Welcome to the forum for local and long-distance backpackers along the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.
Forums cover the TYT-PCT, & JMT and  general backpacking topics. Your trail or topic contributions will be interlinked to, and enrich the related Tahoe to Whitney trail guide.

for Beginners: To get you off the couch, gear you up, get you into Sierra Shape and onto the High Sierra Trails. Ask questions, get feedback. Find killer short routes up and down the High Sierra Crest to get you started. Share your experiences.
for Intermediates: To get you in deeper, longer, and higher. Find your next-step trip. Post your stories, pictures, and videos of your favorite trips to widen the perspective and enrich the trail guide. Train for the long trails.
for Experts: All the information you need to come from anywhere in the US or the world and backpack from Tahoe to Whitney. This is the perfect playground for expert backpackers in top shape. A Natural Wonderland. But don't get cocky! The Sierra is bigger, stronger, has been, and will be here much longer than any of us.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

May 22 2016 Backpacker Alert sticky icon

May 22, 2016


Current Conditions:
Unstable weather conditions bringing snow and cold rains down onto the two feet of snow already on the crest bring very dangerous conditions for early season backpackers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

All High Sierra Rain & Snow Forecasts

All Current High Sierra Radar

Alex Wierbinski's picture

April and May 2016: Watching the New World Weather Emerge sticky icon

The transitions between seasons, their timing, temp, and humidity transitions have all changed. These changes are reverberating through the webs of life around the planet.

May 25, 2016 

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April and May 2016 High Sierra Backpacker's News sticky icon

News for Backpackers
High Sierra Backpackers

Our Purpose


Latest Update
 May 23, 2016 

The Wolves Circle the Downed Fawn

National Park Service loses early round in Yosemite’s trademarks fight,
Fresno Bee, May 20, 2016.

Cayenne's picture

Safety First! sticky icon

 Spring has come to the eastern Sierras and time to spring clean the first aid kit. Alex has provided excellent information about his first aid kit in the gear list. I am an avid day hiker, so the contents of my bag are a bit different. I also have extensive medical training and access to prescription drugs, so I try to keep stuff to help out others on the trail. This is the time of year I pull the first aid kit from the depths of my day pack and inspect and refill the contents.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tahoe to Whitney Permit Nightmare: An Existential Threat to High Sierra Long Distance Backpacking sticky icon

 shiveringman was the first to report on Wed the 17th (below)  that the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit was refusing to issue permits for end-points, for any destinations exiting the Tahoe Basin that are not on the "PCT corridor."

Tahoe to Whitney Permit Nightmare???? sticky icon

I am trying to plan a Tahoe to Whitney walk, along the PCT/JMT, this summer.

I am finding that I can get as far as YNP but WILL BE STUCK THERE due to the Donahue exit quota.

I have found that getting a backcountry permit outside of YNP does not allow me to traverse the park and exit Lyell Canyon/Donahue Pass. Any help here?? Stevo

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Carol Crooker Trip Report Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop. sticky icon

Carol Crooker Trip Report
Desolation Wilderness Lollypop Loop.
Member Profile


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WEATHER & CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS: Tracking the Emergence of a New Weather Pattern, 2016 sticky icon

                               March 17, 2016 

  This is the collection point tracking the latest steps in our path of profound changes in seasonal weather patterns and the resulting chaos in the webs of life that we are experiencing into 2016.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Forty Day Backpacking Plan: Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney 2002 sticky icon

Below we have one element of my trip planning notes from a forty day hike I took from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney during 2002.

I've done Tahoe to Whitney Trips in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2012. Injury is the determining factor in my "backpacking year" scheduling. If I am fit I am backpacking.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

 Satellite View of the Whole Sierra Nevada Range 1 KM National Weather Service Satillte view of Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tahoe to Whitney High Sierra News Focus: My Goal

Focus and Goal of Tahoe to Whitney


These News Forum Pages cover general news from around the world about the patterns of behavior of the Weather, Terrain, Animals, Water and People of interest to those of us who engage Nature directly.  


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April 8 Backpacker Alert


April 8 2016

Weather Status

Current Situation

El Nino's concentration of super-hot waters have significantly moderated:
Sea Surface Temperatures

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John Muir, the establishment of Yosemite Nation Park, and construction of the John Muir Trail.

A Brief History
John Muir's influence on  the establishment of Yosemite National Park and an account of the subsequent construction of the John Muir Trail.

From Green, Yosemite, Park and Resources.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Favorite Piece of Gear

What's your favorite piece of gear?

I figure everyone has something they really like. I want to hear yours.

Members Favorite Gear


AlexW          I like the piece of gear perfectly selected for the perfectly anticipated conditions.

Rocky          Balaclava, Down puffy coat, multi tool knife

Alex Wierbinski's picture

All High Sierra Fish News

This will be the Index for the Fish Forum, when I get it all together.


The Brink of Extinction:
Salmon concerns may affect water deliveries,
Record Searchlight, 1-16-16.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Where I Belong - by Richard Persike

  Where I Belong

A Poem by Richard Persike


As the sun sinks in the west and the light fades in the sky

I can see the crimson clouds reflected in your eyes

I can feel a warm breeze blowin, a tingle on my face

I can hear the water flowin, I'm happy in this place


Crickets sing in harmony, like music to my ears

It provides distraction to my mind, all my hopes and fears

Coyotes howling far away, a hawk soars up above

Alex Wierbinski's picture

FEB 1 2016 BACKPACKER ALERT: Winter to Spring Status under El Nino

Backpacker Alert

Status of Factors Directing El Nino
Winter Storm Pattern


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Filters and Purification: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

 Member's Favorites

What are, and how do we select the best Water Filtration, Purification, Treatment, and Usage System for High Sierra backpackers?

The fundamental requirement for me is clean water quickly. By clean I mean taste as well as purity, so chemicals are regaled to emergency status.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Peter Locates Excellent Cheap Backpacking Boots: Interceptor Tactical Footwear

Peter is an excellent highly experienced solo cross-country backpacker. His engagement, analysis, observation and decision making skills are reliable and accurate in my estimation.

 Peter found an excellent cheap high quality boot suited for heavy backpacking, cross country scrambling, and even suitable for marginal Spring snow conditions.  

Let's let Peter tell it:

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