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The Minden Standard Courses are a set of 17 pre-defined and well described courses for the use of soaring pilots who fly from Minden-Tahoe Airport.  

Course distances range from 100 km to 1000 km and meet the FAI prescribed course definitions for triangle, out & return and 3 turn point badge and record attempts.

  1. Course A - 300km Out & Return
  2. Course B - 300km FAI Triangle
  3. Course C - 300km Flat Triangle
  4. Course D - 300km 3 TP Distance
  5. Course E - 500km Out & Return
  6. Course F - 500km FAI Triangle
  7. Course G - 500km Flat Triangle
  8. Course H - 500km 3 TP Distance
  9. Course I - 750km Out & Return
  10. Course J - 750km FAI Triangle
  11. Course L - 1000km FAI Triangle
  12. Course M - 1000km 3 TP Distance
  13. Course N - 100km FAI Triangle
  14. Course Q - 500km Out & Return
  15. Course R - 750km FAI Triangle
  16. Course S - 1000km FAI Triangle
  17. Course T - 750km Out & Return

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Minden - Standard Course "M"

1000 km 3 Turn Point Distance

Course Design: Bob Semans

Waypoint / Turnpoint and Task Files

NOTE: All tasks & waypoints are in the SeeYou minden-courses-0916.cup

  1. Download SeeYou file: minden-courses-0916.cup
  2. Download SeeYou file without tasks:  MindenSC.cup
  3. Download standard dat file, also works in SeeYou: MindenSC.dat


  Name Latitude Longitude Elevation
Start Pt. Sunrise Strip (S05 - Target!) 39° 02.570' N 119° 40.390' W 5236'
TP 1 Int. So. of Keeler, CA  36° 25.820' N 117° 49.420' W 3796'
TP 2 Basalt Intersection., NV (D04) 38° 00.650' N 118° 16.470' W 6300'
TP 3 Cerro Gordo Pk. - R/F - N Pk. 36° 33.000' N 117° 48.190' W 9280'
Finish Minden Gate 39° 00.010' N 119° 45.160' W 4718'


Leg Km Smi Nmi % True Course
1 332.63 206.68 179.61 33.2 150°
2 179.91 111.79 97.14 18.0 347°
3 167.43 104.04 90.40 16.7 165°
4 321.62 199.85 173.66 32.1 328°
Task Dist. 1001.59 622.36 540.82    

Task / Course Map from SeeYou

Minden M XC Course
Click Map for larger image


Typical Flight Path:

The usual tactic on the first leg is to head for Boundary Peak on the north end of the White Mountains, a significant deviation to the east of course line.  Leaving Bald Mtn. #1 (at the south end of the Pine Nut range) reach for East Sister Peak at the north end of the Sweetwater range, then to Bald Mtn. #2 (at the south end of the Pine Grove Hills).  Then reach for the high ground south of Aurora Mine or the range south of Lucky Boy Pass, then across the flats to the low escarpment at the north end of the Owens Valley and on to Boundary Peak.

On the Whites, fly down the range, deviating a bit to the east at Westgard Pass, and on south on the Inyo range, leaving the ridge at Cerro Gordo Peak to run out to the first turn and back.  On the second leg return up the Inyo's and White's to Boundary Peak.  Run out to the second turn point and back.  Repeat the trip to Cerro Gordo Peak and back to Boundary Peak. Leave Boundary Peak with enough altitude to reach Hawthorne but head a bit more west to the ridge south of Lucky Boy Pass.  Work north toward Mt. Grant or until high enough to reach Bald Mtn. #2 or the high ground north along the Pine Grove Hills.  Reach to Bald Mtn. #1 and then to the landing at Minden-Tahoe.

Note: Cloud patterns often dictate significant deviations from this "typical" flight path.

Note: Do not include the finish point in your Declaration.  It is not required.  After the last turn point, all that is required is to land outside a circle with a radius of 321 km from the Cerro Gordo turn point (plus an allowance to cover any Distance Penalty).   For example, the 1000 km distance could be achieved by landing at Silver Springs (or Austin) if Minden-Tahoe was under or beyond foul weather.  (Yerington is not far enough.)

Note: If you are using the photo of the Sunrise Start Point  (S05) found in the PASCO Minden Soaring Competition Turnpoints booklet to orient yourself to the start point for this course, the photo is looking roughly North.  A proper start point photo will be looking in the opposite direction from beyond the photo target.   To repeat, the Start Point for Standard Course "M" is the Target Point in the photo, so the "target point" must show in any Start Point documenting photo.  This point is the mid-point of the former "Sunrise Strip" and is opposite the largest structure on the West side of the strip.  This strip is NOT a suitable landing place for any glider!

Airports along the course (keep at least one in reach):

 Flyin' Mouse, Sweetwater Strip, Bryant Field (Bridgeport), Lee Vining, Hawthorne, Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine, Circle L, Flying M (Hilton Strip), Sweetwater, Yerington, Rosaschi Dusters..

Some possible weather peculiarities:

 Convergence line around the east side of Mono Lake may be useful on first  and forth legs.  This convergence often drifts east during the afternoon.  The best lift band over the Whites may be displaced east or west of the ridgetop depending on the shoving match between air masses on the two sides of the range.  Watch Cu-nim blow-off from the Sierra and other high ground; strong southwest wind at lower levels at Wellington and Smith Valley late in the day.

Traffic cautions:

High speed, head-on glider traffic in the lift band over the White and Inyo Mtns.,  any day  ... but worst on Saturdays.  Before flying in the "White Mountain Corridor," brief yourself on (and print out ) PROCEDURE ALPHA ver C.  [ ]   When not flying over the White or Inyo Mountains, and you hear position reports from pilots flying over these ranges, switch to another frequency or use 123.5 very sparingly! 

Southern part of course transits BISHOP MOA, SALINE MOA and OWENS MOA.  Be sure to skirt the ammunition disposal Restricted Area R-4811 south of Hawthorne.

Course Design: Bob Semans