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Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

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knewschool
Medium Poster
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
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Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby knewschool » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:17 pm

The Buffalo Plateau in Absaroka Mountains, Wy is a massive plateau that is likely the largest snowkite area in the Continental USA. It’s a fairly high plateau between 10,000 and 11,000 feet the entire way across. Predictable Winds and often the best snowpack in the country made this one of our kiting goals years ago. Its approach is quite a challenge for such a huge area. Next to some marshlands in Louisiana it contains a point further from any road in the continental US. We’ve loaded up and attempted about 5 times. Many sticky situations lost in the woods and even spent the night with Pascal and Wayne where we found some sweet snow caves left from some winter campers of some sort.

That evening of the overnighter 2 years ago was a success in a sense because I kited SE wind on the approach of the plateau about 12 miles into the adventure. We planned for that SE wind knowing it would hit the plateau with massive lift. I pumped right up and took off exploring thinking Wayne and Pascal were right behind me. They always beat me to climbing the steeps first and navigate tight spots that I sometimes ski instead of kite. I therefore felt pressure to hurry and discover where we were. I ultimately slipped off this steep slope leading to a massive glide over trees and cliffs with no landing in mind. It turned out fine, I just had to compose myself to veer across this valley and land as high as possible so I had a kitable route back. For me that moment was one of the most amazing in my life, I could barely get any sleep that night in the snow cave I was so exhilarated.

Now, we’ve pushed it one step further in success. It’s basically taken us each getting sleds and spending time learning to ride them hard.

I saw the forecast coming and talked Clint into sledding the route with me the day before to make sure a couple of spots were passable before I rallied the group. We got about 15miles in to where there’s this huge steep slope. We turned back there for the day, but I knew we had a shot coming back ready with some strong sledneck skills and man power. Me Benji, Fox, Pascal, and Wayne were the crew for this day.

Once we all arrived at that steep slope Benji believed it possible and gave it a go. The climb is about 100’ with a nearly vertical top. The right side falls off to cliffs dropping 1000’ down, and the other side rolls off to a bottomless ravine that’s a horrible avalanche trap. After watching Benji pull off the drop in and climb back out we all reluctantly went for it. After that we were scared the entire time about having to climb back out. Another 3 miles of carefully breaking trail through trees and Avy terrain getting stuck a handful of times and boom! We made it!
What a day to leave my camera in the car. I snapped a few just so you’d believe we made it with my phone camera.

Now the Goal is to make it further. Yount’s peak area is my hope. Leaving the sleds at the Wilderness Boundary and kiting from there for about 15miles taking overnight gear and hopefully remembering my camera. I hope to camp at the base of some epic kite climbable peaks.

Cheers! - Will
Attachments
Buf1.jpg
Clint Green on the day before mission.
Buf2.jpg
Gettin close.
Buf3.jpg
The Gateway to the Plateau.
Buf4.jpg
Miles to go.
buf5.jpg
Pascal in the pow.
buf6.jpg
Looking towards Yount's peak.
buf7.jpg
GoogleEarth_Image.jpg
Looking towards the goal. Red line is the route.

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Djoubs
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Local Beach: Jackson beach
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Location: Jackson Wy
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby Djoubs » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:04 pm

Thanks Will !
Your story are as good as your pics !
:jump: 12 !

waynepjh
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby waynepjh » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:32 pm

That was a special day!! :) here is a few pics I took!
Attachments
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cresent mt-134.jpg (128.78 KiB) Viewed 1625 times
cresent mt-104.jpg
cresent mt-104.jpg (55.04 KiB) Viewed 1625 times
cresent mt-40.jpg
cresent mt-40.jpg (46.95 KiB) Viewed 1625 times
cresent mt-7.jpg
cresent mt-7.jpg (33.41 KiB) Viewed 1625 times

whiteout
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby whiteout » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:27 am

siiiiik POW stash

rvrrat
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Local Beach: Garrett County Md.
Favorite Beaches: Sinks of Gandy WVa,Tug Hill, NY; Skyline Ut; Island Park, Id; Cape Hatteras NC; Cape May NJ
Style: Telemark Ski
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby rvrrat » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:41 am

:cool2: WOW, great backcountry sesh. That is intense. That far into the woods to get the goods. Thanks for sharing the experience. Very cool, JR

windrupted
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Local Beach: North Beach, Barney Line, The Wood in Ventucky, Island Park Idaho and Mt Hagin MT
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby windrupted » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:46 am

Hey Wow!

You JH Kiters are killing it. Billy Boardy too, you people are fearless huckers. Fearless.The light, the snow, the crazy route. The mighty glides. Absolute ragged edge. I am coming out, take me out there......either way, lets go play. 310-617-3699 Dave

knewschool
Medium Poster
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
Contact:

Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby knewschool » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:13 am

Thanks for the positive vibes guys! That'll help us keep pushing for more interesting places and big adventures!

Windrupted, throw a message up on Jackson Hole Kiters on Facebook when you're getting close.

windrupted
Frequent Poster
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:14 am
Kiting since: 2007
Local Beach: North Beach, Barney Line, The Wood in Ventucky, Island Park Idaho and Mt Hagin MT
Favorite Beaches: G-Land (Plenkung Point)
Style: Waves, Goofy or Switch
Gear: Craigslist
Brand Affiliation: Charles Shaw

Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby windrupted » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:54 pm

Can't seem to conquer facebook from my phone. I wanted to shralp IP "waves" on the impending N winds but yesterday baked a nice crusty finish on all the low stuff. You got any higher windlips that take a north? Looking at the coastal buoys it really slammed hard. 5 meter wind in 5 minutes....

luke11
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Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby luke11 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:03 pm

YES! That looks so sweet. Good job guys. :thumb:

Windgumby
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Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:42 pm
Kiting since: 2006
Local Beach: Bighorns, Beartooths, Pryors
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Location: Cody, WY

Re: Conquering the Mighty Buffalo Plateau

Postby Windgumby » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:17 am

Thanks for the stoke... I've been slacking this year and really need to explore more. My back yards in NW Wyoming have so much to offer. Thanks again.

This is why I still live here. :thumb:


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