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In quest of Aspen's permanent snowfield

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Many mountainous areas have little-known and very obscure permanent snowfields. Scotland has a few in shadowy corries that often survive the summer.
Here's a report from Catherine Lutz of The Aspen Times on finding the local snow of Montezuma Basin in late July.

Martin Bell, are you reading this, and would you care to check this out and take a couple of pics? !
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
David Goldsmith,

What is the difference betweeen a permanent snowfield and a Glacier?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Good question, john. I think we should jointly pitch that one at our resident glaciologist.
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I always thought that the difference was that a Glacier comprises primarily of Ice with a bit of snow on the top, wheras a snowfield has insufficient mass to turn its lower levels into ice and so is granular all the way to the bottom, but I cculd be wrong
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think a glacier flows, whereas ice caps on the flat or snow in hollows do not.
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It really is surprising where snow can survive. I found a decent patch lurking in a north facing, deep gully at probably 9000 feet in Iran while pottering around off road one mid-summer. On the peaks of course it's different. The south facing side of the Alborz Mountains looming over Tehran usually loses the last of the winter snow in July and regains some in October. That's at about 13000 feet whereas the city of Tehran might be 35 C at 5000 feet. (Sorry - never got used to the metric system in Iran. Old maps - pre Revolution). Damavand Mountain close to Tehran which is only just a dormant volcano at 18,000 feet holds some snow year round.
Then there is Kilamanjairo (? spelling) on the Equator in East Africa.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
Many mountainous areas have little-known and very obscure permanent snowfields.

Indeed.

Who's first up for this red (planet) run?



From the BBC:

Ice lake found on the Red Planet
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
johnboy,

From http://www.nps.gov/mora/kids/student5.htm

What is the difference between glaciers and snowfields? Glaciers are gradually being pulled downhill by the force of gravity. On Mount Rainier, the glaciers flow down the sides of the mountain, melting at the lower ends while more snow accumulates at the upper ends. Snowfields, on the other hand, melt on warm days and grow larger during snowy winters, but they do not flow downhill. They may sit on flat areas, or they may be surrounded by ridges or hills that hold them in place.
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But we're talking about downhill-skiable snowfields, remember. So, surely they must be moving downhill too - but they're not glaciers (one assumes).
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David Goldsmith,
There are indeed some semi-permanent snowfields in Colorado. There is one above Breck called "4th of July Bowl" , obviously because people always ski it on that date. We enountered a few small snowfields over the weekend when hiking Grays and Torreys:

http://www.14ers.com/photos/GraysTorreys/200007_GraTor01a.jpg

There isn't as much as snow now as in that photo but still a few patches around. Difficult to tell whether they "flow" downhill like a glacier - perhaps there isn't enough weight to generate that.
By the way, the couloir that descends from just to the right of the right-hand peak in that shot is a popular spring backcountry skiing route, called "Dead Dog Couloir". Don't know how it got the name but perhaps we can imagine...
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