Welcome to the forum for local and long-distance backpackers along the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney. Forums cover Sierra trails and general backpacking topics. Your trail or topic contributions will be interlinked to, and enrich the related trail guide.
for Beginners: To get you off the couch, gear you up, get you into Sierra Shape and on the trail. Ask questions. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest to get you started.
for Intermediates: To get you in deeper, longer, and higher. Find your next-step trip here. Post your stories, pictures, and videos of your favorite trips to widen the perspective and enrich the trail guide.
for Experts: All the information you need to come from anywhere in the US or the world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use Preservation Act sticky icon

A backpacker's perspective and support for the

Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use Preservation Act
  H. R. 3606

Bill Information

  Conclusions of Analysis
FULL Support for HR 3606, below

Informative Links

Full Text of HR 3606

Original Post: December 2013

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Backpacker Weather: reports, forecasts, predictions, snow, roads, conditions sticky icon

Here's the Best Weather Information available for anyone traveling to, backpacking  through, hiking, skiing, or driving across the High Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, or the Western United States. All weather reports and forecasts can be expanded to cover California and National weather conditions.

Very Important Weather Information
The Current "Hot" Topic

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tilden and Wilmer Lakes Route History

Research reveals that the current PCT route around Wilmer Lake was not built until sometime after 1931 and before 1939, as indicated by the Yosemite Park Maps of 1931 and 1939.

The 1931 map shows the current route of the TYT around Tilden Lake as being the main route across the North Yosemite Backcountry with no route around Wilmer Lake.

1931 map of Yosemite National Park

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Changing Seasons Doom Traditional Sierra Forests

Independent of the amazing drought of 2011-?, the slow and steady changes in the seasons over the Sierra Nevada have already doomed their forests to a rapid transition between species by fire.

I discuss this in context of the changing times we get changing temps and weather in the Sierra. This information is almost as important for backpackers as the forests and animals within them.

Notes on backpacking weather, changing (changed) seasons and the fate of High Sierra trees:

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Altitude Yosemite Chipmunk

Chipmunk frolicing and digging about between Pate Valley trail junctions under Volunteer Peak. North Yosemite Backcountry along the combined Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails. 

High Sierra Chipmunk

Small Mammal/Mammal identification

Alex Wierbinski's picture

North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew 2009

Hiking South on the combined PCT-TYT down Cold Canyon to Glen Aulin on August 3 encounted a hiker who I identified as trail crew as he approached.

Dan Schweitzer was indeed trail crew, and he was leading the pack hiking up the steep climb from Glen Aulin to the meadows in upper Cold Canyon. Not only was he moving fast and nimbly while climbing, he was only lightly strained. Classic trail crew.

Trail Crew on Trail Guide

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Belding Ground Squirrels; AKA Meadow Dogs

We have a small mammal that's adapted pretty well to the flat expanses of High Sierra meadows by focusing on observation, communication, speed and cover. These are the Belding Ground Squirrels.

Belden Ground Squirrels in Cold Canyon, Yosemite National Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Mammals Reference-Identification


Mammals, identification, E-Nature Field Guide.

Mammals of Yosemite National Park, (1952) by Harry C. Parker.

For more links about animal, plant, geology, and astronomy information for backpackers see the High Sierra Backpacking links page on the trail guide.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

DNC tries to steal public names of National Park Historical Landmarks

Here's a pretty good account of the Corporate shenanigans Delaware North Corporation is using to try to extort 51 million taxpayer's dollars via the National Park Service.

Well, the Devil Needs Cash...and the Devil Never Cares how he gets it...

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Camp Chairs

Backpacking Camp Chairs

I was first personally introduced to backpacking camp chairs by a couple of cool PCT hikers in the late nineties or early this new century, Marie and Susan from Seattle.

Marie was convinced her portable camp chair was totally worth its weight in gold for the relaxation and comfort it brought. She insisted I sit in it, and I agreed.

Hey, I was hesitant. I don't want other folks to carry my comfort. I had not carrried that chair for well over a thousand miles, as she had, so I did not deserve to sit in it.

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