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First Sublette Session this Season, Such an Amazing Feature!

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Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:45 am
Kiting since: 2006
Local Beach: Big Sandy, Palisades, Mud Lake, Jackson Lake...
Favorite Beaches: Waddell Creek, Sherman Island

Snow kite spots are growing fastly and epicly.
Style: Wake, Big loops, Glides
Gear: Ozone kites, Xenon boards, Velocity Twisted, B3 Split Boards
Brand Affiliation: Ozone, Xenon, B3, Twisted
Location: Jackson Wyoming

First Sublette Session this Season, Such an Amazing Feature!

Postby knewschool » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:50 pm

We had our first day up on the Plateau today. It was a great session but really cold and a little gusty for comfort. Crossing the Plateau to get to the bowl was somewhat challenging. The top of the Plateau is pretty wind damaged and crusty. The bowl however is beautifully deep and soft. The terrain shape is epic to many standards.

The adventure starts at a new parking lot that was just finished this year for accessing the Brooks and Breccia Mountain backcountry ski spots. Once you park be ready to get your touring gear on and hustle. You’re facing 1,500’ climb for about an hour if you don’t get lost. The bottom mile uses a common track but you’ll turn of that track onto a kiter’s specific route that leads you to a kite launch. 9 out of 10 times the kiter’s track isn’t there and the trail needs to be broken. It’s not easy to find without someone to show you at least once or twice.

Once you’re at the launch you’ll need expert kite skills to climb out of the first platform around some rocks and trees and up to the flat topped plateau. Once you get to the top of the plateau you’ll still need patients and skills to cross the mile or so to reach the bowl. The wind hits such a vertical wall as it pours over the plateau that it’s very turbulent for such a seemingly flat area. You need to think about what is going on there and ride accordingly to grab the wind you need to get to the bowl.

Once you get to the Bowl there are 2 different places to drop in that are steep enough to slide so consider the avalanche conditions, wear beacons and be capable of flying in case of a slide. When you fly off those steeps you can easily be 100’ in the air without even trying. Take your flying skills because if you fly straight into the wind, you could find yourself gliding down the valley over ledges, rocks and trees with no safe landing zone and a difficult skin back to the road that is full of awkward terrain traps. The lighter the wind is the easier to hit the landing zone.

The runs and flying in the bowl are amazing, the lift is off the hook. There IS a concern about getting blown over the back since it is a 1500’ vertical wall. This place isn’t for everyone but all these factors make it that much more rewarding.

Once the sun sets, be ready to head straight back across the plateau. We often find ourselves there late because the wind often smoothes out in the evening. You’d think riding down the bowl would be easier but it’s not. There are amazingly steep gullies throughout the entire route and you’ll consider a snow cave to navigating the gullies in the dark. Take your headlamp (which I have used a number of times) and carefully follow your track back to the road. The skiers will leave you to die if you’re a snowboarder so be ready for a lonely hustle through the woods at the end.

Will Taggart
Sublette (1).jpg
Pascal's track shows right where you want to land. Looks like he was teleported there.
Sublette (2).jpg
Chaz digging in to the fresh.
Sublette (3).jpg
Pascal likes to bank across the cliffs for the lift.
Sublette (4).jpg
Me dropping into the bowl with my new 13m Edge. So sweet!
Sublette (5).jpg
Chaz making some tracks down the face.
Sublette (6).jpg
Pascal almost overshoots the landing.
Sublette (7).jpg
The strong wind had us flying from lower than usual.
Sublette (8).jpg
Pascal banking around to get away from the cliffs.
Sublette (9).jpg
Flag we can see from the road 1,500 feet down.
Sublette (10).jpg
Google Earth View of the Bowl
Last edited by knewschool on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Sublette Session this Season, Such an Amazing Feat

Postby lewmt » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:41 pm

That 1st pic says it all!!! Incredible!
that are steep enough to slide so consider the avalanche conditions,
Something to definitely keep in mind. Especially in terrain like that. I don't know if its the same down there as MT but there's some nasty faceted snow with all this new on top of it....bad!! combination.

I saw the longest crown on the NE side of Bald Mtn in the Biggies 2 weeks ago I've ever seen (its the side of the mtn we never kite but...). It didn't slide a long ways or take out trees below but it was maybe 800-1000 yards long & 2-3 ft deep along the crown.

Heads up if there's any chance where you're kiting or traveling through. Have partners and at minimum pack a shovel.

Do we need beacons with a kite attached?

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