Trip Report: Minaret Summit & Peak 10,242′ Provisional, Nov 28 2015

After hours of research and planning, we decided to head up to Mammoth to spend the long weekend snowshoeing. We spent the first day of our trip driving, but on day 2, we headed out to Minaret Summit and spent a few hours in the backcountry.

It was very cold (2° F), when we arrived at the ski area. After a quick breakfast, the temperature had risen to a balmy 9 degrees. I knew that I’d warm up quickly once we started hiking, so I started the hike off just wearing a beanie, mittens over my Columbia running gloves, vented ski pants and my heavyweight merino wool sweatshirt over a lightweight long sleeve.


If you’re interested in snowshoeing, please join our Facebook group, Snowshoeing & Winter Hiking! Through the end of December, we’re giving away some excellent gear from Tubbs, Hydrapak, WoolX, Farm 2 Feet, and Oboz.


We hiked from Mammoth Mountain Inn to Minaret Summit, where decided to put on our snowshoes. Up until that point, we were hiking on a groomed trail, so they weren’t necessary. By the time we reached Minaret Summit, the temperature had risen to 17°. 

After leaving Minaret Summit, I figured we would be breaking trail all the way to Peak 10,242 Provisional and beyond, but there were snowmobile tracks all the way to the peak. We had hoped to hike beyond 10242, but with the late start we decided it was a good turn around point.

Nice view of Banner and Ritter Peak from 10242.

While we didn’t cover as many miles as I had hoped, the cold temperatures presented an excellent opportunity to push the limits of some of my new gear (more of this below).

Geek Stats

Minaret Summit & Peak 10,242′ Provisional || Distance: ~8 mi || Duration: ~5 hours || Gain/Loss: ±1550 || Net Elevation Gain (at Max Elevation): +1,401′ || Max Elevation: 10,242′ || Difficulty: Strenuous

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  • Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Mountaineering Extra Cushion Sock
    • Great socks. With the cool temps, the extra thickness/warmth of the socks was nice.
  • Tubbs FLEX Vertical Snowshoes
    • This was my first experience with Tubbs Snowshoes as well the the BOA Clousure System. So far, so good! The FLEX VRTs performed flawlessly. The crampons provided secure footing over a variety of snow types and the BOA Closure System is amazing. I did not have to re-tighten or adjust my snowshoes after initially putting them on. If the BOA Closure System proves to be durable, I’m sold.
  • WoolX Heavyweight Merino Base Layer Shirt
    • As stated above, I spent the majority of my day hiking in just this shirt over a wicking longsleeve. I run hotter than most, but it’s amazing that this shirt kept me warm in temps less than 10 degrees while I hiked. During the first couple of hours, I did put on my shell over the WoolX shirt if we stopped.
  • Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter
    • Appear to be well-made from quality materials.
    • Sizing seems to be a little on the small side, so you if you have large calves, plan on wearing them with insulated pants or are in-between sizes, I would recommend sizing up.

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4 Responses

  1. Ben

    What is your experience with different snowshoes? (I mean, what are you comparing these to?)

    • TheHikingGeek

      I’ve used snowshoes made by Atlas, Sneka and MSR. The MSR Denalis are the ones I’ve used the most. I’ve had issues with the rubber straps on the MSRs staying in place and staying latched.

      I really liked the BOA closure system and want to try some boots with a similar setup.

    • TheHikingGeek

      That thermometer was given to me and it was the first time that I used it. Not sure if it’ll be making a second trip – I believe it stopped working the day after this trip because it got too cold.