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SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

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chris country
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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby chris country » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:22 am

Last year I had an incredible session in that valley near Rito Hondo Res. outside of Lake City. I'm thinking of zipping down from Salida on Thursday or Saturday to check it out again as the forecast is lookin pretty good. Has anyone been out there this year and if so, how is the snow coverage around those parts? All my local spots around Salida are a little sparse this year so it's time to travel.
Thanks! Chris

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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby tommygun » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:18 am

The last report was about a month ago. "It was kinda thin, but good kiting". But imagine it has a bunch more snow now. I would go if I could and I know some of the Durango kiters are planning on a road trip soon. Possible this week. I bet it would be epic on Thursday! Wolf Creek had 18" new out of Sunday nights storm. Check it out and post some pics!

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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby matthepp » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:18 pm

Chris,
I'm meeting some Gunnison guys out on Blue Mesa at Old Stevens tomorrow thursday if you care to join us. It's gonna nuke!

NeWORBiT
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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby NeWORBiT » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:01 pm

A couple of us are going to try Taylor Park today. More fun terrain but it can be gustier than Blue Mesa
Reservoir. Tony

chris country
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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby chris country » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:34 pm

Thanks for the beta on Creede Tommygun. Guys, I think I'm going to try and stick to my guns and shoot for Creede. I want to go down through Saguache and Del Norte to try and save some time instead of the longer route past Blue Mesa and through Lake City. I'm dying to know though how your sessions pan out both at Blue Mesa and Taylor Park though and you're right, it's gonna nuke! Salida has been out of control with huge clouds of dust being picked up off the valley floor. I'll try to get some pics.
Chris

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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby NeWORBiT » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:36 am

Chris, Taylor was light, forecast was gusts to 40, ha they meant 14. But, good snow
and just enough of a hill to get some small glides. Blue Mesa Res was the place to be
fully powered today, still blowin' there. Couple of us are planning to go to Snow Mesa,
just east of Rito Hondo Res., on Saturday. Tony

chris country
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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby chris country » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:47 am

Hard to believe Taylor was light as much wind as we had again. Did you guys use sleds to get in there? I've tried to drive north to Taylor Park from Sargents but can only go so far in the winter.
Also, I looked at my Gazetteer and can't find "Old Stevens" around Blue Mesa. Is it on the north or south side of the lake? I had some nice sessions over by Wuanita Hot Springs last year, something to keep in mind. That place holds a lot of snow but is pretty sparse this year.
Cheers, Chris

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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby NeWORBiT » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:48 am

Ya man. A couple of factors conspired to block our wind at Taylor Park, check the NWS Grand Junktion Forecast Discussion and find some large scale topo maps. Warm air advection, (bubbly lifty local airmass) created a convective wind blocking bubble, plus slightly unfavorable WNW, flow due to topography , (WSW or SW is ideal for Taylor Park) puts it on the lee side of a large ridgy mountain (Macthless Mountain). I reckon the jet stream flow was lifted at the west side of the West Elk Mtns and (almost contiguous) Ruby Range / Sawatch Mtns and came back down in the upper Arkansas Valley. I bet it was warm in Salida (due to the chinook <air expanding> effect). Blue Mesa Reservoir, located in a long east to west running valley between the huge San Juan Mountain range and all the rest of Colorados' mountains is a natural wind (funnel) tunnel. So, it is often windier, less gusty, and more westerly at this lower elevation spot.
Regardless, I learned a hell of a lot refining my light wind technique today. Kite circling for example, on port tack (wind coming from my left side), circle the kite clockwise, so at zenith (high up and lower power) the kite is traveling opposite my direction of motion. And, when it has circled down and across into the max power zone (near the ground) the kite and I are going the same direction, prolong this motion and sheet in (bottom of the triangle). Maximize the kites speed (due to circling and NOT changing <sine waving> direction) and maximize apparent wind (your momentum or ski / board speed). Yank that friggin' bar hard to make the kite turn sharply, phuk that "park and ride" or sine waving in light wind. My epiphany today - shape this in the form of a triangle to prolong the kites location / speed in the power zone and sheet in in the max power zone. Sheet in on the downstroke, let out on the upstroke (or even pull the frontlines <depowerline> if the kite is near stall). Most of u flockers already know this, thanks for not telling us, secret's out, ha!
TODAYS SAFETY TIP: Did a few zillion kite circles (loops?, I am a beginnernewbkook , dunno terminology) today. Tried to do equal number in both directions. But, fifth (5th) line twists around depower (front Y line) so many times the 5th line safety would NOT have worked if needed.

Oh yeah, answers for Chris.
Old Stevens is the 2nd left after the Hwy 149 turnoff north side of the lake, stay on Hwy 50. If you get to the Elk Creek Marina exit, turn around, go back 2 miles.
Last year was epic for low elevation snow in the Gunnison area , bummer I was just learning this snowkiting and couldn't maximize the seasons potential. You may have been kiting on private property in the Waunita area. Google Gunnison County Parcel Maps to find land owners / public land boundaries.

LET'S RIDE! Tony

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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby NeWORBiT » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:43 am

Oops, hey Chris, forgot to answer this one, Taylor Park access. Go to Gunn town, turn north onto Hwy 139 for about 10 miles, turn right (east) at Almont onto Taylor River Road, go about 28 miles or until you're almost stuck in deep snow, back up 1 meter (3.3 feet), launch! Low clearance, 2 wheel drive accessible. No snowmoenviroblasphemymachine (ya I got one) required.
Smartassedness aside, some weather info:
Search 'Moonridge Weather Underground' click down about 8 pages look for 'RAWS Taylor Park'
For Blue Mesa Res, search Weather Bug Curecanti National Recreation Area,
Find Gunnison Airport Wx on the Colorado Dept of Transport (CDOT) list of airports and mountain pass weather stations. (Your tax dollars at play!)
Please contact a local before snowkiting in my neighborhood of Pointy Peak, we have some great spots , and some issues. Thanks T

chris country
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Re: SW Colorado Snowkite Conditions

Postby chris country » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:12 am

Creede or more specifically, Rito Hondo delivered the goods today. We got there at noon, the sun was trying to peek through, and I rigged up my 8 Envy. It wasn't quite enough so I came back to the car and almost had my 12 Envy rigged when conditions turned to a complete white out. So, out came the 8 again and the 12 went in the bag. At this point, Eric had almost 45 minutes of riding on his 9m Frenzy and I was getting ready to blow a gasket. After getting the 8 up again we pinched upwind for a while and then proceeded to hit both sides of the valley. It was one of the most taxing days of kiting I've ever had though as the snow was crusty and heavy and unless you were lit and unweighting your front foot constantly, the board would submerge under the crust and over the bars you'd go. Plus, the winds backed off and were nice and steady but the 8 in that snow wasn't quite enough. Still though, we had some nice boosts off the multiple levels of hills and carved up numerous wind blown cornices in the little ravines....God, I love that place. I'll try to post some of the pics I got on my wet foggy camera tomorrow.
Tony, thanks for the info BTW.
Chris


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