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

Waggle Dance Language Key: Science Finds The Rosetta Stone for Bees

 

 

BEE WAGGLE DANCE LANGUAGE KEY

Bee, Marked for Waggle Dance Reading
 Virginia Tech.
The researchers analyzed the dances of 85 marked bees from three hives. Credit: Virginia Tech

 

Science Finds The Rosetta Stone for Bees

Codifying the Universal Language of Honey Bees,
Virginia Tech, March 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bee Language Key?
“...the researchers present an extraordinary foundational advance - a universal calibration, or for science fiction aficionados, a "babel fish," that translates honey bee communications across sub-species and landscapes.”

What
“The researchers analyzed the dances of 85 marked bees from three hives.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Exercise has Anti-Inflammatory Effect Preventing Osteoarthritis Cartilage Damage

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

Exercise has Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Exercise helps prevent cartilage damage caused by arthritis,
Queen Mary University of London, March 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Exercise Good
“Exercise helps to prevent the degradation of cartilage caused by osteoarthritis...”

Movement is Anti-Inflammatory
“During exercise the cartilage in joints such as the hip and knee is squashed. This mechanical distortion is detected by the living cells in the cartilage which then block the action of inflammatory molecules associated with conditions such as arthritis.”

“…this is down to tiny hair-like structures called primary cilia found on living cells.”

Why
“...this anti-inflammatory effect of physical activity is caused by activation of a particular protein, called HDAC6, which triggers changes in the proteins that form primary cilia.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Dark Matter Hunting in 2019: Fields in the Sky, Axions in the Fridge

 

INTO the DARKNESS:
ELIMINATING DARK MATTER CANDIDATES

Two Papers

1> Examining the Theoretical Constraints of the Darkness

2> No Evidence of Axions

 

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Ancient and Modern Martian Water: Two Research Summaries

 

EXTRA-PLANETARY GEOLOGY

Martian Water Then & Now

 Two Research Summaries

1> Evidence of Deep Groundwater on Mars

2> Rivers of Ancient Mars

 

 

1>Martian Water Now

Recurrent Slope Linae (RSL) on the Martian Palikir Crater’s walls
Recurrent Slope Linae (RSL) on the Martian Palikir Crater’s walls, by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

Look at those walls! Alien climber's El Cap? This research contends that they're formed by the occasional flows of water leaking out from deep inside Mars, escaping through them.
Photo credit to NASA/JPL/University of Arizona. Big Image.

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

End of The Age of Humans: Human Effects Equal Chicxulub Climate Disruption

 

MARCH 29, 2019
UPDATE

First Glimpses into the Deadly Minutes Following, 'Dinosaur-Killer,' Chicxulub Impact

"A tangled mass of freshwater fish, terrestrial vertebrates, trees, branches, logs, marine ammonites and other marine creatures was all packed into this layer by the inland-directed surge..." below

 

 

Original Research

THE END OF AN AGE

The Age of Humans

Human Effects Equal Chicxulub Climate Disruption

The 5 degrees of meteor-induced warming that took out the dinosaurs took 100,000 years to recover,
Science Daily, May 24, 2018.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Deadliest Disease Ever: History, Mechanism, Effects of Chytrid Fungus

 

AMPHIBIAN APOCALYPSE

 

Cytrid Spores from Batrachochytrium Fungus
VIDEO: DANCING SPORES
Cytrid Spores from Batrachochytrium Fungus, from the video by Luís Felipe Toledo.
Look at those wriggling little fungus devils! Batrachochytrium releases its spores in water, and the spores are able to swim until they infect a host, video by Luís Felipe Toledo. Check-out the spores in full screen mode, to get the best impression of their intense activity.

 

Deadliest Disease Ever
The History, Mechanism, and Effects of the Deadly Chytrid Fungus

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Exposure to Deadly Aedes Mosquitoes & their Diseases Doubling with Global Warming

 

BREAKING OUR WEATHER

It Begins Here
The Main Culprits: Humans, followed by Aedes Aegypti

 Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae, credit to NIAID (CC BY 2.0, 2016).
Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Larvae, credit to NIAID (CC BY 2.0, 2016)

 

It Ends Here:
Killer Skeeters Benefit Greatly from our Heating of our Environment
Aedes aegypti feeding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Muhammad Mahdi Karim, Wiki.
Aedes aegypti feeding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Muhammad Mahdi Karim, Wiki
 

Two Teams Report

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Warming Arctic Deeply Affecting North Hemisphere Weather

CHANGING WEATHER & CLIMATE: THE ARCTIC

Changing Status of Arctic is Deeply Affecting North Hemisphere Weather

Study shows arctic warming contributes to drought,
University of Wyoming, March 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“When the Arctic warmed after the ice age 10,000 years ago, it created perfect conditions for drought.”

“According to new research led by a University of Wyoming scientist, similar changes could be in store today because a warming Arctic weakens the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. This, in turn, results in less precipitation, weaker cyclones and weaker mid-latitude westerly wind flow -- a recipe for prolonged drought.”

“Our analysis shows that, when the Arctic is warmer, the jet stream and other wind patterns tend to be weaker.”

“...when temperatures have changed in similar ways to today (warming of the Arctic), the mid-latitudes -- particularly places like Wyoming and other parts of central North America -- dried out.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Kangaroo Rat Escapes Attacking Rattlesnake by Kicking the Sucker in the Head

SMALL MOUNTAIN MAMMALS

 

Kangaroo Rat Kicking Rattlesnake Head while Out-Jumping Strike Speed
Kangaroo rat defensive kicking of rattlesnake while jumping, By Ninja Rats.
Lower legs planted on Rattler’s head, By Ninja Rats, Videos.

 

The Kangaroo Jumping Rat

High-speed videos capture how kangaroo rat escapes rattlesnake attack,
University of California - Riverside, March 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

March of 2019 All High Sierra Outdoors & Nature News Index

 

Updated
March 31, 2019

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA TRAIL NEWS
BELOW

 

LATEST HIGH SIERRA GENERAL NEWS
BELOW

 

NEXT MONTHS' NEWS

LAST MONTHS' NEWS

 

Latest
High Sierra Backpacker's News
 Man and Nature

 
March
, 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

Extreme Antarctic Events Common Source of Annual Averages

 

SNOW, ICE, EXTREME WEATHER & CHANGE

Percent of Annual Precip Deposited by Extreme Events
circular map, showing percentage of annual precip brought by EPEs, by British Antarctic Survey.
The contours and colours show the percentage of the annual snowfall that comes from the extremes, here taken as the top 10% of daily snowfall amounts, credit to BAS.

 

Extreme Events Common Source of Annual Averages

Antarctic snowfall dominated by a few extreme snowstorms,
British Antarctic Survey, March 25, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Extreme Precipitation Events (EPEs)

This “...study reveals the importance of a small number of intense storms around Antarctica in controlling the amount of snow falling across the continent.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Climate & Ecological Change, The Spring of 2019

 CHANGING WEATHER, 

&
CHANING WORLD,
NEWS

2019

Updated Daily 

June 19,  2019

 ECO-CRASHING NEWS

SPRING of 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.

 

Previous Reports-Research

Winter of 2019

2018 Climate News

October-December 2017

 

 

 Updated

SPRING
2019

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Spring Outlook: Major Flooding Risks Continuing across USA

 

EXTREME WEATHER

Outlook for Spring 2019 Flooding
2019 US Spring Flood Outlook by NOAA.

Locations where there is a greater than 50-percent chance of major, moderate or minor flooding during March through May, 2019. (NOAA) Big Map.

 

2019 US Flooding Reaching New Levels of Extremity

Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May,
NOAA, March 21, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Widespread Flood Risk
“Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook issued today.”

Record Flooding So Far
“...the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa – have already experienced record flooding this year.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

German Butterflies Going Down: Industrial Agriculture Killing Butterflies

 

BUG WORLD

Germ Butterflies Going Down
Butterfly, German Hominy Blue, Jan C. Habel / TUM.
German Hominy Blue,Jan C. Habel / TUM

 

Butterfly numbers down by two thirds,
Technical University of Munich (TUM), March 20, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Germs
“...home to roughly 33,500 species of insects”

Going Down Hard
“...but their numbers are decreasing dramatically. Of the 189 species of butterflies currently known from Germany, 99 species are on the Red List, 5 have already become extinct, and 12 additional species are threatened with extinction.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019: Arctic Seasonal MAX & MINS on Steady Warming Trajectory

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & FISH

Arctic Sea Ice
 NASA, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, & unknown.
Credits: NASA, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, & Linette Boisvert. Big.

 

Arctic Seasonal MAX & MINS on Steady Warming Trajectory

Arctic sea ice 2019 wintertime extent is seventh lowest,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, March 20, 2019

MAIN POINTS

Date
Max Ice Extent on March 13

2019 Maximum
5.71 million square miles

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Update
McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica.
 McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER.
Fantastic photo credit: McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER, full-sized.

 

Researchers analyze biodiversity patterns in Antarctic Dry Valleys,
Virginia Tech, March 20, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Who
"...international collaborative team that analyzed biodiversity patterns in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica."

What
"...understanding of the whole (Dry Valleys) community, from bacteria to multicellular invertebrates."

"...analyzing the physical and geochemical drivers that predict biodiversity patterns."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Complex Geology of Tahoe Basin, Emerald Bay

 

HIGH SIERRA GEOLOGY

Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, and the Sierra Crestline
Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, USA, Credit to GSA & R.A. Schweickert et al.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, USA, Credit to GSA & R.A. Schweickert et al, large. Map.

 

Complex Geology of Tahoe Basin, Emerald Bay

Underwater surveys in Emerald Bay reveal the nature and activity of Lake Tahoe faults,
Geological Society of America, March 16, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Tahoe Basin
“...Lake Tahoe region is rife with active faults, many of which have created the dramatic and rugged landscapes. The Lake Tahoe region lies between the Sierra Nevada microplate to the west and the Basin and Range Province to the east. Northwestward movement of the Sierra Nevada microplate creates stresses that may produce both strike slip (horizontal) and vertical movement on faults.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Understanding the Complexity of Monarch Environmental Engagement

MONARCH RESEARCH

Female Monarch Butterfly: Orange
Monarch butterfly by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, wiki.
Males have reddish hue, Wiki. Photo by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, Wiki

Many, Many Monarchs
Many, many Monarchs, credit to MSU, by Karen Oberhauser.
MSU, by Karen Oberhauser, big show-shot.

 

Understanding the Complexity of Monarch Environmental Engagement

When it comes to Monarchs, Fall Migration Matters,
Michigan State University, March 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Huge Declines
“Monarch butterflies in eastern North America have declined by 84% on Mexican wintering grounds since the observed peak in 1996.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

NASA: Super Bloom Fires Up Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

BIOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS of EXTREME WEATHER SWINGS

 

Colors of Life
Fires Up the Sands & Terrain of Anza Borrego
WET

NASA Earth Observatory images of Anza Borrego super bloom by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. This image would typically uniformly be shades of the colors of sand, without the super bloom. Landsat comparison.

DRY
Landsat view of Anza Borrego prior to Superbloom, NASA image.
Landsat Image

 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Wildflower Super Bloom Returns to California,
NASA Earth Observatory, March 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“Thanks to a rainy winter in Southern California, a vast bloom of wildflowers has overtaken...” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

THE MANY FACES of DEATH: Massive Extinction Event Well Underway

THE MANY FACES of PLANETARY DEATH

Greed Kills Man & Nature
Skully and his crossbones warns us about growing beyond our ethical and physical frameworks is dangerous.
Warning: Allowing the Emotions of Desire and Pure Greed to Supplant Our Ethical Restraints, to Justify Consuming Everything, is Bringing a Terrible Fate Down upon ourselves & our whole Planet.

 

Massive Extinction Event Underway, Let’s Review the Fundamentals

Every Aspect of Nature in Decline, on the Run

The 12 Signs That Show We're in The Middle of a 6th Mass Extinction,
Scienc Alert, March 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

12 Marks of the
Evolutionary Apocalypse
What we’ve got in this Science Alert article cited above has been covered in depth on this site for quite some time, so I’ve, “main-pointed,” their, “12 signs,” of our ongoing Evolutionary Apocalypse, and linked each main point to recent scientific research on that topic, and maybe a bit of news.

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