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Why Join Tahoe to Whitney?

To expand understanding.

Yours and Ours.

Adding your backpacking and wilderness experiences to our Tahoe to Whitney High Sierra Backpacking Forum adds another dimension and perspective, yours, to our growing digital library and free exchange of High Sierra backpacker perspectives and experiences.

We are in the middle of building a 
"Vortex of Backpacker Knowledge and Experience"

You should come along for the ride.

  Our members'  experiences along the Sierra Crest Trails between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney now measure in the hundreds of years, likely over a thousand years now, and we've backpacked countless thousands of miles on and off established trails.

    Registering as a Member formalizes your desire to experience and reflect some aspect of the power and beauty of the High Sierra. That's the goal of the Trail Guide and this forum. 

    Here on the Forum we supplement and expand the scope of the guide in thousands of ways, using the wide variety of backpackers and backpacker perspectives to complete a profile of possible experiences. Yours adds another vital ingredient, your perspective and experiences, to the mix.

  We seek clarity on obscure and difficult objectives, as well as the classic High Sierra trails. Our standing primary goal here on  these Backpacker's Forums is to keep our High Sierra backpacking trail, terrain, and weather information as current and accurate as possible.

We are good observers. Join our team of observers!

 The guide is designed to describe High Sierra Trails. Every page on the trail guide is festooned with comments links. Each comments link on every guide page leads into the parallel structure of these trail forum pages.
  The forum is where backpacker's experiences, questions, comments, trail reports, and information about each particular segment of trail or specific backpaking topic are posted and stored for reference.

Member's Role
 Member's gear and trail experiences shared on the Account Form below will be reflected through lists of gear use and trail experiences in the forums. This is currently done manually, but will be automated during upcoming forum "upgrades."
Gear Example.  Trails Example.

The goal is to make it quick and easy to glean a whole bunch of high-quality backpacking trail and gear information reviewing the guide and forums.

This feature allows members to highlight their gear preferences and trail experiences while seeing the gear selections and trail experiences of other members. We can keep each other "current."

 We will soon be able to see which members have experience on different trails and in different High Sierra Wilderness Areas, and observe the wide variety of gear, fitness and experience our fellow members deploy in the field.

Member Identification
Each member's Trails Hiked, Wilderness Areas explored, and Skill levels achieved will all be noted through "member badges" assigned based on experience. We're going to self "moderate" ourselves using the good sense of our members regulating excessive claims or over-hasty-ness.

 I am working on linking every member's selections of their favorite packs, tents, sleeping bags, (and so on, see below)  into lists of "Members Favorites" to lead off each of the Gear Forums.

The goal is "fingertip" access to expert selections of backpacking gear across all its expressions. Our members show a range of good options for various "types" of backpackers across all types of gear.

That's why I am working thorough the forms below to gather your trail experiences, gear preferences, along with your comments, questions and answers (hopefully!) to get them formed-up and presented on the Gear and Trails Forums:

We are building a vortex of High Sierrra Backpacker Knowledge and Experience needing your input to make it happen.

Our Members' experiences show in their gear selections, which is valuable information that should be shared. Between backpackers. (Not outside of TW.) I don't sell/share your information, track you, or otherwise use you or your experience as a digital "commodity."

I will eventually brag about you to advertisers, but they will never obtain access to your membership information or details.

The High Sierra Backpacker Forum Rises
   The Forum not only organizes and stores all the supplemental trail information and updates for the Tahoe to Whitney Trails, but you can see that I am working hard to bring the full force of the vast reservoir of our personal experiences, knowledge, and hopefully, the wisdom of our most excellent members directly into the forums.

Using the power of Digital Technology for GOOD!

Readers/Visitors to the trail guide will be able to reference hiker experiences on the forum  as well as trail facts on the guide. A list with all the members experienced in each of the Wilderness Areas is slated to soon appear in First Forum Page for each High Sierra Wilderness Area.

A list of members who've completed the classic High Sierra backpacking trips will appear at the head of each trails forum, along with those hiking it by sections.

All the trails forums are currently linked to their related guide pages, as are all the guide pages linked to their related trails and topics forums. Tahoe to Whitney is just now beginning to add the synergy of member's experiences online to bring the deep relationship between guide and forum to potential!

Soon member's accounts will be linked to their favorite gear and trails forums, which are all directly linked to the guide.

 The gear forum allows members to easily and quickly view other members' gear selections, gear reviews, and trail ratings in the context of their relative levels of fitness and experience.

This encourages members to share their gear selections and experiences, post gear reviews, discuss the strengths and weakness of different gear solutions, and make clear the underlaying personal preferences and propensities driving their final, individual gear decisions.

This is so we all can all help each other find the best gear, trips, and trails suited for each of us without screwing around too much...

More Features

Backpacker's Notepad
There are also excellent private, personal uses of your membership as well as the public benefit of sharing your knowledge and experience.

Registration allows each member  to create their own private "Personal Backpacker Notes" pages within your account page that stay private within your own account.

  These Personal Notes are not published site-wide. Only for your use.

     These private pages can be used to gather and store information from the guide, collect up outside resources, and keep track of our trips. Your account provides a private notepad to organize and a place to store the information you find here on the TW sites.

Personally, I make list after list of information while prepping for a long walk, and the  TW Guide and Forum is shaping up into a both an excellent source of trip and trail information while providing tools, such as our "Personal Backpacker Notes,"  to collect up and organize all this web-based information.

I still make, take, and use paper notes for trip prep on the trail. But now I use my TW account and its notepad to collect, organize, store, and index all the digital information I find while "scouting" for the information to plan long backpacking trips.

   "Personal Backpacker Notes" pages are the perfect place to list out, keep track of, and collect links to the specific references on the guide such as the maps, miles and elevations, permit specifics, trail skills, and the guide page information that helps us plan our trips. 

Once you make a note and save it you can reopen it for additions and editing from you account page by clicking the "Track" tab and selecting the name of the note in your docs list.

Use and Access
Though all backpackers, including unidentified backpackers, can see, read, and post comments on the Trail Guide and Forum, only Registered Members can post  stand-alone content with images, maps, map embeds, and Youtube video embeds in their posts. Members can also post-up new topics in these Backpacking Forums, as well as post up in all the existing Trails and Topics forums.

All member's gear and trail experiences will be linked to the appropriate gear and trail forums, and become part of the Tahoe to Whitney High Sierra Trail Guide's record.

Only other members can view their fellow member's profiles.

 Our stand-alone public posts are published across the Front Page of this Forum site, as well as becoming part of the permanent reference materials of the Trails or Topics Forum you posted it into.
Public forum posts are visible and available to all backpackers using the associated TahoeToWhitney Trail Guild page and backpackers visiting these Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums.

We are creating a public record of High Sierra condition and experience.

(I am working on getting a nice, fancy new text editor working. This editor will really simplify both commenting and posting. Frustratingly, I am doing something wrong with its paths...arrrrrrrgggggg. Stay tuned for an text-editor evolution (or revolution!), and a remarkable easing of future posting!)

Give and Take Information
While the Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide provides lots of information, the Tahoe to Whitney Forum makes it easy for us to collect, store, use, and finally share the information and experiences we subsequently generate through our research and our subsequent personal backpacking experiences.

That's the reflect part of the,
"experience and reflect some aspect of the power and beauty of the High Sierra"
that I mentioned on the top of this page.

Tahoe to Whitney Membership
  Your membership account can act as a personal digital reference point where you can pull together and store all the digital information on the trail guide and forum for your next Tahoe to Whitney or other High Sierra hikes!

Finally, the purpose and point of this forum and your registering on it are not selfish. Our broad goal to enrich, supplement, and support the High Sierra Backpacker and their experiences.
Specifically, Tahoe To Whitney seeks better information for you, me, and our fellow backpackers about the wide range of High Sierra backpacking conditions we can potentially encounter.


  My goals in getting you to register is really to bring your knowledge to others who need it, and put the needed knowledge of others at your service. And very specifically, to help you find, plan, and execute High Sierra backpacking trips that are perfect for your level of fitness, degree of experience, psychological state, and skill level.

That's falling into the 
"Vortex of Backpacker Knowledge and Experience"

I look for you to contribute in return. Information and meaning will fly out of you as you spin around in the, "vortex of backpacker knowledge and experience."

I want you to reflect back your unique perspective and experiences to expand both our general knowledge of conditions and add your perspective to the wide range of specific experiences we can encounter.

Call it,
"The Pain and Pleasure Index.
  Specifically, I'm looking for the range of human experience, of how different types of folks with different levels of experience and fitness experience the wide variety of conditions backpacking subjects them to, besides tracking the specific condition and status of the trails we hike. 

That would be "proper use, care, and management of the human pain-pleasure balance."

    Most importantly I'm looking for folks to dispute-correct-update, (and hopefully) improve accuracy and expand the range of the reporting across the Forum and Guide.

I only can provide one perspective, which is insufficient in both time, scope, and scale to cover the multi-spectrum grandure, power, and beauty of the High Sierra Mountains.

Help me out here, my fellow backpackers!

Knowledge is power.
Used correctly, it produces wisdom. Wisdom gives us the ability to percieve, engage, understand, and take the proper decisions and actions necessary to prosper, prevent disaster, or sometimes just survive across the wide range of conditions we experience across long stretches of time crossing High Sierra space.

I know the High Sierra can squeeze wisdom out of even the densest rock-heads. It's in there...

We Need KIP
   Judging by social behaviors indicative of a general lack of wisdom in society around us, I have to say we have a very real need to get almost everyone out engaged with nature and themselves on the High Sierra Trails.

The fat will thin, the unbalanced find balance.

Grow KIP Yourself !
  High Sierra Backpacking hones our ability to Observe, Analyize, Anticipate, and Act properly in all situations. Or it will crush us.
The High Sierra demands our gear and training be properly aligned to successfully and safely reach our backpacking goals. It demands we be effective.

I do not say "reach our destinations" because my goal is the trip itself, not its end.

Happy Trails never end. They merely change venues.

Our shared experiences inform current and future hikers of the range of conditions they can reasonably expect to encounter. And why they should encounter them.

Where to Publish
The Trails and Topics Forums
are where you want to find or post trail information about the trails conditions between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney, or information about backpacking topics such as gear, history, mountain safety, and living things.

Whatever. Find the topic you are interested in, or hit me up to create it.

Find the forum covering the trail or topic you want to post about. Then post. Your post will appear in that forum and run across the front page.

Never hesitate to contact me for help: hiker1<AT> I'm Alex Wierbinski, and I'm the guy behind these TW sites.


 Besides organizing commentary and supplemental information about every trail covered by the Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide, these Forums also deal with the range of Backpacking Topics.

We deal with backpacking topics such as,

Mountain Safety
Living Things,
and so on.

I look forward to hearing about your High Sierra Experiences in all of these areas, and,

Welcome to Tahoe to Whitney!

Happy Trails!

Alex Wierbinski

Feb, 2016

 Below we ask about your gear preferences, general backpacking skills, fitness, and experiences in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as explained above.

This is partly to ascertain that you are a person, and not yet another "dambot" attempting to register. Most importantly, we seek to understand your preferences, your next logical backpacking step, all to essentially figure out what you know, need to know, and what you can tell other backpackers.

   Your primary duty as a member of Tahoe to Whitney is to answer questions. I will send out an email to the members when I get backpacker inquiries that I can't answer. I will call on you.

Respond if you have a solution.

Besides that, TW sends out "Backpacker Alerts," mostly about fire and weather threats.

I am currently working on expanding the member account function to link your gear selections and trail experiences to the proper Gear and Trails forums.

 I hope to ultimately generate lists of "Member's Favorites" for each catagory of gear, and lists of members experienced on the main trails and in each Sierra Wilderness Area, for our edification.

I am working away!

Bottom Line
  Registering makes you a part of a shared information network approaching a thousand years of backpacking experience among hundreds of members and many, many, thousands of "lurkers." 

Your Member's Profile is only visible to other members.


Fields with an Asterisk (*) must be filled.

Account information
Spaces are allowed; punctuation is not allowed except for periods, hyphens, and underscores.
A valid e-mail address. All e-mails from the system will be sent to this address. The e-mail address is not made public and will only be used if you wish to receive a new password or wish to receive certain news or notifications by e-mail.
A> Favorite Gear

What's your favorite backpack? Cite pack brand and model. Check out the High Sierra Backpack Forum
to see other's, and post more information about your backpack experiences and preferences.  


What's your Second favorite backpack? Cite pack brand and model. Check out the High Sierra Backpack Forum
to post more information about your backpack experiences and preferences.  


What's your best boots? See the Backpacking Boots Forum for more information.


How you Water?  Filter, Light, Chemical?  Share your brand and model here. Learn or share more in the
Backpacking Water Filtration Forum.


Favorite Tent?  Post up your favorite, worse, and tent experiences in the High Sierra Backpacking Tent Forum.


What keeps you warm on cold Sierra nights? Post more, or elaborate in the High Sierra Sleeping Bag Forum.


What's your favorite High Sierra Camp Stove? To post or read more about cooking with gas, see the High Sierra Stove Forum.


We each have one piece of clothing that comes in handy every time, or worked exceptionally well in an adverse environment. Name It! See the High Sierra Clothing Forum.


No Backpacker Bio is complete without GEAR.

What's your favorite piece(s) of equipment? Boots? Pack? Headlamp? Or, what do you consider your most important piece of equipment? Me? I'm my own favorite tool! Gear is life, and as such your relationship with your gear says a lot about your life. 

Post up your insights, experiences, and gear warnings in the Backpacking Gear Forum, and check out the TW Gear List.



Standard Summer Gear Kit
Above, we probe you for your favorite gear across the categories. Our goal is to identify patterns of use of expert backpackers, and of the common threads, the logic that ties their selections together.

I personally have different gear for different seasons, and even a range of gear selections for the same season. The gear forum is where to share the range of gear you deploy, and the logic guiding deployment.

Above we are looking for your Standard Summer Gear Kit, but feel free to name your favorite individual gear bits for any season.

Backpacking Gear Forum

Tahoe to Whitney Four-Season Gear List

Favorite Things

Tell us a little about your history and tastes. Where's your favorite wild place(s)? This is not limited to the Sierra, for those backpackers from far away places.

Where did you start backpacking, and how did you get to the High Sierra trails? Sierra hikers can name their favorite location or route. In short, this is for what's important to you.


Share your favorite wilderness web site with your fellow hikers. Enter site with "http://" followed by the site name, such as "" but without the quotes!

One's not enough? List your next favorite wilderness website. Again, just enter a plain URL, such as "," if you like the Kennedy Meadows hiking page, that happens to be sporting TW trail information about backpacking Emigrant Wilderness on the TYT.

High Sierra Experiences

What was/is your favorite backpacking  trip in the Sierra, and what trip do you really-really want to hike in the future? 
Our goal here is to help you find your logical  "next step" backpacking trip to bring you deeper into the beauties and rigors of the High Sierra Nevada Mountains towards your hiking objectives.

 Where have you been in 2009? Not limited to Backpacking or the Sierras. No trips this year? Then enter "None."

An objective of Tahoe to Whitney is to store experience. Here we are compiling a general record of your activities and achievements since 2009.
Members can create their own private "Backpacker Notes" pages that are only accessible to them from their private accounts.

Navigate to your Account Page, then click "Create Content," and then "Backpackers Notes."

"Backpacker Notes" allow you to keep private notes on trip planning, giving you a place to collect the mileage info for upcoming trips from the trail guide, list and monitor key weather information that guides gear selection, and  plan your food and resupply.
You can use Backpacker Notes to record not just your planning, but to compare your expectations against your experiences for later consultation.

Tahoe to Whitney can be used to plan, record, and evaluate your future High Sierra Backpacking Adventures. But first we've got to get an outline of your previous experiences!

But don't freak out. You can enter "none," or "too many to count," but you've got to enter something. This section is a major problem for all the nasty web-bots to deal with...

 Where have you been in 2010? Not limited to Sierra Backpacking. No trips this year? Then enter "None." 

Where have you been in 2011? Not limited to Sierra Backpacking. No trips this year? Then enter None.
High Sierra & Wilderness experiences during 2012.
2013 High Sierra backpacking trips, planned and/or executed.

 Post up your backpacking experiences during 2014. If none, write "none."

2015 was a tough year, with drought driving fires pushing vast clouds of smoke across the High Sierra.

 What trips are you planning for the future? What would be your "Dream Trip" in the High Sierras? If you don't have Sierra goals, tell us where you want to hike!

In my "perfect world" every year would be a Tahoe to Whitney hike.

High Sierra Nevada Wilderness Areas Explored

Have you backpacked Desolation Wilderness?

Have you explored Meiss Country?


Have you hiked in the East Mokelumne Wilderness Area?

Have you hiked in the West Mokelumne Wilderness?


Have you hiked in the East Carson Iceberg Wilderness?

Hiked in the East Emigrant Wilderness along or near the PCT?

Explored the Western Emigrant Wilderness or the route of the TYT through it?

High Sierra Nevada Wilderness Areas Explored: Central Sierra Nevada

Have we hiked the North Yosemite Backcountry, or entered it through the Hoover Wilderness?

Have you hiked the triangle from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows and back to the Valley via Merced River.

High Sierra Nevada Wilderness Areas Explored: South Sierra Nevada

Have you hiked the South end of Yosemite Wilderness from Tuolumne Meadows to Donohue Pass?

Hiked in the Ansel Adams Wilderness South of Yosemite to Reds Meadow?

Have you hiked the John Muir Wilderness South of Reds Meadow in the Sierra National Forest laying North of Kings Canyon National Park?

Have we hiked in the John Muir Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest?

Have we explored elements of Kings Canyon National Park?

Trips Completed
Have you hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail?
Have you hiked the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail?

Have you hiked the Tahoe to Yosemite on the PCT route?


Have you hiked the John Muir Trail?

Have you hiked from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney?


Have you completed the PCT?
Are we section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail?
Have we hiked the Appalachian Trail?
Note other interesting or significant long distance backpacking trips you've hiked.
Trips Contemplated
Are you planning to hike the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail?
Are you planning on hiking Tahoe to Yosemite on PCT route?
Planning on hiking the John Muir Trail?
Are you planning on hiking from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney?
Are you going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail?
Major hiking goals.
Wilderness Approach/Style

 How do we approach the wilderness? What distance would be your ideal trip? What length is your typical trip? Check your style of wilderness engagement if not a backpacker. We like all participants in "Trail Culture" here.

Wilderness Experience & Skills

Capable of hiking and following maintained High Sierra Trails. Maintained Trails.

I can find my way along unmaintained trails.

Able to orient map and compass. See Navigation Skills.

Able to route-find and navigate squeezing the most information out of basic observations and navigation tools.
See Navigation Skills.

Expert level Overall Navigation, Specific Route-Finding, and Energy Management in highly adverse environments. An all-around, all the time threat.
Wilderness Experience Level
How much, and what type of backcountry experience do you have?
Wilderness Fitness Level
Evaluate your backpacking fitness level and associated daily and trip miles capacity. Miles per day based on pack weight at 40% of body weight, (Heavy Pack) high altitude environment, and the capability to repeat the mileage for 5 days.
Wilderness Gear Owned

 Give us an idea of the range of your equipment.

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The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

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