Had an epic powder trip out to SW Colorado last week. Two powder days at Purgatory, a couple days snow kiting and then 4 friggin' epic days at Silverton...but this post is about the snow kiting.
Always impressed how friendly kite communities are when you ask for tips and advice. Had at least four folks contact me after my post here and got to snowkite in two beautiful locations. First in Lemon Reservoir with TommyGun and then up Red Mountain Pass with MattHepp.
Matt took took me up to RMP for some truly epic snow kiting conditions. It was pretty humbling, actually, because I have only snow kited on rolling fields, frozen lakes and a couple times at Lizard Head pass. Up high there were entire different skill sets that were new to me. It is definitely not just as simple as taking your water gear and strapping on a snowboard. Learned how you guys will constantly loop the kite to drive up the hill or keep the kite aloft in funky wind. Also experienced the changing wind conditions at different elevations and when you go from the ridge to valleys.
Anyway, I enjoyed the learning experience kiting up the ridge and down the hill in that deep soft powdery snow, but watching Matt snowkite around that playground was a joy. We skinned/snowshoed up to a launch at around 11,500' and he kited up to 12,500'. He has a lot of backcountry experience, superb kite skills, and just made it look so easy. Anyway, I wouldn't go up to terrain like that without some locals so I really appreciated the opportunity. Below are some pics of that day;
Matt on BigMac
A couple days earlier I met up with TommyGun for a powder day at Purgatory (snowboarding) and the following day for some snow kiting at Lemon Reservoir. It was a light day, but was more in line with the type of snow kiting I am used to. Got to play around a bit and see the potential of this park-and-ride kite spot when it really goes off. Apparently this is a pretty reliable location any time you have a sunny day which delivers nice thermal afternoon sessions. Some pics below, didn't get any action shots;
dam end of lemon (typical launch is the far other end)
just a gorgeous day out there!
waiting out a lull
end of a beautiful day. i have no good excuse why that beer isn't a Ska.
Thanks again for the tips, the stoke, and for showing me two of your beautiful kite launches. I can only imagine what the rest of them look like! I know you guys were out enjoying them while I was at Silverton for the remainder of my trip. No regrets, just glad everyone was out enjoying the powder!