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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California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment


California Ecology Crashing as Population Continues to Explode...

California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment,
August 27, 2018.



Climate change report: California to see 77 percent more land burned,
SF Chron, August 27, 2018.


More & Larger Fires
“...large fires across the state will likely increase by 50 percent by the end of the century while the amount of land that burns annually will rise 77 percent...”

Less Beach
“...higher seas overrun beaches, less water fills state reservoirs and drier weather shrivels Central Valley crops.”

Smoke Injury
“Smoke will drive more respiratory illness, the power grid will lose more lines and equipment to flames, and even the cost of homeownership will rise. The price of wildfire insurance, for example, is projected to increase 18 percent by 2055 as fires become more damaging.”

80% Less Snow by 2100
“By 2100, the snowmelt will be as much as 80 percent scarcer, the report said.”

“Our system was built for a different climate.”

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‘Bailout in sheep’s clothing’ for PG&E? Advocates slam California wildfire plan,
Sac Bee, August 29, 2018.


“...the California Legislature’s solution for wildfires includes a “bailout in sheep’s clothing” for PG&E that could for the first time leave customers picking up the bill for the utility giant’s negligence.”

Political System of Corporate Bribery
“Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spent millions of dollars this year imploring state legislators to change wildfire law and reduce the San Francisco energy company’s financial obligations for property damages.”

The Gov & Dems Bowed Down to Bribery, Again…
“governor and legislative leaders established a two-house wildfire conference committee in July...(which set) new standards for fire prevention, forest management and utility liability damages that can be recovered from ratepayers, among other major changes.”

Rushing the PGE Ripoff Through
“...submit the final language 72 hours before the legislative session concludes Friday. Some lawmakers on the committee and outside groups complained that they were not given adequate time to review the report before the hearing began Tuesday.”

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PG&E Spends $1 Million+ on Bribes to Brown, Dims, & California officials to Evade Wildfire Laws


August 18, Update,


Direct to Article

PG&E’s bid to change wildfire liability rules appears dead for now,
SF Chron, August 18, 2018.

For now is the operative phrase. PG&E is determined to saddle their costs of doing business, and substantially expand their profits, at the public's expense.


August 1 Update

How our Law & Environment are Really Managed

Open PG&E Bribery Finally Hinted at by Press, below




July 26

How Politics Really Works

Jerry Brown: Corporate Whore of PGE


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HEALTH & STATUS of LAKE TAHOE: 2018 State of the Lake Report


2018 State of the Lake Report

IN HOT WATER? Lake Tahoe sees decreased clarity, highest ever surface water temps in 2017,
Sierra Sun, August 2, 2018.

Introduction to the Destruction of Lake Tahoe
The external, environmental factors that are clouding and warming Lake Tahoe’s waters are accelerating, not diminishing. Where we are “at” right now is just one step along a much longer path to a much warmer, wetter climate, where the majority of our annual precip will fall as rain, rather than snow.

High Sierra Forest Succession
These climate changes are being accompanied by, triggering really, what is looking like a great High Sierra forest succession. It looks to me like we’ve created a situation where the climate and weather no longer suit the contemporary stratification of forests on the West Flank of the Sierra, and they are in the process of transforming into forests that are better suited for the new, emerging hotter climate. Tree Mortality and Fire are the method of succession.

Thus the widespread tree mortality and vast forest fires we are experiencing are actually part of this forest succession our idiot behavior itself has triggered.

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2018: Analysis and Context of Impending 2020 Lake Mead Emergency Declaration


Analysis and Context

Impending Lake Mead Emergency Declaration

Colorado River shortage looming because Lower Basin is using too much water,
JFLECK at INKSTAIN, August 15, 2018.

“The Lower Colorado River Basin has gotten 10 million acre feet of “bonus water” since 2000, above and beyond its entitlement under the Colorado River Compact. But we’re about to have a formal shortage declaration because the Lower Basin keeps using more water than it perhaps ought to.”

Central Arizona Project Greed Threatens Whole Colorado System

“It’s been clear for a while that we’ll likely have a first-ever federal shortage declaration in the Lower Colorado River Basin in 2020, and that chance is growing.”

Emergency Entering 2020
“Lake Mead would end 2019 at elevation 1,070.35. Anything below 1,075 and Arizona and Nevada have to reduce their use of Colorado River water.”




We Don't have-to Wait until 2020 for the Water-Climate Crisis...

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AB 425: Brown Proposes Opening Up No-Permit Logging in California


Brown Channels Zinke in Legislature

Brown Opening Up Logging in California

California fires: Governor proposes easing logging rules to thin forests,
Mercury News, August 24, 2018.


Agent for the Timber Lobby

"...Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state."

"...one of the most significant changes to the state’s timber harvesting rules in the past 45 years."

Brown: Best Lobbyist Money can Buy

"...negotiated by legislative leaders and the governor’s office behind the scenes and had not yet been formally introduced in a bill or put up for a vote."

Trees & Roads

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Inyo SAR Middle Palisade Fatal Hiker Fall Recovery


Inyo SAR Hiker Fall Fatality

Middle Palisade Recovery,
Inyo SAR, August 23, 2018.


"In the late afternoon of the 18th, (the 61-yearold male) texted his wife in Indiana saying he was behind and may need to camp on the trail."

"On the evening of Saturday, August 18 ICSO SAR coordinators received multiple reports of a deceased subject located on the NE face of Middle Palisade in the Sierra Nevada mountains."

"A hasty team of two Inyo SAR members was sent out of the south fork of Big Pine creek Sunday morning..."

"The individual was located around approximately 13,000 ft in steep class 3 terrain and appeared to have taken a tumbling fall."

Image from recovery site
Position of fatality recovery, Middle Palisade, INYO SAR.
Depicting the steep and loose terrain of the NE Face. Photo Credit INYO SAR

"In his final communication with family, the subject indicated that he was moving more slowly than his anticipated pace, potentially resulting in his ascent/descent occurring in the dark and increasing the inherent danger of the route."

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Summer 2018 Sea Ice Minimum Approaches


Summer 2018 Sea Ice Minimum Approaches

Crazy North Hemisphere Heatwave of 2018 in the Arctic

The Oldest, Thickest Arctic Sea Ice Is Breaking For The First Time on Record,
Science Alert, August 22, 2018.


“The breakdown of some of the oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has occurred for the first time in recorded history. Not once, but twice this year, the breaking ice has opened waters north of Greenland that are usually frozen even in summer.”

“...among the short-term consequences, it could threaten the survival of Arctic seals and polar bears, scientists say.”

Last of the Multiyear Ice
“...this last holdout of heavy ice is now becoming as mobile as any other part of the Arctic.”

"In the past, most of the ice in the Arctic has been multi-year ice, but that has been shrinking and now nearly all the ice in the Arctic is first-year ice.”

Last Holdout Leaving
"The only zone where multi-year ice has survived is north of Greenland, but this last holdout is now opened up and moving away from the coast."

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2018 California Water Plan Highlights Ongoing Ecological Disaster


Agricultural Overproduction and Urban Expansion Must Stop

Two Very Rare Environmental Victories on the Horizon?

Closing the off the Water Tap lining-up with the Deportation of Cheap Labor?

California’s water wars heat up at Sacramento hearing over river flows,
SF Chron, August 21, 2018.


The New Water Plan
Board meeting to adopt new Ca water plan

“...State Water Resources Control Board, which recently unveiled a far-reaching plan to shore up the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the West Coast’s largest estuary and a source of water for much of California.”

(Which is dead/dying...)

The Plan
“The plan calls for irrigation districts as well as some urban water suppliers, including San Francisco, to reduce their draws on rivers that feed the delta in an effort to boost inflows into the depleted estuary and help wildlife.”

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2018, Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated (Injury Update)

Injury Update, August 17



Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated

Many come to aid of climber trapped between granite slabs,
Sierra Wave, July 30, 2018.

"On July 29, 2018, at approximately 1:30 pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) received a call from a pair of climbers in the area of the north ridge of Mount Conness."

"The pair explained that they could hear someone screaming for help approximately 1/2 to 3/4 miles northeast of their location. They were unsure of the exact location of the voice but provided SAR with an approximate GPS location..."

"The approximate location of the victim was around 11,400 feet elevation near the base of the Conness Glacier."

"Twelve (12) SAR personnel responded and readied at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead, and the SAR Team then began the hike into the area to attempt to locate and assist the injured person. CHP Helicopter H40 was requested to the area to conduct an aerial search of the area as well."

"H40 launched but shortly after was forced to return to their base due to the heavy smoke and low visibility in the area."

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NPR Downplays Threats from Universal Distribution of Microplastics and Endocrine Disruptors


Microplastics and their Endocrine Disruptors are Everywhere

NPR Soft-Pedals Extent, Depth, and Dangers from Plastic Poisoning our Planet

Beer, Drinking Water And Fish: Tiny Plastic Is Everywhere,
NPR, August 20, 2018.


“They're in oceans, rivers and lakes.”

?? NPR Bullshit
"And, even more concerning, microplastics are in drinking water. In beer. In sea salt. In fish and shellfish. How microplastics get into animals is something of a mystery."

Editor Note
No, it’s not a mystery at all. Here's the, "known," answer: We have flooded the earth and its waters with plastic pollution… A vast majority of the world's children have BPA in their systems. Those are the, "known," facts. What happens to the development of our children when their adolesent deveolpment is done while swimming in endocrine disruptors, that's the only, "unknown."

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Clay Wound Treatment in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance


Clay Wound Treatment in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance

Clay to Fight Bacteria in Wounds: An old practice may be a new solution,
Mayo Clinic, August 21, 2018.


“...the concept of using mud as medicine goes back to earliest times.”
Blue Clay from Oregon
Image Courtesy Arizona State University


Blue Clay from Oregon
“...found that at least one type of clay may help fight disease-causing bacteria in wounds, including some treatment-resistant bacteria.”

Biofilm Effective
“We showed that this reduced iron-bearing clay can kill some strains of bacteria under the laboratory conditions used, including bacteria grown as biofilms, which can be particularly challenging to treat”

“Biofilms occur when bacteria attach to surfaces and develop a film or protective coating making them relatively resistant to antibiotics. They appear in two-thirds of the infections seen by physicians.”

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Ice Found on the Moon


Ice Found on the Moon

Scientists discover first direct evidence of surface exposed water ice on the moon,
University of Hawaii at Manoa, August 21, 2018.

Polar Ice(s), Snow "Drifts," on the Moon!?

Surface exposed water ice (green and blue dots) scattered around the lunar polar regions. Overlain on the annual maximum temperature (darker=colder, brighter=warmer).

The real question is, 'what does it "look" like," meaning, do we actually have snow-drifts on the Moon? Can we ski down them?! Those splotches on the Southern Hemisphere of that Lunal Map look significant..., do I see a, "skiable," slope? Do you?

Let's get Elon and Branson right on it...



"...Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) found the first direct evidence for the surface exposed water ice in permanently shaded regions (PSRs) of the Moon."

"...the distribution of ice on the lunar surface is very patchy, which is very different from other planetary bodies such as Mercury and Ceres where the ice is relatively pure and abundant."

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August 2018: Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue


Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue

Hiker rescued after fall in Mount Ritter area,
Sierra Wave, August 16, 2018.

“The victim and her partner were at approximately 12,200’ elevation on the south side of Mount Ritter.”

“The female had lost her footing and slid 50 to 100 feet down a glacier on the south side of the mountain, colliding with the rocks below. She sustained head and facial injuries as well as lacerations to her extremities.”

“Their helicopter resource was not able to contact the victim as the altitude was too great. The only assistance they were able to offer was to drop a survival kit, as they were not prepared for overnight conditions.”

“Madera County Sheriff’s Office also had a ground team driving through Yosemite to the Agnew Meadows trailhead to begin the trek to the victim as Mount Ritter is easier to access from Mono County.”

“At 9:10 pm, a team of (4) four Mono SAR personnel and gear was loaded onto the Seahawk to insert them below the victim. At 9:58 pm, the Seahawk was able to drop the SAR team at an elevation of 9,600’ approximately 1.2 miles from the victim’s location.”

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August 2018, Remains of Missing Hiker Found in North Yosemite


Updated August 20

Initial Report August 14


Missing Hiker Found in North Yosemite

Remains Of Missing Hiker Found In Yosemite,
Sierra News Online, August 20, 2018.

“...located the remains of a hiker missing for nearly a month.”

“The remains of Scott Tenczar, 48, were discovered on Saturday, Aug. 18, in the far northeastern portion of the park above Tuolumne Meadows.”

Original Post


Mountain Safety News Page



August Trail News

August Trail News Forum




News from Nature


Climate Destruction News


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2018: The New Normal Emerges in California, July Hottest Month EVER


The New Normal Emerging in California

July 2018 Warmest Month in California History; Unprecedented Early-Season Wildfire Activity Continues,
Weather West, August 9, 2018.


Early July Heatwave
"July 2018 was an extraordinary weather month across most of California. Early in the month, a searing heatwave brought all-time record heat to some locations in Southern California."

High Temp July
"...extreme heat receded somewhat during the rest of the month, temperatures never cooled back to anywhere near average, and the past 3-4 weeks have been punctuated by heatwaves that have broken countless daily temperature records."

Nighttime Highs
"...a number of more “subtle” temperature records have fallen this July, with all-time record warm overnight temperatures occurring across a majority of the state and “consecutive 100+ degree day” records falling through parts of the Central Valley. Death Valley apparently recorded the warmest single month officially recorded anywhere on Earth."

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Great Northern Hemisphere Heat Wave of 2018: Two Articles: Sweden Shrinking, Europe Frying


The Great Northern Hemisphere Heat Wave of 2018

Two Articles: Sweden Shrinking, & Europe Frying

1>Sweden Shrinking

Sweden's Highest Peak Melts Away as Record Temperatures Hit Arctic Circle,
Time, August 3, 2018.

Main Points

Arctic Circle Heatwave
"A summer heatwave in the Arctic circle has claimed a victim in Sweden’s highest point, a glacier on Kebnekaise mountain in the north of the country."

"Melting fueled by the heat has caused the peak to lose 13 feet in height."

"Just a month ago, the glacier reached 6,893 feet above sea level. At the latest measurement on Tuesday, it was just 6,879 feet high...it is now no longer the highest point in the country."

“We know that it has melted because it is very hot."

Arctic Circle at 90F
"Northern Europe has been sweltering in a heatwave that scientists fear is a result of climate change. Banak in Norway, over 350 miles into the Arctic Circle, reached 90 degrees on Monday."



2>Euros, and even the Northern Euros, are Baking

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String Theory, Dark Energy, and the Big Bang Collide in the "Swampland"


String Theory, Dark Matter, and the Big Bang Collide in the "Swampland"

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory,
Quanta, August 9, 2018.


Does String Theory, “Work?”

String Theory Universes
"The leading candidate for a “theory of everything” weaving the force of gravity together with quantum physics, string theory defines all matter and forces as vibrations of tiny strands of energy. The theory permits some 10 to the 500th power of different solutions: a vast, varied “landscape” of possible universes."

Does String Theory, “Work?” Do You?

Do you really, "exist," is our universe really one of many, and, are you an IDIOT?

You  were designed to reflect our natural reality. Now is the time to do it.

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2018, ECO-CRASHING NEWS Particulate Pollution vs. CO2; How to Fix this Mess?!


Particulate Pollution vs. CO2

Particulate pollution's impact varies greatly depending on where it originated,
Carnegie Institution for Science, August 17, 2018.



"Aerosols are tiny particles that are spewed into the atmosphere by human activities, including burning coal and wood."

Cooling Effect
"While greenhouse gases cause warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, some aerosols can have a cooling effect on the climate--similar to how emissions from a major volcanic eruption can cause global temperatures to drop."

30% Reduction in Greenhouse Warming
"Estimates indicate that aerosols have offset about a third of greenhouse gas-driven warming since the 1950s."

Aerosols have Short Lives, GGs have Long Lives
"... aerosols have a much shorter lifespan in the atmosphere than the gases responsible for global warming."

So...Distribution of Aerosols Vary by Region
"This means that their atmospheric distribution varies by region, especially in comparison to carbon dioxide."

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August 2018: NASA Observes Widespread Smokey Skies from Western Fires

Widespread Smokey Skies from Western Fires

A Serious Mountain Safety Concern

Smokey Skies in North America,
NASA Earth Observatory, August 17, 2018.

"In mid-August 2018, deadly blazes across the western United States and Canada continued to destroy structures and disrupt the lives of millions of people. But you did not have to be close to the fires to witness its effects. These images show just how far across North America winds have carried the thick plumes of smoke."



Smokey Oregon,
NASA Earth Observatory, August 15, 2018.

“On August 15, 2018, nine large fires were burning in Oregon...”


NASA Images

Fire Season in the Western United States



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