The SF Race Crew heads to Skyline Utah for a Snowkiting Mission
A bunch of the San Francisco Bay kiting crew headed out to Skyline Utah for a weekend of snowkiting. Johnny, Chip, and I left the Bay Area Thursday night in a 1990 Suburban, that was recently recovered at the junkyard after being stolen 7 weeks prior. Anyways, by the time we were passing thru Salt Lake City, everyone else had landed and were on a simliar time schedule to make it for the Friday afternoon session at Skyline Ridge.
It was a complete white out at the top of the ridge so we made the executive decision to head down to Electric Lake, where the visibility was greater and the wind was quite a bit calmer. We were are group of 16 people, rigging in the middle of the road and the girls winking at the snowplow each time he drove by to. Many of us had never snowkited, so it was a good day to go over the basics with friends, and try to explain the differences important to kiting in the snow versus the water. The waist deep snow was so soft! By the late afternoon, many newbies had figured out how to kite to the top of the hill, and even if they hadn’t, they wore a grin all night.
Day 2 was everyone’s highlight. Even without coffee in the house (oh no!), we made it to the hill by 11. We were graced with a light breeze and blue skies for the first part of the day, before the snow started falling and the visibility dropped to almost nothing. Everyone had a successful day, meaning they made it back to the point at which they started. Johnny (17m Edge), my boyfriend (17m Edge), and I (13m Edge) started our second session late in the afternoon, and kited out in the whiteness. This is when the gliding began. The jumps started out small, check out this teaser VIDEO, and increased to approximately double the hang time with greater height and distances. One person would hit the takeoff with speed, and start flying into the white abyss below. We would be looking down at the trees, which were probably 40ft tall, and just gliding effortlessly through the air. There was a fun updraft a bit into the jump which, when we’d pull in our bar a bit, would lift us up even higher. We’re working on bettering our safety systems and creating redundancies for all breakable components of our gear.
At the bottom of the hill, I would land in super soft pow (more often than not crashing, faceplanting, and tumbling), look back up at the hill, and see someone appear, flying effortlessly through the air, barely moving their kite, but in such perfect control it was incredible. We had to limit our jumps because of the road, which in these conditions acted as a barrier we weren’t willing to cross. The three of us lapped the hill, kites pulling us uphill under a minute, taking a few breaths at the top, before taking turns for the takeoff.
No one saw us, everyone was warming up in the cars in the parking lot, though only a few hundered meters away, it never cleared up enough for us to have witnesses. So how high were we getting? How long were our jumps? I’m not sure, but all I know is that I’m hooked, and can’t freaking wait for my next snowkiting trip!
Here’s the link to Erin’s pics of the trip. He got some amazing shots!