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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 "T"

750 km Out & Return

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. Dayton Start Point 39° 16.400' N 119° 32.400' W 4300'
TP 1 Darwin, CA - Main Int. 36° 16.080' N 117° 35.470' W 4730'
Finish Dayton Start Point 39° 16.400' N 119° 32.400' W 4300'


Leg Km Smi Nmi % True Course
1 375.19 233.13 202.58 50.0 152°
2 375.19 233.13 202.58 50.0 333°
Task Dist. 750.37 466.26 405.17    

Task / Course Map from SeeYou

Minden T XC Course
Click Map for larger image


Typical Flight Path:

 Leave Rawe Peak at the north end of the Pine Nuts and head toward the mouth of Six Mile Canyon (which leads up to Virginia City).  The Start Point is a "point in space" nearly over the Carson River, south of US 50.   After the start, return to Rawe Peak and work to the south end of the Pine Nut Range.  The usual tactic from here 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 past Cerro Gordo Peak. Use cloud closest to Darwin to gain enough altitude to glide out to the turn and back to the Inyo Range.  Retrace the course north 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 to Mt. Grant and, if possible, gain enough altitude to clear the gap in the Pine Nuts north of Mt Siegel.  Otherwise, deviate to the Pine Grove Hills, Desert Creek Peak and back to Bald Mtn. #1.  Work north on the Pine Nuts until the Dayton "Start Point" can be reached. Note: Cloud patterns often dictate significant deviations from this "typical" flight path.

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

Minden-Tahoe, Flyin' Mouse, Sweetwater Strip, Flying M (Hilton Strip), Bryant Field (Bridgeport), Hawthorne, Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine, Panamint Valley Dry Lake (not an airport); and on the end of the return leg, Rosachi Dusters, Yerington, Minden-Tahoe and Carson City.  

Note:In case of finishing too low to return to Minden-Tahoe, alternatives are Dayton Valley (OK for 15 meter only (?), Carson City, Rabbit Dry Lake and Silver Springs (now paved).

Some possible weather peculiarities:

Convergence line around the east side of Mono Lake may be useful on either out or return 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.  Convergence Cu may separate from the southeast end of the Inyo range and lead more directly south.  Fairly strong southerly flow may be encountered on the Inyos and out to Darwin; this may be quite strong even at low levels in the Owens Valley. 

Watch for Cu-nim blow-off from the Sierra and other high ground; cool,  stable airflow at lower levels south of Walker Lake; strong southwest wind at lower levels at Wellington and Smith Valley late in the day.  Strong west wind through Dayton Valley past Silver Springs as early as mid-afternoon.

Traffic cautions:

Start and Finish point is near Airway V 494; watch for traffic departing east from Reno-Tahoe Airport and arriving from the east to Reno-Tahoe.  Monitor Reno ATIS on 135.8 and Reno Approach Control on 119.2. 

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! 

-South end of course penetrates BISHOP MOA, SALINE MOA, OWENS MOA and PANAMINT MOA.  Be sure to skirt the ammunition disposal Restricted Area R-4811 south of Hawthorne.

Course Design: Bob Semans