Summit SnoPark 2-6-19

Ten of us headed up to Summit Snow Park to enjoy the fresh powder and expected sunshine of the day.  Temperatures were in the low 20’s all day, so the snow was perfect for exploring the area. 

We arrived at the trailhead with 10 inches of fresh powder everywhere, including the parking lot (not sure where the snow plows were working this morning).  We got our snowshoes attached and headed off to explore the forest. 

The trail for the first mile was clear and only around 8 to 10 inches of new snow on the trail.  Everyone took turns breaking trail, so the work was spread out among all of us. 

Dan suggested we go find the local SNOTEL, so we started to snow whack our way through the forest, over a canal and finally, Dan found the Billie Creek Divide SNOTEL in the middle of nowhere.  It was a fun side trip and educational.

We then headed east through more snow to our favorite lunch spot, which required us to sit in the snow.  It is a great experience to just sit down in the snow, maybe up against a tree, to eat lunch in the sunshine. The scenery on this hike was just amazing. 

After lunch, we headed down hill, through more forest to complete our loop.  On the way, we ran into 6 cross-country skiers who where doing the loop in the opposite direction, so we had their path to follow for the rest of our hike. 

As we neared the cars, we noticed one of the telephone lines was completely encased in snow and stretched all the way to the snow on the ground between the poles.  After taking a few pictures, someone touched the line and BANG - all the snow fell off and the cable was back up in the air.  Quite a sight to see.

We headed down to Medford and some of us headed to Four Daughters for refreshments.  All had a good time, plus appreciated the good snow and weather. 

Keeley

Track download: Summit SnoPark 2-6-19.gpx

SNOTEL from Wikipedia

SNOTEL is an automated system of snowpack and related climate sensors operated by the Department of Agriculture. There are over 730 SNOTEL (or snow telemetry) sites in 11 states, including Alaska. The sites are generally located in remote high-mountain watersheds where access is often difficult or restricted.

All SNOTEL sites measure snow water content, accumulated precipitation, and air temperature. Some sites also measure snow depth, soil moisture and temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. These data are used to forecast yearly water supplies, predict floods, and for general climate research.

SNOTEL uses meteor burst communications technology to collect and communicate data in near-real-time. VHF radio signals are reflected at a steep angle off the ever-present band of ionized meteors existing from about 50 to 75 miles above the earth. Satellites are not involved.

Element Measured
Sensor Type
Precision
Air Temperature
Shielded thermistor
0.1 oC
Barometric Pressure
Silicon capacitive pressure sensor
1%
Precipitation
Storage-type gage or tipping bucket

Storage: 0.1 inches

Tipping bucket: 0.01 inches

Relative Humidity
Thin film capacitance-type sensor
1%
Snow Depth
Sonic sensor
0.5 inches
Snow Water Content
Snow pillow device and a pressure transducer
0.1 inches
Soil Moisture
Dielectric constant measuring device. Typical measurements are at 2", 4", 8", 20", and 40" where possible.
0.5%
Soil Temperature
Encapsulated thermistor. Typical measurements are at 2", 4", 8", 20", and 40" where possible.
0.1 oC
Solar Radiation
Pyranometer
0.01 watts per square meter
Wind Speed and Direction
Propellor-type anemometer

Speed: 0.1 miles per hour

Direction: 1 o

 

Ashland Hiking Home

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