Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jupiter's snow patch

When I grew up in the French Alps, I would watch when the last snowfield left on la Pointe de Vorlaz would vanish in summer. Ever since we've lived in Park City, I've always observed the same snow-melt routine on Jupiter Peak, which at 9,998 feet, towers over our little community. I remember June 16, 1985, when I first took a tour of the house we were about to buy and had, for the occasion, rented a camcorder to show a VHS video to my wife who had stayed in New-York.
There was a bull-eye window in the house, and through it, I framed Jupiter Peak with a tiny snow speck left just below the summit. I've since noted how soon or how late snow would vanish from that mountain top and have stats to substantiate it. Generally as soon as the snow patch melts, summer enters in full force. Over the 25 years we've been in Utah, I've seen the date where the last trace of snow goes oscillate from June 18 to August 27. This year it was on July 16. That may sound quite trivial, but these details are important to me...

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