For 4 years, Archer, my partner in kite crimes and I have made an annual trip into the heart of the Centennial Mountains. Sheep and Taylor are one of our favorite all time kite spots. These two adjacent peaks offer a high alpine setting, big vertical, are feature rich and offer committed isolation. Best of all, they have an enormous fetch to the east, south and west.
We decided to go long last weekend and hit this amazing spot again. With fresh snow in the parking lot we loaded up our sleds with a couple kites and our skis, jacked ourselves on Red Bull and set off for the 12 miles of whoops to get us to the goods.
On the way into the spot we found deep powder boondockin’ and sunshine. As we climbed higher and higher and left the trees behind the day changed dramatically. Super-strong SE winds were hammering the mountain. Clouds quickly moved in. Thinking it was going to be a big kite day we didn't bring anything smaller than 11m kites. We realized it was sketchy. Nevertheless, we unrolled our kites and launched our first session in that hard-hitting gale. Between the flat gray light and the nuclear punches of storm wind, within ten minutes we killed our kites and gave up on any chance of a good session at 10,000 feet up on Sheep.
Plan B. We have never gotten smacked by a storm at this spot so we had to do a bit of sledding on the various slopes of the lower mountain to find the cleanest wind. Just below the tree line we found a spot with creamy snow, wind and enough room to session. Yes, it was technical and yes, it was gusty. Some gusts were sustained for long durations, others were not so powered. Depending if you trusted it, boosting was a leap of faith. However for about two hours, until the severe snowfall arrived, we had a great session and got a decent fill of powder turns on the lower mountain.
While it turned out to be a great day of kiting, we did not quite get the fix of Sheep and Taylor that we crave. So… …after the next break in the current storm cycle, we are heading back for more!
Thanks for reading and see ya our there,