Minaret Vista Observations

Minaret Vista
Submission Info
Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 1:15pm
Red Flags: 
37° 39' 28.3752" N, 119° 3' 40.374" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Today we toured out Minaret Road and battling the snowmobile and snowcat tours to get some observations.  We took some data on a west slope just below the ridgecrest that was sheltered enough from the wind to hold snow.  Elevation here was 9270 feet  HS was 85 cm with a boot penetration of 20 cm and ski penetration of 5cm.  The snow surface was smooth, which was a little surprising given all the textures and tracks found elsewhere.  This observation was taken around 1 PM and the top 10cm of surface snow was moist grains, which would have been nice to slide on.  Air temp was 5 degrees C with Moderate winds gusting Strong from the SW and FEW Clouds.

At 1:45 PM we took another observation on a North Aspect at 9090 feet.  The snow was wintery here with a very thin temperature crust on top.  Boot Pen was 35 here and ski pen was 15.  Overall snow depth was 130cm.  Air temperature was 4.0 degrees C with Light Winds from the SW.  This indicated to me that you could still find powder snow on the most sheltered northerly aspects and it would be good as long as there were no old tracks there.

I also took a stab at noting snow surface conditions on the obs page where I took down the snow and weather data above by making an avalanche rose and instead of noting problems I noted surface texture.  See attached photo.


Snowpack photos: 
Snow coverage and texture.
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

In my wildest dreams there would be great corn snow on solars and recycled powder on sheltered norths.  That is unfortunately not the case with those conditions existing in isolated areas where travel to and from said locations is difficult at best.  As our snowpack deteriorates further I am considering going rock climbing or mountain biking.  I haven't done it yet and I hope you don't give up hope either.

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Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

The weather forecast for wind was accurate, but the cloud cover forecast left something to be desired today.  It could have arguably been mostly cloudy if you called it thin cloud, but cloud cover that blocked any radiation was sparse.  Temperatures forecast for the area were about accurate with above freezing temps at 9000 feet.  It felt a lot like a spring day out there, but its February.  Yikes!

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