes of Wet & Dry

Assessing the U.S. Climate in September 2019,
NCEI, October 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Second Warmest Month
September 2019 was second warmest in record, by NCEI.
"...second warmest September in the 125-year period of record. The warmest September on record occurred in 1998 and was 0.5°F warmer than in 2019."

Average Precip
September 2019 US Total Precipitation Percentiles, by NCEI.
"...September precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.42 inches, 0.07 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the 125-year period of record."

Note the division of record precipitation and record dryness across the US during September. The extremes dry of the Southeast and extreme wet of the Upper Midwest balanced into an average of extremes.

Drought Growing in Southeast

Drought Report

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bovine Antibiotic Effects Not Limited to Bacteria: Soil Efficiencies Reduced

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

How Now, Brown Cow?
Brown Cow, Art Tower, Pixabay.
Brown Cow, Art Tower, Pixabay.

 

Antibiotic Effects Not Limited to Bacteria

Researchers Find Multiple Effects on Soil from Manure from Cows Administered Antibiotics,
Colorado State University, October 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bovine Antibiotics
"...more stringent use of antibiotics in medical settings, the use of antibiotics in the livestock sector is gaining increased attention."

Levels of Use
"In the U.S., 80 percent of antibiotics are used in livestock production. Globally, livestock antibiotic use is projected to increase by 67 percent by the year 2030."

The Study
"...researchers analyzed ecosystems exposed to manure from cattle given no antibiotics and manure from cattle given a common antibiotic, as well as a control sample not exposed to manure. All of the manure samples were collected from standard dairy operations maintained by researchers from the Virginia Tech Department of Dairy Science."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Heat Always Flows Somewhere

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Pumping Atmospheric Warming into World Oceans
The warming rate of the atmosphere is affected by the air-sea energy transport, by Jing Xu,Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The greenhouse (GHG) effect caused by CO2 and other GHG gases acts as a "pump", feeding more and more energy into the Earth system. Most of this energy is ultimately stored in the ocean, and the warming rate of the atmosphere is affected by the air-sea energy transport, by Jing Xu,Chinese Academy of Sciences.

 

The Heat Always Flows Somewhere

Has Global Warming Stopped? The Tap of Incoming Energy Cannot be Turned Off,
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, October 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Issue
The "Pause" in Global Warming
"...the observational global mean atmospheric temperature leveled off over the first decade of the 21st century, in contrast to the rapid warming during the late 20th century."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Jerry Brown, Bribed Corporate Tool, UPDATED: Limits PG&E’s liability for Fire Damages

Oct 2019 REVIEW of July 2018
PGE, FIRE, & DEMOCRATS
The Past Fortells and Explains the Present and shows us the Future....

Jerry Brown Legacy
Burning forests, a Ruined Climate, a Broken Middle Class, Poverty, and Dying Ecosystems 

Our Corrupted Present & Future...
Pretty-Pretty Gavin Newsom: How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works

How We Got Here, to
The Great PGE California Power-Down:

 

Oct 2019 REVIEW
A brief look at our past and present political and press breakdowns into corruption (the page below...) quickly reveals the clear path of greed driving political corruption driving irresponsible growth that's brought California, and the whole world, to our current status of widespread Environmental and Ecosystem Breakdowns, Planet-Wide Chemical Poisoning, highlighted by the rapidly rising forces of yet more Heat, Darkness and Fire.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Two Articles: Did Camp Fire Violate PGE Probation, and, Was Camp Fire a State Crime?

UPDATED STORY!

Oct 9, 2019
WHY
The
Great
PGE California POWER-DOWN
More & More Physical Consequences of Political Corruption...

Background
The Past
Jerry Brown, Bribed Corporate Tool, UPDATED: Limits PG&E’s liability for Fire Damages

The Present,
"Jerry's Kid..."
Pretty-Pretty Gavin Newsom: How Our Financial-Political-Social Aristocracy Works

High Sierra Calendar

 

 

PGE BANCRUPTCY?

October 9 Review...
What are the Real Causes & the Status of this Disturbing Situation with PG&E?

Where did this Hot Mess with PG&E Come From?

Let's Review the Recent Past to Find Out!

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Estrogen Migrates through the Placenta
Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta, University of Vienna.
The xenoestrogen zearalenone migrates through the placenta, as researchers have now been able to show for the first time. Credit to the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

 

Environmental Estrogens Penetrate Placenta

Babies Burdened by Environmental Estrogens in Mothers' Wombs,
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), October 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Danger: Natural Sources
"Xenoestrogens are absorbed through the environment, especially through food. As oestrogen-like substances, they can have a profound effect on the body's hormonal balance."

Environmental Estrogen Penetrates Placenta
"The placental barrier offers the unborn child a certain protection against bacteria, viruses and some substances such as some medications or environmental toxins absorbed by the body. But zearalenone migrates through the placenta, as we have now been able to show for the first time..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Arctic Birds Breeding Timing Changing

 

BIRDS & CLIMATE CHANGE

Black-Legged Kittiwake
Black-Legged Kittiwake in the Arctic, by Sébastien Descamps, University of Barcelona.
In Arctic regions, the time period with optimal conditions for the reproduction of seabirds is quite limited. Fine shot by Sébastien Descamps, University of Barcelona.

 

Breeding Timing Changing

Early Breeding Season for Some Arctic Seabirds Due to Global Warming,
University of Barcelona, October 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Dramatic Changes
"The Arctic is one of the most sensitive areas to the global warming effects. Ice melting and the continuous rise of temperatures -higher than the average worldwide- are dramatically altering the structure of the Arctic ecosystems."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

For the Climate Skeptics-Deniers, Straight Talk From an Expert on Climate Change, & The Paris Accord is a TOTAL Corporate Farce

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

For the Skeptics

Straight Talk From an Expert on Climate Change,
AGU Blog, September 21, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

A powerful set of Warming-Skeptical Questions and Powerful Statistical Chart Answers.

Charts

Solar Energy

Orbital Cycles

Earth Total Heat Content

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Climate Warming Directly Responsible for 400% Increase in California Fires

 

WARMING TREES & FORESTS BURNING

Recent Extreme Warming
The years 2014-2018, averaged on this map, were the warmest years in the modern record, 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.

 

Climate Warming Directly Responsible for 400% Increase in California Fires

Rising Global Temperatures Influence California’s Fire Season,
NASA Earth Observatory, September 3, 2019.

Read the Research

MAIN POINTS

Increasing Fire
"...the annual burned area across California has increased fivefold over the past five decades, and the main driver is higher temperatures."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Huge Heat Waves Coming

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Our Hot Future
Our Hot Future, heatwaves could double by mid-century, Pixabay, Gellinger.
Heat waves are predicted to be more frequent and more intense. Now this research says they could be up to twice as large by 2050. Image on Pixabay, by Gellinger.

 

Huge Heat Waves Are Coming

Heat Waves Could Increase Substantially in Size by Mid-Century, says New Study,
NOAA Headquarters, October 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Situation
"...scientists expect the frequency and intensity of heat waves to increase. However, a commonly overlooked aspect is the spatial size of heat waves, despite its important implications."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Northern Forests in Deep Trouble

 

 

PLANTS, FORESTS, & TREES

The Changing Snowy Forest Scene
Found clear signs of a decline in frost and snow days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health, by MaxPixel.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found clear signs of a decline in frost and snow days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health, by MaxPixel.

 

Northern Forests in Deep Trouble

UNH Researchers Find Northern Forests Have Lost Crucial Cold, Snowy Conditions,
University of New Hampshire, October 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Winter Changes
"...have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health."

Snow to Rain
"Whether precipitation falls as snow or rain makes a big difference, whether you're talking about a forest stream, a snowshoe hare or even a skier."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Grim New Model Updates 2007 Model Run: Nuke War Still Bad News

 

UPDATES
Princeton's, "Plan A," Nuke Destruction Video Report & Coalition of Physicists

War between India and Pakistan Would Have Global Consequences

 

POTENTIAL ANTHROPOCENE-ECO-CRASH NEWS: NUKE WAR

Modeling a Major Nuke Exchange
Big Nuke, Image FEMA,  ready.gov.
Kiss your ass goodby, Image FEMA, ready.gov. Big Image.

 

Grim New Model Updates 2007 Model Run: Nuke War Still Bad News

Nuclear Winter Would Threaten Nearly Everyone on Earth,
Rutgers University, August 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Modern Modeling
"...modern climate model to simulate the climatic effects of an all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Forests: Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires

 

HIGH SIERRA FOREST SUCCESSION

Researcher in Sierra Nevada Forest
Investigating plant diversity within a transect line of a Sierra Nevada forest affected by drought and wildfire, Courtesy Clark Richter.
UC Davis' Clark Richter investigates plant diversity within a transect line of a Sierra Nevada forest affected by drought and wildfire, Courtesy Clark Richter.

 

High Sierra Forest Decline

Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires,
University of California - Davis, October 3, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Sierra Nevada forests are losing plant diversity due to high-severity fires."

Forest Succession
"These fires are turning patches of forest into shrub fields -- indefinitely, in some cases."

Legacy of Suppression
"...scientists analyzed plant diversity across a spectrum of fire severity -- from low to moderate to high. They found the sweet spot for plant diversity exists where tree stands burned with low-to-moderate severity, as mixed conifer forests did in this region for millennia...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Air Pollution Levels tied to Levels of Aggression and Violence

 

HEALTH, FITNESS, POLLUTION & VIOLENCE

When Levels of Aggression and Violence Are, "In the Air..."

Exposure to Air Pollution Increases Violent Crime Rates, Study Finds,
Colorado State University, October 3, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bad Air
"...found strong links between short-term exposure to air pollution and aggressive behavior, in the form of aggravated assaults and other violent crimes across the continental United States."

Data
"The CSU researchers cross-analyzed three highly detailed datasets: daily criminal activity from the National Incident-Based Reporting System managed by the FBI; daily, county-level air pollution from 2006-2013 collected by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitors; and daily data on wildfire smoke plumes from satellite imagery provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hazard Mapping System."

Results
"The research results show a 10 microgram-per-cubic-meter increase in same-day exposure to PM2.5 is associated with a 1.4% increase in violent crimes, nearly all of which is driven by crimes categorized as assaults."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Southwestern Tree Degradations Continue, Extremes of Weather Killing on Both Wet & Dry Sides

 

WATER & WEATHER: CHANGED-CHANGING IN THE SOUTHWEST

Semi-Arid Forest Dilemma
Semi-Arid Forest Dilemma, long-term declines in tree growth, even with no change in average precipitation, Deborah Lee Soltesz/CC 1.0 Universal.
In the semi-arid forests of the western U.S., increases in rainfall extremes – wetter wet years and drier dry years – can lead to long-term declines in tree growth, even with no change in average precipitation. (Deborah Lee Soltesz/CC 1.0 Universal)

 

Tree Degradations Continue, Extremes of Weather Killing on Both Wet & Dry Sides

Increasing Precipitation Extremes Driving Tree Growth Reductions Across Southwest,
University of Arizona, October 2, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Wet-Dry
"In many parts of the United States, tree growth responds more strongly and consistently to dry years than it does to wet years, so increases in growth during wet years does not completely offset reductions in growth during drought."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Rising Heat Isolated as Main Cause of Desert Bird Declines

 

BIRDS: DESERT HEATING BEATING BIRDS

Rising Heat Isolated as Main Cause of Desert Bird Declines

Collapse of Desert Bird Populations Likely Due to Heat Stress from Climate change,
University of California - Berkeley, September 30, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"The team that last year documented a collapse of bird communities in Mojave Desert over the last century -- 29 percent of the 135 bird species that were present 100 years ago are less common and less widespread today -- has now identified a likely cause: heat stress associated with climate change."

Earlier Research: See First Link Below

Virtual Birds vs. Real Declines
A Match
"...comparing levels of species declines to computer simulations of how "virtual birds" must deal with heat on an average hot day in Death Valley, which can be in the 30s Celsius -- 90s Fahrenheit -- with low humidity. These temperatures are, on average, 2 C (3.6 F) hotter than 100 years ago. The birds that the model predicted would require the most extra water today, compared to a 100 years ago, were the species that had declined the most in the Mojave Desert over the past century."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tropical Soils, Microbes, and Heat Add Up to 10% More Atmospheric CO2

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: CO2 FEEDBACK LOOPS

Tropical Soils, Microbes, and Heat Add Up to 10% More CO2

Microbes in Warm Soils Released More Carbon Than Those in Cooler Soils,
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, September 30, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Unknown
"The fate of soil carbon in response to global heating remains one of the greatest sources of un-certainty in our predictions of future climate."

"Tropical soils have a particularly large influence on the global carbon cycle and are home to unique biodiversity, but their response to warming remains poorly understood."

Not Well Modeled
".while tropical forests may have the potential to release vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere as they warm, the effects of warming on tropical soils and the microbes that break down organic matter are poorly characterized."

The Experiment
"At four sites in the Peruvian Andes, Nottingham and colleagues removed soil cores from the ground. A set of cores stayed at the same site, while other cores were moved to sites either higher up the mountain (thus, cooler) or lower on the mountain (warmer), a 3,000-meter range equivalent to plus or minus 4 to 15 degrees Celsius."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

 

Last Updated
October 31,  2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

NOVEMBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

SEPTEMBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
October, 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

Planning and Preparing for a late Winter-Early Spring snow backpacking trip in the High Sierras

Snow?
Climbing to the Headwaters of the East Fork of the Carson River, Feb 2014.
Climbing up to the Headwaters of the East Carson.

Considerations
on
Preparing and Planning for a Snow Backpacking Trip in the Sierras

(Well, although it is Fall, the principals explored below apply to Fall as well as Spring....)

Video Prep Guide
I have constructed this four-part video guide to preparing for a High Sierra backpacking trip. Though it is designed for a Winter-first day of Spring trip, the basic principals discussed are applicable to backpacking during any season.

NOTE: Site Video Links Broken. See these Backpacking Food Prep videos on YouTube.

Factors of Success or Failure
Part one covers the range of factors you may encounter and must prepare for when backpacking in High Sierra snow. These considerations will control your preparations. These considerations are interrelated, and your measurement of each will affect the others.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

 

Last Updated
September 30, 2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

OCTOBER ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

AUGUST ALL HIGH SIERRA NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
September
, 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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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!

 

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Mission Statement


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