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

Double Slit Experiment Kills Pilot Wave Theory

ASTROPHYSICS

Electron Orbits Atom

Electron orbiting atom, representation by Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation.
Electron orbiting atom, below, representation by Nicolle R. Fuller, National Science Foundation.
 

Double Slit Experiment Ends the Pilot Wave Theory

Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness,
Quanta, October 11, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Quantum World
"The standard “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics, originated at that time by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, broke with the past by declaring that nothing at the quantum scale is “real” until it is observed."

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Oumuamua: Neither Comet nor Asteroid?

ASTROPHYSICS

UPDATE!

Oumuamua Analysis

Deep Space Visitor from another Planet?

 Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF image by Joy Pollard
Oumuamua: Artist's conception. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF image by Joy Pollard

Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid,
Quanta, October 10, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“...first spotted a year ago by scientists with the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. ’Oumuamua (a Hawaiian word meaning “scout”) appeared to be a rocky, elongated asteroid at first, a stubby cosmic cigar.”

“Early measurements seemed to indicate that it was an asteroid — a dry rock much like those found orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Then by this past summer, astronomers largely came around to the conclusion that it was instead a comet — an icy body knocked out of the distant reaches of a far-off planetary system.”

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Deep Space Visitor: The Monolith! First Known Visitor from Interstellar Space

 

Deep Space Visitor: The Monolith!

First Known Visitor from Interstellar Space

 European Southern Observatory, artist's conception by, M. Kornmesser.
Oumuamua: NASA, Credits: European Southern Observatory, artist's conception by, M. Kornmesser.

First known interstellar visitor is an 'oddball,'
Gemini Observatory press release, November 20, 2017.

They should have named it “The Monolith,” because its size & shape echoes Clark’s Monolith in 2001; A Space Odyessy.

We should figure out a way to send a probe to that timeless mutherfucker. That thing has travelled across intersteller space, then right past our planet, when we're old enough to see it, and track its trajectory.

I'll bet we can catch it, and take a good look at it, if we want to look at one of our Galaxy's, and maybe our Universe's, most unique objects.

This intestellar rock would tell us a lot about intestellar communication.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape extinction

ANTHROPOCENE

Mammalian Collapse Continues

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis,

MAIN POINTS

"Humans are exterminating animal species so fast that evolution can't keep up; Unless conservation efforts are improved, so many mammal species will die out during the next 50 years that nature will need 3-5 million years to recover, a new study shows..."

Aarhus University, October 15, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“We humans are exterminating animal and plant species so quickly that nature's built-in defence mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. An Aarhus-led research team calculated that if current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct during the next five decades that nature will need 3-5 million years to recover.”

“There have been five upheavals over the past 450 million years when the environment on our planet has changed so dramatically that the majority of Earth's plant and animal species became extinct.”

“The sixth mass extinction is happening now, but this time the extinctions are not being caused by natural disasters; they are the work of humans. A team of researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Gothenburg has calculated that the extinctions are moving too rapidly for evolution to keep up.”

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BEER-O-POCOLYPSE? Barley Biting the Global Warming Dust?

HEALTH, FITNESS, BEER, & OUR CHANGING CLIMATE

BEER-O-POCOLYPSE?

Barley Biting the Global Warming Dust

 

Global warming will have us crying in what's left of our beer,
University of California - Irvine, October 15, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“On top of rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes and worsening wildfires, scientists project that human-caused climate change will result in one of the most dire consequences imaginable: a disruption in the global beer supply.”

“...concurrent droughts and heat waves, exacerbated by anthropogenic global warming, will lead to sharp declines in crop yields of barley, beer's main ingredient.”

"Our study showed that even modest warming will lead to increases in drought and excessive heat events in barley-growing areas."

(Results from the new (associated study) study reveal potential average yield losses ranging from 3% to 17%, depending on the severity of the conditions.)

No Beer for You
"Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 percent in years when droughts and heat waves strike," he said. "That's comparable to all beer consumption in the U.S. Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The 2018 UN, “DUH,” Report

CLIMATE CHANGING OUR AMAZING PLANET

The “DUH,” Report

'Incredibly grim' prognosis on global warming also carries clarion call for global action,
LA-LA Land Times, October 8, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“A major new report on global warming makes a chilling prediction: Without swift and sweeping worldwide intervention, some devastating effects of climate change will hit harder — and decades sooner — than previously expected.”

The report, released Monday by a U.N. organization... served as a stark reminder of President Trump’s status as a global outlier...”

(Really? Trump says Seven Degrees by 2100, which is the most realistic estimate I’ve yet heard from any government on the face of this planet...

“Trump has rejected the 2015 Paris agreement signed by 195 nations to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions...”

Paris is a Fraud: IT EXEMPTS CHINA & INDIA!!

Hansen Calls Paris "A Fraud"

This is Hilarious!

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The End of Cold: McMurdo Dry Valleys Unique Environment Threatened

CLIMATE CHANGING OUR AMAZING PLANET

The End of Cold
McMurdo Dry Valleys Unique Environment Threatened-Changing

 

View of McMurdo
In the McMurdo Dry Valley environment, by J Levy from Portland State.
Credit for Image by Joseph Levy of Portland State University.

Rapid, widespread changes may be coming to Antarctica's Dry Valleys, study finds,
Portland State University, October 9, 2018.

UNIQUE

First, an introduction to a unique environment

McMurdo Dry Valleys
One of the most extreme places on Earth

Wiki

"Dry Valleys are so named because of their extremely low humidity and their lack of snow or ice cover...one of the world's most extreme deserts...the largest ice-free region in Antarctica...unique conditions in the Dry Valleys are caused, in part, by katabatic winds; these occur when cold, dense air is pulled downhill by the force of gravity. The winds can reach speeds of 320 kilometres per hour (200 mph), heating as they descend, and evaporating all water, ice and snow."

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CLIMATE CRASHING: EXTREME WEATHER, The Fun's Just Getting Started

CLIMATE CRASHING EXTREME WEATHER

The Fun is Just Getting Started...

More wet and dry weather extremes projected with global warming,
Rutgers University, October 4,2018.

MAIN POINTS

Wetter & Drier
“Global warming is projected to spawn more extreme wet and dry weather around the world...”

Where
“...more frequent dry spells in the northwestern, central and southern United States and in Mexico, and more frequent heavy rainfall events in south Asia, the Indochinese Peninsula and southern China.“

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ECO-CRASHING NEWS: ARCTIC ICE SUMMER MINIMUM

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: ARCTIC

6th Lowest Summer Minimum

Arctic Sea Ice Reaches 2018 Minimum,
NASA Earth Observer, September 28, 2018.

2018 Arctic Summer Minimum, NASA.
Image Credit to NASA. "Arctic sea ice as measured by satellites on September 19, 2018. Extent is defined as the total area in which the ice concentration is at least 15 percent. The yellow outline shows the median September sea ice extent from 1981–2010."

MAIN POINTS

"Arctic sea ice likely reached its annual minimum extent on September 19 and again on September 23, 2018, according to researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA. Analyses of satellite data showed that the Arctic ice cap shrank to 4.59 million square kilometers (1.77 million square miles), tied for the sixth lowest summertime minimum on record. Researchers at NSIDC noted that the estimate is preliminary, and it is still possible (but not likely) that changing winds could push the ice extent lower."

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ECO-CRASH NEWS: The Oceans, Surf’s Up, and Rising to Record Levels

ECO-CRASH NEWS

Surf's Up, and Rising!

Global sea level could rise 50 feet by 2300, study says,
Rutgers University, October 8, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

UNLUCKY?
"...sea-level could rise by nearly 8 feet by 2100 and 50 feet by 2300 if greenhouse gas emissions remain high and humanity proves unlucky..."

"... Under moderate emissions, central estimates of global average sea-level from different analyses range from 1.4 to 2.8 more feet by 2100, 2.8 to 5.4 more feet by 2150 and 6 to 14 feet by 2300..."

"...with 11 percent of the world's 7.6 billion people living in areas less than 33 feet above sea level, rising seas pose a major risk to coastal populations, economies, infrastructure and ecosystems around the world..."

 

 

Sea Level Research

Climate Change News: Higher Faster, Sea level rise accelerating

 

ANTHROPOCENE: Ecosystem Loss at Rising Sea level, Say Bye to the California Coastline

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

ECO-CRASH NEWS: One Politician Finally Admits 7 Degrees by 2100

ECO-CRASH NEWS

One Politician Finally Admits 7 Degrees by 2100

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100,
USA News, September 28, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

The US Gov's NEW Position:
“Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.”

“…issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)...”

As I’ve Said Before:
The current trajectory of the corporate growth machine of death, of endless population growth and offshoring of manufacturing has already brought us to the point of a catastrophic change in our seasonal weather patterns.

The Trump Admin is the first to admit what the Dim and Repugnant parties have not, that their shared policies of endless growth and, “globalism,” have already doomed our planet, and all the cultures on it, to catastrophic change.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Pony Express Trail

Where we Are

Pony Express Trail
for
Local Backpackers

UPDATE
October, 2018
Gross Stamp Sale: Pony Express

 

Pony Express Across the High Sierra

Brief Encounter
We briefly encounter and hike along a few hundred yards of the East-West line of the Pony Express Trail where we encounter its trail junction a couple of hundred yards West of the Echo Summit trailhead.

The Pony Express route comes East parallel with Highway 50, up from Strawberry to join our combined TYT-PCT-TRT routes just short of Echo Summit. We encounter it along our Tahoe to Whitney backpacking trip hiking from the South end of Desolation Wilderness to the North end of the Meiss Country Roadless Area.

Desolation Wilderness Backpacking Map
Click Red and Black dots.

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Killer New Science Video: Black Hole's Gas Lighting

KILLER ASTROPHYSICS VIDEO

Black Hole's Gas Lighting

New simulation sheds light on spiraling supermassive black holes,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, October 2, 2018.

This research uses supercomputers to create a cool animation modeling the orbits of two supermassive black holes, a binary pair of black holes, that were brought together by an ancient collision of their two progenitor galaxies, as these gravitationally bound black holes drag the remnants of their remaining glactic dust and gas through its final forty revolutions, before merging.


Black Hole's Gas Lighting Video

 

Other Cool Videos

Swarming Black Holes Report

Video

Black Hole Plasma Beam

Hubble Jupiter Video

Amazing Macrophage Porn Videos

15 Years of Arctic Ice Video

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Art: Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour

HIGH SIERRA TRAIL CULTURE

Art: Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour

Oakhurst, October 5, 6, and 7

Sierra Art Trails Preview Exhibit And Gala Reception,
Sierra News Online, September 9, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

SIERRA ART TRAILS

"The Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour takes place in homes, studios, galleries, and businesses in communities throughout Eastern Madera and Mariposa Counties. The show is the largest and most anticipated arts event in the area, say organizers, featuring artists and artisans working in a wide range of media including painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts, woodcarving, ceramics and glass."

"...Sierra Art Trails as the Preview Exhibit opens at Stellar Gallery on Gallery Row — Saturday, Sept. 8. The gala reception for the event is on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 4 – 9 p.m. Everyone is invited."

"The Preview Exhibit is open to the public, featuring a representative piece by each artist in Sierra Art Trails."

"The catalog — your $20 “ticket for two” — is a collectible, full color publication that includes articles, special features, artist listings and detailed maps that guide visitors to the various Art Trails locations. This year’s catalog features cover art by Carolyn Hartling."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

HEATED CACTUS THREATENS HUMMERS: Desert Migrations Threatened by Shifted Blooming Time

HEATED CACTUS THREATENS HUMMERS

Desert Migrations Threatened by Shifted Cactus Blooming Time

Ocotillos are blooming too soon, leaving migrating hummingbirds without food,
Desert Sun, October 1, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Ocotillo Cactus driven by climate change to bloom too early for migrating hummingbirds.

Traditional Bloom Timing

"...ocotillos bloomed in April and May, not in the dead of winter."

2007 Bloom Timing

Now, "...dozens of ocotillos blooming in January – months before migrating hummingbirds would arrive in the Coachella Valley."

"...Sonoran Desert shrubs, including ocotillo, began blooming nearly 40 days earlier than they did a century ago...(and)...ocotillos and other shrubs ended their bloom more than a month earlier than in previous decades. "

Change You Can Believe In

"...there would be disastrous consequences for most hummingbird species since all but one migrates through the Southwest and northern Mexico."

 

Massive Human Population Growth Destroying Everything...

The Hummers are Far from being Alone...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2018 WATER YEAR: Another Climate Changing Warmer & Drier Year

CLIMATE & WATER

Another Climate Changing Warmer & Drier Year

Below Average Precipitation for Water Year 2018,
California Dept of Water Resources, October 1, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"Despite below-average precipitation in water year 2018, most California reservoirs are storing near- or above-average levels of water heading into the 2019 water year."

Highlights

SoCal Less than Half
Much of Southern California ended up with half or less than half of average annual precipitation.

58% of Average
The April 1 statewide snowpack based on over 260 snow courses was just 58 percent of average for water year 2018, a dramatic drop from 159 percent of average for the same date in 2017.

Record Heat, Too...
The water year coincided with ongoing warming conditions, setting new records this summer for maximum temperatures in the South Coast region.

"Transition" to More Fire...
Water year 2018 is indicative of California’s ongoing transition to a warmer climate, which after years of extreme variability in annual precipitation, resulted in record-breaking wildfires.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2018: Man Banned from Space by Radiation?

ASTROPHYSICS

Man Banned from Space by Radiation?

Animal study suggests deep space travel may significantly damage GI function in astronauts,
Georgetown University Medical Center, October 1, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Cosmic Radiation
“Simulations with animal models meant to mirror galactic cosmic radiation exposure to astronauts are raising red flags...”

Serious Stomach Probs
“...deep space bombardment by galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) could significantly damage gastrointestinal (GI) tissue leading to long-term functional alterations. The study also raises concern about high risk of tumor development in the stomach and colon.”

Other Risks
“...previous work has highlighted potential impairment to brain tissue as well as accelerated aging on long space trips due to the effect of energetic heavy ions, which don't affect Earthlings due to the protective global magnetosphere.”

Current Situation
"With the current shielding technology, it is difficult to protect astronauts from the adverse effects of heavy ion radiation. Although there may be a way to use medicines to counter these effects, no such agent has been developed yet."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Taller Plants, Now Our New Climate is Thickening their Leaves

CLIMATE CHANGING PLANTS

Taller, Now Our New Climate’s Thickening their Leaves

High CO2 levels cause plants to thicken their leaves, could worsen climate change effects,
University of Washington, October 1, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Physical Effect
“...scientists have observed that when levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise, most plants do something unusual: They thicken their leaves.”

Systematic Effect
“...would be less efficient in sequestering atmospheric carbon, a fact that climate change models to date have not taken into account.”

When
“...under the high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels expected later this century...”

Effect
Thick-Leaf Loss of Plant CO2 Squester
“...leaving about 5.8 extra petagrams, or 6.39 billion tons, of carbon in the atmosphere per year.”

Scale of Squester Loss
“Those levels are similar to the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere each year due to human-generated fossil fuel emissions — 8 petagrams, or 8.8 billion tons.”

Last
Arctic Plants are Getting Rapidly Taller

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Where’d the Martian Methane Come From? Is it Alive?

ASTROPHYSICS, SPACE, SCIENCE, & SUCH

Where’d the Martian Methane Come From? Is it Alive?

Interpreting new findings of methane on Mars,
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News, September 26, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

LIFE?
“New data from the Mars Science Laboratory demonstrating the presence of methane presents novel challenges to explain how it was formed and what it suggests about the potential for life to exist or be supported on Mars.”

“...data have revealed a baseline level of CH4 (∼0.4 parts per billion by volume [ppbv]), with seasonal variations, as well as greatly enhanced spikes of CH4 with peak abundances of ∼7 ppbv.”

“...represent in terms of interior geochemical processes, or is martian CH4 a biosignature?”

The Bottom Line

Future missions must be designed to discern the sources of methane on Mars.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

ECO-CRASHING NEWS, 2018: Scope, Depth, & Future of Global Warming Explored

FYI
The Original Article, from June 2018 is REPOSTED below,
now with an article added that was posted on Oct 1, 2018:
"Crashing through Long-Term Tipping Points."
 

 

Original Article
ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Scope, Depth, & Future of Global Warming Explored

What happened last time it was as warm as it’s going to get later this century?
Ars Technica, June 18, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

"Like the Middle Miocene"

"The year 2100 stands like a line of checkered flags at the climate change finish line, as if all our goals expire then."

"...the climate won’t stop changing in 2100. Even if we succeed in limiting warming this century to 2ºC, we’ll have CO2 at around 500 parts per million. That’s a level not seen on this planet since the Middle Miocene, 16 million years ago, when our ancestors were apes. Temperatures then were about 5 to 8ºC warmer not 2º, and sea levels were some 40 meters (130 feet) or more higher, not the 1.5 feet (half a meter) anticipated at the end of this century by the 2013 IPCC report."

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