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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Fertilizer Plants Underreported Emissions More CO2 than All US Industrial Production



Factory Smoke
Factory Smoke,  by JuergenPM.
Conversion of more & more energy. JuergenPM


Under Counting on the Ground--BUT--Everything Counts Up in the Sky

Fertilizer Plants emit 100 times more Methane than Reported,
Cornell University, June 6, 2019.


Fertilizer Plants
Methane Emissions

> "...100 times higher than the fertilizer industry's self-reported estimate."

> "...higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate for all industrial processes in the United States."

Self-Regulation & Reporting
"It shows us that there's a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements."

Natural Gas
"...use of natural gas has grown in recent years, bolstered by improved efficiency in shale gas extraction and the perception that natural gas is a less dirty fossil fuel."

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Too Many Eggie-Weggies Still Bad for You - But Not Too Bad...



Love Them Eggs
Three chicken eggs
Three chicken eggs, Timothy Titus.
Three chicken eggs of contrasting colours. From L to R, WHITE (white leghorn hen), RED (speckled)(Marans hen), and TINTED (Rhode Island Red hen). Wiki, Timothy Titus.


Too Many Eggie-Weggies Still Bad for You - But Not Too Bad...

Study: Cholesterol in Eggs Tied to Cardiac Disease, Death,
University of Massachusetts Lowell, June 4, 2019.


Eggs Bad
"...cholesterol in eggs, when consumed in large quantities, is associated with ill health effects..."

"...high cholesterol levels..."

US Diet Guidelines
"...no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day."

Egg Semi-Reprieve
"...saturated fats (other sources of cholesterol) were the driving factor behind high cholesterol levels, rather than eggs."

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Your Digital Dead-Weight Brain in our Brave New Digital World




Your Digital Deadweight Brain

Research reveals how the Internet may be changing the brain,
NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, June 5, 2019.


Cell Phonyism
"The key findings of this report are that high-levels of Internet use could indeed impact on many functions of the brain."

Stupid Phones
"...international team of researchers...have found the Internet can produce both acute and sustained alterations in specific areas of cognition, which may reflect changes in the brain, affecting our attentional capacities, memory processes, and social interactions."

Individual and Social Effects
"Instagramification of society"
"I believe that this, along with the increasing #Instagramification of society, has the ability to alter both the structure and functioning of the brain, while potentially also altering our social fabric."

Digital Hole
"It's clear the Internet has drastically altered the opportunity for social interactions, and the contexts within which social relationships can take place."


Bottom LIne

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2018 Annual Euro-Bee Count



Honey Bee Visiting Flowers
Western Honey Bee, Wiki, Louis Docker.
Western Honey Bee, Wiki, Louis Docker.


Annual Euro Bee Count

Honey Bee Colonies Down by 16%,
University of Strathclyde, June 5, 2019.


Mostly Euro-Count
"...survey of 25,363 beekeepers in 36 countries..."

"...33 countries in Europe - including the four nations of the UK - along with Algeria, Israel and Mexico."

Count & Amount
16.3% Lost in 2017-18
"...out of 544,879 colonies...at the start of winter, 89124 were lost..."

Previous Years
20.9% colony loss in 2016-17.

12.0% colony loss in 2015-16.

"Loss of honey bee colonies is a highly complex issue."



Bee Troubles

2019: Massive Bee Declines in Michigan since 2000


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Counting Small Percentage of American Diet Finds Lots of Microplastic Consumption




Destructive Development
Beach pollution at Kuta Beach, Bali
The High Tide of Human Crap. UN IPBES Report, Maxim Blinkov/Shutterstock.
The High Tide of Human Crap. See the UN IPBES Report, Maxim Blinkov/Shutterstock


Counting Small Percentage of Food Finds Lots of Microplastics,

Estimating Microplastic Consumption,
American Chemical Society, June 5, 2019.


Human Test Subjects
"...the average American consumes more than 70,000 particles of microplastics per
year, though the health effects of that consumption are unclear"

74,000 to 121,000 Particles Per Year
"...estimated microplastic consumption ranged from 74,000 to 121,000 particles per year, depending on age and sex. People who drink only bottled water could consume an additional 90,000 microplastics annually compared with those who drink only tap water."

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Africa to Fry Under Any of the Current Climate "Scenarios"



Africa to Fry Under Any of the Current Climate "Scenarios"

Extreme Heat to Hit One Third of the African Urban Population,
Université de Genève, June 5, 2019.


173 African Cities
"...a range of possible scenarios regarding the rate of climate change and socio-economic development in 173 African cities for the years 2030, 2060 and 2090."

Population Growth & Urbanization
"...highlight the influence of socio-economic development on the impact of climate change."

Lethal Combination
"...Africa - are experiencing heavy urbanisation and socio-economic development, leading to an explosion in the size of urban populations. A combination of these two factors is having a major impact on the living conditions of city-dwellers in Africa, especially in terms of exposure to extreme - or even lethal - temperatures."

Measuring Unbearable
"...calculate the number of people per day exposed to apparent temperatures above 40.6°C (105°F) in cities in Africa on an annual basis."

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At the Center of Our Galaxy: Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed


Massive Gas Cloud Rotating Around Sag A*

Matter Itself Observed Falling into Sag A*



At the Center of Our Galaxy

Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed
(4971 Miles Per Second)

GRAVITY confirms predictions of general relativity,
CNRS, July 30, 2018.


"Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* Black Hole) sits at the centre of our galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth. This black hole, which has a mass 4 million times that of the sun, is surrounded by a star cluster - the S stars - which reach mind-boggling speeds when they approach the hole."

Sagittarius A* Within its Star Cluster
Sagittarius A* and its star cluster
Credit, Copyright by Paris Observatory / LESIA

"...to follow one particular star in the Sgr A* system - S2 - before and after it passed close to the black hole on 19 May 2018. GRAVITY achieved a resolution of 50 microarcseconds: the angle at which a tennis ball placed on the moon would be visible from Earth."

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2019 Glacier Point Road Opening May 10th



2019 Opening Dates
Highway 108, Sonora Pass, Open as of June 3
Highway 4, Ebbetts Pass,    Open as of June 3
Highway 120, Tioga Road,   Still Closed on June 3


Glacier Point Update, May 29: OPEN

Glacier Point Update, May 17: Closed Through Sunday, May 19, 2019

Glacier Point Update, May 14: Glacier Point Road Closed for Storm of 5-15


Yosemite Roads

All High Sierra Road Info


Through the Snowy High Sierra
Through the Snowy High Sierra  Driving to Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, June 2010
Driving to Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, June 2010


Yosemite Road News & Status of Trans-Sierra Highways

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MORE FREAKISH, EXTREME WEATHER: Massive 2019 Midwestern Flooding



Massive Midwestern Flooding

The Whole US is Wettest Ever
"The continental United States recently finished its wettest twelve months in 124 years of modern recordkeeping."


River Flood Outlook

All Flood Hazard Warnings Page

3-7 Day Flood Hazards Page


Corporate Press

The Wettest, Wildest Planting Season U.S. Farmers Can Remember,
Bloomberg, June 3, 2019.

Corporate Press
Flooding continues to pose threat to communities along Mississippi, Arkansas rivers,
GMA, Yahoo, May 31, 2019.

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HEALTH & FITNESS: Coffee Reduces Death

Coffee Cleared of Stiffening Artries



Coffee Reduces Death

Research suggests coffee consumption associated with reduced risk of death,
Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, July 31, 2018.

Less Death for Coffee Drinkers
“...presented unpublished original research studying a cohort of almost 20,000 participants over an average of ten years...research suggests that coffee consumption at intakes of 3-6 cups of coffee a day reduces all-cause mortality. Within this cohort, there was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day.”

Not Just the Caffeine
“...suggested that caffeine alone was unlikely to explain the effect on mortality, mentioning a potential role for polyphenols found in coffee, which may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”

Less Death
“Meta-analyses have suggested that coffee consumption versus no coffee consumption is associated with an up to 17% risk reduction of all-cause mortality.”

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WARNING: Torrential Downpour Activity has been Building for Fifty Years, and is Continuing



"Atmospheric River" Smacking California
Fantastic Shot of Pineapple Express Tropical Transport Mechanism by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory/ VIIRS satellite.
Fantastic Shot of, "Pineapple Express," Tropical Transport Mechanism by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory/ VIIRS satellite.


Torrential Downpour Activity has, and is Building

Downpours of Torrential Rain more Frequent with Global Warming,
University of Saskatchewan, June 3, 2019.


50 Years of Increasing Downpours
"The number of extreme downpours increased steadily between 1964 and 2013--a period when global warming also intensified..."

Extreme Events
"By introducing a new approach to analyzing extremes, using thousands of rain records, we reveal a clear increase in the frequency extreme rain events over the recent 50 years when global warming accelerated."

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11 Year Sun Cycle Explained by Orbital Cycle of Planetary Alignments



Our Star
Extreme UV image of huge prominence, ESA/NASA/SOHO
Extreme UV image of huge prominence on Our Star, ESA/NASA/SOHO


11 Year Sun Cycle Explained by Orbital Cycle of Alignments

The Sun Follows the Rhythm of the Planets,
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, May 27, 2019.


11 Year Solar Cycle
"...the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle."

Elusive Cycle
"...past models have been unable to adequately explain the very regular cycle of the sun."

How Cause was Found
"...systematically compared historical observations of solar activity from the last thousand years with planetary constellations, statistically proving that the two phenomena are linked."

"There is an astonishingly high level of concordance: what we see is complete parallelism with the planets over the course of 90 cycles."

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Fishing Fleets Grown and Growing far Beyond Fish Stocks & Fish Fertility



Fleets Grown and Growing far Beyond Fish Stocks & Fish Fertility

More fishing vessels chasing fewer fish, new study finds,
University of Tasmania, May 27, 2019.


Global Fishing Fleet Doubled, Catch Fell 80%
"...the world's fishing fleet doubled in size over the 65-years to 2015 but for the amount of effort expended the catch fell more than 80 per cent."

Mighty Fleet
"...the global fishing fleet grew from 1.7 million vessels in 1950 to 3.7 million in 2015."

Fish & Fertility Decline
"...the findings reflect growing pressure on marine resources and a fall in the abundance of fish."

As the Fleet Grows
"What we have seen over the last 65 years is more and more fishing vessels chasing fewer fish."

Fish vs Fleet
"...this measure paints a dark picture of the state of the ocean's resources."

Demand Growing as Resources Shrink
"...Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Southern Mediterranean indicates their fisheries expanded at a much faster rate than fish stocks could support."

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2019: Earth's Mountain Glaciers Breaking Down Rapidly, Feeding 10 Inches Sea Level Rise by 2100



Kennicott Glacier
The Kennicott Glacier flows out of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. Regina Hock, UofA.
See it now... The Kennicott Glacier (gog mapguide) flows out of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. A new review of glacier research found that glaciers worldwide will lose up to 36% of their mass by 2100, resulting in almost 10 inches of sea level rise. By Regina Hock.


Mountain Glaciers Breaking Down

Melting Small Glaciers could add 10 inches to Sea Levels,
University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 22, 2019.


"...a future planet with a lot less ice and a lot more water."

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Ancient Supernova Radiation Set the Forest Fires that Evolved Footloose Humans?



Tycho Supernova Remnant
Tycho Supernova Remnant four centuries after the brilliant star explosion, MPIA/NASA/Calar Alto.
How the Tycho Supernova (more) looks four centuries after the brilliant massive star explosion witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era. Image credit: MPIA/NASA/Calar Alto Observatory.
Also see the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant.


Supernova Cosmic Radiation sets Forest Fires that Evolved Footloose Humans?

Researchers wonder if Ancient Supernovae prompted Human Ancestors to Walk Upright,
University of Kansas, May 28, 2019.


Hella Light Show
"Supernovae bombarded Earth with cosmic energy starting as many as 8 million years ago, with a peak some 2.6 million years ago, initiating an avalanche of electrons in the lower atmosphere and setting off a chain of events that feasibly ended with bipedal hominins such as homo habilis, dubbed "handy man."

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Asia's Departing Glaciers Provide(d) a Now Disappearing Buffer against Drought Times



Glaciers Departing Rapidly Everywhere

Asia's Glaciers Provide Buffer against Drought,
British Antarctic Survey, May 29, 2019.


"...assess the contribution that Asia's high mountain glaciers make to relieving water stress in the region..."

"The high-mountain region of Asia, known as the Third Pole, encompasses the Himalayas, Karakoram, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan, Kunlun Shan and Alai mountains and has 95,000 glaciers in total. About 800 million people are partly dependent on their meltwater."

Vital Drought-Time Water Supply
"...during droughts, glaciers become the largest supplier of water to some of Asia's major river basins. This melt-water is important for the people living downstream when the rains fail and water shortages are at their worst."

Massive Summertime Glacial Water Subsidy
"Each summer, glaciers release 36 cubic kilometres of water - equivalent to 14 million Olympic swimming pools - to these rivers. This is enough water to fulfil the basic needs of 221 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan."

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Transgenic Fungus Rapidly Killed Malaria Mosquitoes in West African Study



Welcome to The MosquitoSphere
Simulated Village Setting for the Fungal Spider Toxin Study
The MosquitoSphere, Etienne Bilgo, University of Maryland.
MosquitoSphere, a roughly 6,550-square-foot, screened-in structure in Burkina Faso, West Africa, was designed to simulate a village setting and included plants, huts, small pools of water and a food source for mosquitoes. Etienne Bilgo, University of Maryland.


Island of Doctor Moreau? Are We Warping an Entire Planet?

Transgenic Fungus Rapidly Killed Malaria Mosquitoes in West African Study,
University of Maryland, May 30, 2019.


The Skeeter Scope
"...malaria affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, killing more than 400,000 annually."

"...insecticide use has failed to control mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite and has led to insecticide-resistance..."

"...scientists began genetically modifying mosquitoes..."

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Mountain Health, Fitness, & Safety: Two Ways to Die Under the Snow: Suffocation & Freezing



Two Ways to Die Under the Snow: Suffocation & Freezing

Avalanche Victims: When can Rewarming Lead to Survival?
Eurac Research, May 28, 2019.


"This study analysed the data relating to 103 avalanche victims admitted with cardiac arrest to seven major hospitals in Europe, between 1995 and 2016."

Two Types of Avalanche Deaths
"Of the 103 victims, 61 were rewarmed, but only 10 per cent survived; in the other cases it was not the hypothermia that caused the cardiac arrest, but suffocation during the avalanche or trauma."

The Survival Standard
Frozen or Suffocation Heart Stoppage?
"...hospitals require accurate guidelines based on significant evidence to justify extracorporeal rewarming using the heart-lung machine."

Survival Standards Found
"The factors that have emerged as decisive in this study are the core temperature and the concentration of serum potassium, the latter is related to cell degeneration. Using both these parameters, doctors can assess which patients have the potential to survive and which do not."

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May 2019 TYT UPDATE: Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Closure Requires TYT Hikers Detour across Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Tahoe to Yosemite Trail


2019 Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
As of
May 23, 2019

Critical Stanislaus National Forest Donnell Fire Closure Order No. STF-16-2019-09,


The TYT is closed from just above Arnot Creek South to Clarks Fork Meadow.


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May of 2019 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index



May 31, 2019









High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

, 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.

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