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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TWO FACES of FOREST DEATH: Heat Causing Fires Preventing Forest Regeneration

TWO FACES of FOREST DEATH

Heat Causing Fires Preventing Forest Regeneration

Idaho Complex Fire Aftermath
Forest regeneration failure after Idaho Complex Fire, by Kimberley Davis.
Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest burned in the 1994 Idaho City Complex Fire on the Boise National Forest in Idaho, and little regeneration has occurred since. Photo by Kimberley Davis.

 

UM study suggests climate change limits forest recovery after wildfires,
The University of Montana, March 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Heat Triggering Fires is Suppressing Growth
“...climate change makes it increasingly difficult for tree seedlings to regenerate following wildfires in low-elevation forests, which could contribute to abrupt forest loss.”

Ponderosa Pine & Doug Fir
“...examined the relationship between annual climate and post-fire regeneration of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir in low-elevation forests of western North America.”

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Search Continues for Missing Marine

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Badass Behind Schedule

Update: Multi-agency search for missing Marine,
Sierra Wave, March 10, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Departed
Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24

Conditions
See Calendar, End of Feb
Heavy snow fall from 25th to 27th, followed by short break with lite to moderate snow through the 7th.

Planned
Arrival Date:
Twin Lakes on the 5th

“This is the sixth day of an intense multiagency search for missing Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Matthew Kraft...”

"1st Lt. Kraft’s planned itinerary is the 195-mile Sierra High Route; he is believed to have hiked out of Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24 with a plan of concluding his hike near the Twin Lakes area by Bridgeport, CA on March 4 or 5."

"Both aerial and ground search operations have been utilized; however, weather conditions in the Sierra have been a significant challenge."

"In addition, two Marines from Kraft’s unit are assisting authorities with search efforts at the Search and Rescue Coordination Center."

 

MAPS
Start

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High Altitude Medicine: Half Acetazolamide Dosage Sufficient

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

 

Himalayan Altitude Sickness Warning - Indian Army
Himalayan Altitude Sickness Warning - Indian Army, Wiki by Sistak
Wiki by Sistak

 

Mountain Sickness Medicine

Cutting the standard dose of medication for acute mountain sickness in half does not reduce its effectiveness,
Elsevier, March 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Altitude Sickness
“...10 to 25 percent of trekkers and climbers ascending above 2,500 meters experience AMS, increasing to 50 to 85 percent in individuals ascending above 4,500 to 5,500 meters, especially when the ascent is rapid.”

Acetazolamide
“...acetazolamide is the standard agent of choice for prophylaxis against altitude illness.”

Side Effects
“...the medication also has problematic side effects, especially at high doses.”

“...paresthesia, altered sensation of taste, frequent urination, headache, nausea, and rash have been found to be more common at higher doses and can lead to safety concerns at high altitudes.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Inevitable Southern Ocean Acidification Tipping Point Approaches

 

OCEANS, ICE, FISH & WATER

Inevitable Tipping Point Approaches

Ocean Acidification since 1700
Ocean Acidification since 1700, Global Ocean Data Analysis Project, by Plumbago.
Estimated Change in Seawater pH caused by human CO2 from 1700 to 1990s from Global Ocean Data Analysis Project, from Wiki by Plumbago

 

A Fatal Horizon, Driven by Acidification, Closes in on Marine Organisms in Southern Ocean,
University of Colorado at Boulder, March 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Mechanism of Destruction
"Acidification occurs when oceans absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) created by burning fossil fuels. The absorption alters the water's chemistry, lowering its pH and reducing the amount of available carbonate, which microorganisms like corals and pteropods use to construct their calcium carbonate shells."

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MARCH 6, 2019 PCT-JMT-TYT HIKER WARNING

 

March 6

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

HIGH SIERRA SNOW STATUS

PCT-JMT-TYT-TWT Hikers Summer Condsiderations

A "Tropical" Winter
With this last storm, the third Tropical Transport Mechanisms since the beginning of Feburary 2019, (4th since the middle of January), the High Sierra Snowpack is right on the verge of equalling the massive snowpack of 2017. (averages)

High Siera Calendar

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Global Distribution of Microbe Resistance found in Sewage

HEALTH & FITNESS

Global Distribution of Microbe Resistance found in Sewage

Antimicrobial Resistance World Map
Antimicrobial Resistance World Map by Frank Aarestrup.
Predictions of antimicrobial abundance in all countries and territories in the world, coloured according to predicted abundance of resistance from light blue (low abundance) to dark blue (high abundance), map by Frank Aarestrup.

 

Sewage Reveals Levels of Antimicrobial Resistance Worldwide,
Technical University of Denmark, March 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Resistance Survey
“A comprehensive analysis of sewage collected in 74 cities in 60 countries has yielded the first, comparable global data, which show the levels and types of antimicrobial resistant bacteria that are present in mainly healthy people in these countries.”

Two Groups
“North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand generally have the lowest levels of antimicrobial resistance, while Asia, Africa and South America have the highest levels.”

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Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured; Half-Billion Year Super-Milankowitch Cycles

 

Update
What Caused an Ice Age Expansion from 40 to 100 Thousand Years,
“Despite Orbitally Paced Drivers?”

A Gradually Precessing Elliptical Orbit
A gradually precessing elliptical orbit, WillowW, Wiki.
Thanks to WillowW, Wiki
 

Original Research

NATURALLY CHANGING CLIMATE CYCLES
Longest Orbital Cycles Proven and Measured

Super-Milankowitch Cycles a Half-Billion Years Long

In ancient rocks, scientists see a climate cycle working across deep time,
The Earth Institute at Columbia University, May 7, 2018.

 MAIN POINTS

"Scientists have for decades posited that Earth's orbit around the sun goes from nearly circular to about 5 percent elliptical, and back again every 405,000 years."

"...documented a gradual shift in Earth's orbit that repeats regularly every 405,000 years, playing a role in natural climate swings."

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Gaia Gives Our Galaxy a, “Physical;” Height, Weight, Girth (?) Determined

ASTROPHYSICS: OUR GALAXY

Globular Clusters Decorate Milky Way
Artist impresses us with accurate conception of globular clusters around Milky Way, by ESA/Hubble, NASA, L. Calçada.
Artist impresses us with accurate conception of globular clusters around Milky Way, by ESA/Hubble, NASA, L. Calçada.

 

Gaia Gives Our Galaxy a, “Physical;” Height, Weight, Girth (?) Determined

Hubble & Gaia accurately weigh the Milky Way,
ESA/Hubble Information Centre, March 7, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Size & Weight
"...the Milky Way weighs in at about 1.5 trillion solar masses within a radius of 129 000 light-years from the galactic centre."

Previous Estimates
"...ranged from 500 billion to 3 trillion times the mass of the Sun. This huge uncertainty arose primarily from the different methods used for measuring the distribution of dark matter — which makes up about 90% of the mass of the galaxy."

 

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Alabama Hills Scenic Area

NATIONAL STATUS

Alabama Hills Scenic Area

Alabama Hills
Alabama Hills are a strange & beautiful place, by enicholas, pixabay.
Alabama Hills are a strange & beautiful place to end long backpacking trips,
photo by enicholas, pixabay.

 

Alabama Hills Scenic Area Designation a presidential signature away from reality,
Sierra Wave, Feburary 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alabama Hills Stewardship Group
Process
“The process started in 2008 and, though long, could serve as a textbook case of how to bring divergent groups together. For the first two years, the Stewardship Group sought the input of 30 stakeholders and 40 user groups, from OHV enthusiasts to hikers. “In the end, the consensus was to protect the area and people’s access.”

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Amazing Airborne Lives of Swifts

BIRDS

Amazing Airborne Life

Swifts are Born to Eat and Sleep in the Air,
Lund University, March 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Airborne Life
“Using micro-data loggers attached to the birds, the researchers measured movement when the wings flap. The loggers record activity every five minutes, and the bird's location once a month. Using this method, the researchers have been able to ascertain that the birds live for months at a time in the air during the winter months, the period of the year they spend in West Africa after the breeding season in Italy.”

Only Landing to Breed, Glide Sleep
"They land when they breed under a roof tile or in a hole, otherwise they live in the air. They eat insects while they fly, and when they have reached a high altitude and start gliding, they actually sleep for short periods."

Different Breeding, Different Air Times
“The breeding season dictates why pallid swifts cannot fly for as many months in a row as the common swift, i.e. ten months. Pallid swifts lay two clutches in one season, the common swift only one.”

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2019 Yosemite Half Dome Permit Lottery Delayed

HIGH SIERRA PERMITS

Forest Permit
National Forest backpacking permit.
 

Yosemite Reservation System

Update

Half Dome Lottery to Open on March 13

Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will Open on Wednesday, March 13, 2019,
Yosemite National Park, March 5, 2019.

 

Original Announcement

Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will be Delayed,
Yosemite National Park, February 26, 2019.

 

MAIN POINTS

"March 1 Preseason Lottery delayed."

"...due to a transition to a new contracted provider. "

"Check back March 5 for update."

More National Park Information 

 

Killer View

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Waste Treatment Plants: Antibiotic Resistance Factories

HEALTH & FITNESS

Waste Treatment Plants: Antibiotic Resistance Factories

A 'Post-Antibiotic World?'
University of Southern California, March 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Recycling Resistance
“The products of wastewater treatment have been found to contain trace amounts of antibiotic resistant DNA. These products are often reintroduced to the environment and water supply, potentially resulting in the spread of antibiotic resistance.”

Next Destination
"We're quickly getting to a scary place that's called a "post-antibiotic world," where we can no longer fight infections with antibiotics anymore because microbes have adapted to be resilient against those antibiotics."

Engines of Antibiotic Destruction
"Unfortunately, engineered water treatment systems end up being sort of a hot-bed for antibiotic resistance."

Biological Filters
“...one of the common ways in which the wastewater is treated is with a membrane bioreactor, which uses both a filtration system and a biological process where microscopic bacteria consume waste products.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Climate Change Bringing Unpredictable Ecosystem Disruption for Migratory Birds

BIRDS

Flying into the Unknown

Study: Climate change is leading to unpredictable ecosystem disruption for migratory birds,
Cornell University, March 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Into the Unknown
“...difficult to predict how climate change will affect migratory bird populations and the ecosystems they inhabit.”

Beyond the Pale
"Climates have natural variation and we're moving rapidly into territory where the magnitude of climate change will consistently exceed this variation."

Ecological Disruption
"There will be no historic precedent for these new climates, and migratory bird populations will increasingly encounter 'novel' climatic conditions. The most likely outcome will be a period of ecological disruption as migratory birds and other species try to respond or adapt to these new conditions."

Climate they Fit is Gone
“...by the middle of the next century migratory bird populations will experience novel climates during all phases of their annual life cycles.”

 

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Training Beyond Exhaustion can Prevent Learning

HEALTH & FITNESS RESEARCH

Don’t Over-train

Training beyond exhaustion can prevent learning,
eLife, March 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Over-training
"...we set out to disentangle the effects of fatigue on performance of a task from its effects on the ability to learn and get better at it."

Hurts for Days
"...muscle fatigue caused by overexertion when practicing a skill can affect the task in hand and impair learning afterwards."

Pinch Test
“The researchers asked 120 people to learn a pinch-force task over two days.”

"...they found that those people who had reached the point of exhaustion performed less well using both their fatigued and unfatigued hands.

I’m Tired
"This suggested that fatigue impairs motor skill learning mechanisms in the brain."

“...fatigue may affect the formation of memories that help people to retain new skills they have learned.”

Overtraining Bad
“We have shown that learning in a fatigued state results in detrimental effects on a person’s ability to acquire a new skill.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Can We Find Dark Matter in the Light?

The Stars above Our Heads

ASTROPHYSICS: WHAT'S THIS THING MADE OF?

Shooting Some Light into the Darkness

Our Galaxy Rotating Equally, without Differential Rotation
The spiral structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way, in an artistic impression, from NASA/JPL-Caltech.
The spiral structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way, in an artistic impression, from NASA/JPL-Caltech.

 

Physicists Analyze Rotational Dynamics of Galaxies and Influence of the Photon Mass,
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz, March 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

The Missing Matter
“The orbital speeds of stars should decrease with their distance from the center of the galaxy, but in fact stars in the middle and outer regions of galaxies have the same rotational speed.”

Problem
We see gravity, but not matter.

Dark Matter
“...seeking it for decades, the existence of such 'dark matter' has yet to be definitively proven and we still don't know what it might be made of.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Growing Land Use Apocalypse Approaches

ANTHROPOCENE

Land Use Apocalypse

Urban Nighmare - Nature's Reality
LA in 2050?
Land Use Urban Nighmare is Nature's Reality, by Stark8, Pixabay.
Our, "leaders," are trying to create this here; Land Use, Xiamen, China, by Stark8, Pixabay

 

Due to humans, extinction risk for 1,700 animal species to increase by 2070,
Yale University, March 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Extinction Targets 1700 Species
Cause: Land Use

“The study shows that under a middle-of-the-road scenario of moderate changes in human land-use about 1,700 species will likely experience marked increases in their extinction risk over the next 50 years: They will lose roughly 30-50% of their present habitat ranges by 2070.
These species of concern include 886 species of amphibians, 436 species of birds, and 376 species of mammals -- all of which are predicted to have a high increase in their risk of extinction.”

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Widespread Endocrine Disruptors Killing & Damaging Boys & Their Dog’s Sperm

HEALTH & FITNESS

Endocrine Disruptors DEHP & PCBs Killing & Damaging Dudes & Their Dog’s Sperm

PCBs, Polyvinyl Chlorides, EVERYWHERE
 Corporate Corruption Kills Man & Nature.
The, "Health & Safety," Policies of, "our," corporate-bribed political parties and politicians make Skully a much more appropriate symbol for them than any Burro or Elephant.

 

Corporate Political Pirates are Poisoning Our Planet

The, “Profitability,” Principal, (ie, bribery), rules our, “regulatory framework,” (ie, politics), not the, “Precautionary” Principal, The RESULTS:

Chemical pollutants in the home degrade fertility in both men and dogs, study finds,
University of Nottingham, March 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“...a 50% global reduction in sperm quality in the past 80 years.”

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Endocrine Disruptors and Plastics Everywhere, In Deepest Ocean Trenches

HEALTH & FITNESS

Endocrine Disruptors Everywhere

"Skully"
The Flag of the Corporate-Chemical-Corruption Pirates:
Corporate Corruption Perverts & Kills Man & Nature
 Corrupted Regulatory Apparatus allows Dangerous Chemicals in Everything
"Skully"
"Skully," is the, "battle flag," a representative symbol, and practical result of Our Bribed & Corrupted Political Regulatory Apparatus allowing Dangerous Chemicals into Everything, among many other dangerous policies (!), that are highly detrimental to us and our environment's health, our wealth, and everything's welfare.

 

Heavy Plastic and Endocrine Disruptor Distrubition.

Everywhere!

 

A Troubling Discovery in the Deepest Ocean Trenches,
The Atlantic, February 27, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

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Warm Seas Scatter Fish

OCEANS, FISH, & CLIMATE

Fish Already Suffering

 

Big Old Trout Fishing Tilden Lake
Tilden Lake Trout fishing as I hike by on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail across North Yosemite.
Hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail around Tilden Lake in North Yosemite. This Big Old Trout was fishing for insects, mostly, but it'd consider alternatives...

 

Warm seas scatter fish,
University of California - Santa Barbara, February 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Massive Fish Study
“...study looked at historical abundance data for 124 species in 38 regions, which represents roughly one-third of the reported global catch. The researchers compared this data to records of ocean temperature and found that 8 percent of populations were significantly negatively impacted by warming, while 4 percent saw positive impacts. Overall, though, the losses outweigh the gains.”

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Yeast Converted into THC Factories, & Weed Good for Senior Citizen Medical Issues

HEALTH & FITNESS

Two Weed Stories
1> Yeast turned into THC Factories, first below.
2> Weed Great for Senior's Medical Issues, second below.

Old School
 Living in the Past with non-toxic urban agriculture
Living in the Past: Non-Toxic Urban Agriculture...Old School THC, "factories," AKA. plants.

 

Yeast Converted into THC Factories

Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids,
University of California - Berkeley, February 27, 2019.

Main Points

Money Factories, er, Yeast Factories
New Products
“...synthetic biologists have engineered brewer's yeast to produce marijuana's main ingredients--mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD--as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself.”

"...the possibility of new therapies based on novel cannabinoids: the rare ones that are nearly impossible to get from the plant, or the unnatural ones, which are impossible to get from the plant."

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