Noah Poritz - The New Year
Even before the New Year began, snowkiters in the Northern Rocky Mountains were feeling the love of abundant snowfall and windy days. The issue, however, is sometimes this primo snow and winds are hundreds of miles apart. The solution: Roadtrip!
This month I have logged a couple thousand miles chasing the wind and snow with my Ozone Summits. I’m not alone in my pursuit. Kiters from around the country come to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to kite fantastic terrain, soft snow and reliable wind. With such extraordinary choices it can be a daunting problem of deciding, “Where do I go kite today?”
This month started off with sessions at Bondurant in western Wyoming. Deep snow, expansive terrain and rock steady wind were daily there. A short 2 hour drive brought me to eastern Idaho’s Antelope Flats. When high pressure weather shuts down wind across the West, there will be wind here at the Flats. Having nearby Heise Hot Springs to soak after kiting makes one want to stay around here a while.
The reliable spots of Island Park, Idaho and adjacent Raynolds Pass were frequent stops this month. Deep, cold smoke powder was abundant. Also enroute was a day kiting the surreal terrain of the St. Anthony sand dunes. I was lucky to get a session there.
My home town of Bozeman, Montana has had enough snow this winter to allow sessions all around our mountain valley. Park-N-Ride kiting a few minutes from home is hard to beat. In remote eastern Montana I’ve even driven to some out-of-the-way ranch lands to kite this month, just because I can.
Lastly, there are the backcountry spots that having a snowmobile in the West makes life so sweet. In Europe, roads take one to the highest passes to kite. Here in the Rockies, one needs a sled to access kite spots 15, 20 miles deep in the backcountry. The feeling of shutting off the snowmobile and launching a kite miles and miles away from any road is electric. We have had some great backcountry sessions this month and each time out we learn more and more as to where the next-best-kite-spot is.
January is the heart of winter. Sometimes the cold days make snowkiting a little more effort. However, the abundant snow makes it all worth it. Next time you are thinking of where your next kite road trip should be, remember the northern Rockies.
Thanks for reading and see ya out there,