|Febuary 2013: Well,
it has been a while. I have been traveling the Sierra, but my full time
job is really full time!! Like every day. I might soon add to this
site, but in a new format, now that all of your computers are so much
more powerful! Meanwhile, check out HighSierraTopix, where I hang out.
Keep an eye out here too! I will soon update the web-cam links...|
2007: A new issue of Sierra-Trails! Another monster
issue with over 70 pages with over 200 pictures! It is called A Backpack to the Remote Lyell Fork of the Merced River with plenty of stops along the way on the Yosemite High Trail, Fletcher Creek
Trail, Emeric Creek Trail, Lewis Creeek Trail, Rafferty Creek Trail and many lakes along
the way. Need your arm twisted a little? Check out the view in the Lyell Fork!
|April 2007: Yes, finally another issue of Sierra-Trails! And it's about time! If you are wondering why it took so long, you will
find out when you go through the new issue "A Backpack Cross-Country Traverse of the Minarets", or simply "The
Minarets". There are 82 pages and 222 pictures awaiting you, and that is
why it too so long. Its like a book. I will take you on a grand backpack (not a climbers)
traverse close to the very teeth of the Minarets and also show you several different ways
to get back to the trailheads. You will see one section of the John Muir Trail through the
Minarets wilderness. See why The Minarets should have remained a part of Yosemite, at
least as a natural wonder to rival all others in the National Parks. Be sure to have your
video set to at least 1024 x 768. The pictures are big...
|6/01/06: The the left is another Sierra
Trails story, the Woods
Lakes Basin. This is a short trip, but bang for buck, some really nice pictures. The
Sierra high country at its best. Take a look! Here is a sample page and picture so you can
see what I mean:
Morning in Woods Lake Basin
Well, spring is here and that means hikin' season! The Sierra
is just now thawing out enough to do some hikes. This would be a great time to join the
discussions in the forum. Use the forum link above. You can lurk or introduce yourself and
join in as we plan the season and share stories of our travels. It is a good group.
The last of my backlog of film is finally developed! From here on most all of my
pictures will be taken by digital camera.
I plan to do one more story before the season really gets going, and it will be about the
Isberg Peak area of the southern Yosemite area. Stand by for news or a sneak peek. That
story will be longer with more pictures. Happy Trails!
|12/14/05: Look to the left and you will see a new story which is about a trip along
The Grand Canyon of the
Tuolumne River and Falls. It has over 100 pictures over
almost 50 pages. This story was made possible by the donations to Sierra Trails by David D., Motec, Kathy B., Randall B., Jose B., Betty M., Jerry A., Peter S.,
Kenneth H., Sam W., Janet H. and others who wish to remain anonymous. If I forgot you, let
me know and I will add you to the list! It
takes a lot of work to do these stories, about 2 hours per page, and the people who donate
appreciate this. I have only about four rolls of film left to develop, and enough older
material for a lot of stories. If you have a suggestion for a feature, let me know: I
probably have been there and taken pictures. In any case, you will note
there is a PayPal button for
your use so that your can contribute directly to Sierra
Trails to help pay for the overhead and keep this
Great News!: The Sierra
Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) has conditionally approved the use of the Ursack
Hybrid in the previously restricted areas of the National Parks and Forests in the Sierra:
Yosemite, SEKI, Inyo, Devil's Postpile, Stanislaus. Now, as long as unscrupulous people do not manufacture bogus failure
reports (strongly suspected in the past), perhaps now we will have a reasonable
lightweight bear-resistant container for our use. Do your bit and get an Ursack.
The forum is BACK! The
link at the upper left should work and take you there.
|4/15/05: If you will look to the right, you will see a "Sierra Webcams" button. A favorite webcam webpage went
off the air it seems, so I decided to do my own Sierra Nevada Webcam page with up-to-date
live links (daylight hours only). The webcams are a good visual way to keep an eye on the
Sierra weather and snowpack, other than the usual sources. I use them a lot.
If you have been having trouble getting to the FORUM, you are not
alone. For some odd reason, a Russian hacker decided it was a good use of his or her time
to trash the forum. Eric the forum owner is dealing with the problem as time allows and
will have the forum back up when he figures out how to keep it locked up and hacker proof.
If any web guru wants to give him a hand, contact him at www.highsierratopix.com.
I will be changing the look of this site fairly soon, to make it a bit easier to get
around. And I will adding some side features, as soon as I figure out how to do them. It
should be interesting.
On the Bear Can battlefront, the Ursack has
passed all of the Sierra Interagency Black Bear
Group (SIBBG) tests (even some tests bear cans failed), yet
there remains restrictions on the use of the Ursack.
Almost all of the SIBBG remaining "concerns" are bogus (the same
"concerns" apply to the cans as well), and the rest seem to be thinly
manufactured excuses so they can withhold approval. The point is currently moot because
all the Ursack fabric is now being
requisitioned by the military, and the makers of the Ursack cannot make any more bags till they get a
supply of the cloth.
|2/21/05: If you will look to the upper left, you will see a link-image to the new Official Sierra-Trails
Forum! Find the forum HERE also. The
forum is brought to you by the Sierra-Trails affiliate, High Sierra Topix.
The general forum can be found HERE. As the moderator of
the Official Sierra-Trails Forum, fairly soon I will get in there and start some topics and polls, and
find out what you really think! See you there!!
|1/1/05: My New Years and Christmas present to all my readers, a new issue of Sierra Trails! (As seen on the
left): The Ottoway Lakes Loop, with a special bonus
of a side trip up to the top of Half Dome! There are
71 pages and 143 images in this issue. It was a lot of hard work, so I hope you
The Ottoway Lakes Loop hike would make a great
beginner-intermediate trip for those ready for their first multi-day trip. This story was
made possible by the kind PayPal
donations from my special readers. Thanks to you! You know who you are.
I don't know exactly when the next story will be posted, but it will probably be a tour
through The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. I am just trying to knock off some of the highlights of Yosemite National Park.
I am looking into getting a really good digital camera with a Zeise lens so that film
developing does not become such a hang-up. I am pretty impressed with the images from the
newer digital cameras. So now part of the requested PayPal donations will be to buy Sierra Trails a digital camera! (Anybody want to donate a good digital camera? :)
Developing the remaining film (still 14 rolls to go at over $14 bucks a shot) will still
be the first priority.
I may have more news soon. Happy Trails to you!
|11/8/04: To the left is yet another new issue of Sierra
Trails, The Benson
Lake Loop! It has more than 100 pictures in over 50 pages taken mostly in Yosemite
National Park. Here is a sample picture: Barney Lake and Crown
Point. And again, this story and pictures are the direct
results of people kindly donating to Sierra Trails via PayPal. Those nice people paid for the cost of developing the film. (Yes, some
day soon I will be getting a digital camera.) Meanwhile, hiking season is over for the
year, which means it is now the season I produce more issues of Sierra Trails with the help of your PayPal donations.
In other news:
1) The new Benson Lake issue
has a bonus: a review of the 3 pound Granite Gear Nimbus
Ozone backpack. Check it out.
2) If you would like
to get an email notification of a new issue of Sierra
ME with the subject of
"New Issue Notification".
Do not worry: your email address is safe with me and nobody else will have access to it
through me. I hate spam.
3) I would like some
feedback. If you would be interested in getting all past issues of Sierra Trails (and a few extras like Sierra Trails screen savers and slide
shows) on CD ROM for around 20 bucks, email ME with
the subject of "Sierra Trails on CD ROM". No need for
body text: the email is a vote for this idea. Do not worry: your email address is safe
with me and nobody else will have access to it through me.
4) Bad News:
I am delaying the Minarets issues again because once again I could not hike the last small section
to complete the story and trip. My pard and I were going to do the trip in September, but
he decided to backpack in Europe instead. SOooo..I did another trip solo, which leads me
5) The next issue of
Sierra Trails will
without a doubt be The Ottoway Lakes Loop. I did that trip just this last October, just before early winter
arrived. It is an important Yosemite hike because it travels through Ottoway Lakes, over Red Peak Pass and
down the Merced River Canyon, with a side trip to Half Dome. The story is written and some
of the pictures have been developed. When all the pictures get developed, the story will
soon appear here. PayPal donations
will speed things up.
6) The bear canister
insanity continues. This last trip through Ottoway Lakes, I was forced to bring a stupid
can, which was totally useless because I never saw a bear or any sign of one, and if I
did, my food would never have been in danger, can or no can. But it gets worse. For
reasons known only to the mystery-minds that run Yosemite, they decided that canisters are
additionally required within six miles of all trailheads. It does not seem to matter that
some trailheads do not get enough human traffic to attract bears, and some trails are so
poor and unused they hardly exist. I still say, approve the URSACK and make URSACKs
or canisters required everywhere and be done with it. Geeez.
OK, that wraps things up for now. Happy Trails to you!
|2/13/04: To the left is a new issue of Sierra Trails, the direct results of
people kindly donating to Sierra Trails. Those nice people paid for the cost of developing the film. That is the
way it works: people donate, I get film developed, and you all see a new issue of Sierra Trails. I have 11 more rolls
to develop. And what an issue the Pioneer Basin Area
story is! It is not as lengthily a trip as some, but pound for pound, those pictures in
the story are some of the best pictures of the Sierra you will ever see, at least from me!
The link is to the left, but you can find it here.
If you have any doubts, try this picture. This is what
you get when people donate. Thank You!
|12/19/03: Lots of time has past, so there is lots of stuff to present. 1)
Time may have past, but I have been busy doing trips in the Sierra. I have also gone into
business for myself, which has taken a lot of time to get started. That is taken care of,
but as with most new business ventures, money is tight. Up to now (and probably into the
future), Sierra Trails
has been free. However, it is not free for me to do and there are costs. For example, I
have over 20 rolls of film and thousands of words written that are on hold because I do
not have the money to get the film developed and onto picture CD's. So, here is your
chance to see that there is more Sierra Trails in the future. You will note there is a PayPal button for your use so that your can contribute directly to Sierra Trails to help pay for the
overhead. Once the film is developed, I can join it to the already written text and get
another trip reported, and I have numerous trips written up. It's all up to you. 2)
I do have a new story ready if you have not discovered it already. It is a solo trip I did
to the Silver Divide country. To see it, click on
the link in the previous sentence, the image on the left side of this page, or here. Fifty pages of back-country goodness. 3)
Much to my disgust, John Muirs "Freedom of the Mountains" is no longer free.
National Parks like Kings Canyon are charging a "camping fee" for back-country
use. This is a rude slap in the face to all backpackers and mountaineers. It seems that
even though we pay huge taxes, it is not enough, and they feel they have to charge us a
fee for what has been and should always be free! What next? An air tax? And a fee for
what? The trails in the national parks in the Sierra are in terrible condition, some
trails are gone or unusable, many trail signs are gone and I can see no visible sign of
anything that warrants a use fee. This is intolerable. Find ways to protest! I will seek
information as to who we can inform of our displeasure. Stand by. 4) Please
note the "No Canister" logo to the right. Feel free to copy it and use it
wherever you feel it would be useful to display. The canister, a heavy useless weight
penalty that is unnecessary in over 95% of the Sierra, is turning into the park service
and forest service one size fits all answer to the largely nonexistent "bear
problem". To make matters worse, they will not accept the perfectly good
"Ursack" as a bear resistant container. Mainly, they test the Ursack with rigid
canister standards, and even though tests have proved bears cannot get into the new Ursacks, they stubbornly refuse to approve the Ursack as a bear safe container. What stupidity. The fact is there are only a
few small areas in the Sierra where bears are a problem, and it is advisable to use
containers in those areas if you do not know how to properly hang food (which can be done
in a bear-proof way), or protect your food. The rest of the 95% or more of the Sierra, the
bears are shy and stay away from people and are not a problem. It has been getting so
ridiculous, Yosemite has mandated that when camping above 9600 feet, you must use a bear
proof container. Heck, 9600 feet is not bear habitat! Is it our fault
they have "High Sierra Camps" above 9600 feet that attract bears? That is the
only place you will find bears above 9600 feet, but if you do see bears that high in other
places (very rare), you can bet they are wild and will run away from humans and not be a
problem. I have been spending time in the backcountry longer than some people have been
alive, and I have never lost my food to bears, and you can bet I have seen plenty
of bears. I could keep my food in paper sacks, and bears would not get my food. If I
can keep my food from bears, everybody can. If they insist on this bear canister nonsense,
then they must approve the Ursack. Find ways to protest
these silly rules. 5) I have another story ready with pictures, a romp over the
Sierra Crest and down to Benson Lake in Yosemite. Look for that fairly soon. 6)
The Minarets story will have to wait till the end of this year. My partner and I plan on a
cross-country circum-navigation of the Minarets, which will complete that story with some
new pictures and routes. 7) OK, that just about wraps things up. Happy Trails
OK! The Kern-Kaweah trip issue is finally finished and posted. I hope you are ready for 52
pages. If you cannot find it on the left, you can find it here.
Take your time and enjoy!
|01/04/02: Alright, sorry number one. Sorry its taken so long to get an update. At
least it has not been a year...yet. Sorry number two. Sorry it has taken so long to get
another story up. The Kern-Kaweah content has been done for ages, but I just did not have
the time to finish putting the pieces together. Well, I am back at it, and that story
should be up in the next week. Sorry number three. As you may have discovered, there is
another page just before this one. I am using this web space for both my business Radar
Music and Sierra Trails, so there is now an extra step getting here. It also means most of
the "gobacks" on most pages will end up on the previous page. So sorry for the
extra mouse clicks. The Minarets issue is pushed off for another year because I have not
finished the whole hike yet, so sorry again. I will try to make it up to you all
with good content and regular updates. So stay along for the ride, because more is coming.
Be patient. Meanwhile, happy trails!
OK boys and girls, the Black Rock Pass, Big Five
Lakes, Little Five Lakes, Sawtooth Pass Loop issue of Sierra Trails is finished and on the left! Go
see it and enjoy!
|The Mt. Whitney issue is complete! If you ever wondered what it is like to hike Mt. Whitney from the west side,
hit the link and GO! Have fun! (Posted 11 February 2001)
|Well, I have been slowly cranking out Sierra
Trails, but it has been a busy year as always! You will
find out how busy I have been in the Sierra with the wealth of new material. In the past
(and in the near future) I have been concentrating and will be concentrating on the
southern Sierra, mainly because I believe the southern Sierra is the backpacker,
mountaineer, and cross-country mountaineer paradise. However, after I have covered the
main features of SEKI and the surrounding wildernesses, I will will turn my attention to
the areas north of the John Muir Wilderness, including Yosemite. I have been all over the Sierra and parts of the Cascades, and I have a
mountain of pictures and stories from those areas north, which I will eventually get to.
It is a lot of work doing these stories and preparing the pictures. The results of this
work is, as always, to the left of this text. The good news is the quality of the pictures
are even better now because I am using only digital from negative images. Some issues will
be more of a work in progress as I add key features to the issue, as usual. Meanwhile, I
will begin other issues featuring another trail or route in the High Sierra.
All of the issues of Sierra Trails can be found on the left, and if you pass the cursor over the image, the
flyby should give you some idea what that issue is about before you commit to clicking on
the image to go to that particular "issue" of Sierra
|If you have not yet done so, check out the Deadman issue to the left. I was
never happy about the picture quality, so I have re-done the images with new scans and
edits, and added a few more images. The image quality is still uneven, but it was
the first issue. I also redid the format to match the style of the rest of Sierra Trails.
To the right are links are the new features of Sierra Trails. One
link will take you to the Sierra Trails Gallery. This is a collection of my best images, interesting places in the
Sierra, and occasionally my best pictures of interesting places in the Sierra. Another
link will take you to yet another gallery of panoramas and 360 degree pictures. I am
getting better at producing these kinds of images, so bear with me. Also, I put in a link
to the Links page, which can also be found in every "issue" of Sierra Trails.
|Future Sierra Trails: I hope to soon (keep your fingers crossed) have a forum up. I will
moderate, the same rules of curtsey will apply and I will only tolerate "On
Topic" discussions. For now web space prevents me from putting this feature in.
|Great News! My
ISP ACCESSCOM (see link below) has come to
my rescue and has provided me with more space for Sierra Trails!
Please visit their site, and if you need an ISP, you cannot go wrong with ACCESSCOM. Because of the additional room, very soon I
will be adding three more issues of Sierra Trails: Mt. Whitney, The Kern-Kaweah and Kaweah Basin,
and last but not least, Big 5 and Little 5 Lakes. After those
issues are up, I will work on the other features mentioned above. Stay tuned! Oh, if you
do go to ACCESSCOM, mention that Sierra Trails sent you.
|NOTE TO LONG TIME READERS: To the left, the
order of the issues is reversed from past normal. Now, from top to bottom the issues will
be seen chronologically from the most recent to the oldest issues.
|The top two issues on the left are preview covers of
Sierra Trails issues that will be out soon or this year. As I said above, very soon I will
be adding two more issues of Sierra Trails: The Kern-Kaweah and Kaweah Basin,
Steal the above image and use it until the Ursack is
Animated Bench Lake
Sierra Trails Links