Saturday, March 4, 2017

Session 12 of the 2017 Snowkite Season: Island Park Idaho - whiteouts and blustery conditions



Whiteout conditions in howling winds

Craig and decided to take the day off from Big Sky snowboarding to indulge in some snowkiting.
The wind forecast looked good for snowkiting at Island Park and not good for snowboarding at Big Sky.  (Too windy).
So we hit up the Island  Park area, rigged our 9M kites and rode out in poor visibility. Occasional we would see some sunlight which enabled us to see the terrain. We did locate a drop off we were warned about, which was actually a hill shaped like a wave. Riding on this terrain was a change from snow covered lake riding. The hill could actually be ridden like a wave, carving on top and then riding down hill and carving a bottom turn. Did that a few times until the light got bad again and couldn't make out the hill, (wave) from the horizon.
Finally a snow squall blasted through dropping heavy snow with whiteout conditions and increasing the wind speeds to beyond my 9M limits. We both struggle to get in and land our kites in the estimated 40+ mph squall.
Overall a wet, poor visibility day  - not highly rated for sure. The brief runs on the wave were different and fun but that was about it.

TOB:
  1:00 - 2:15
Gear:    9M Z and Burton Board
Water Conditions:  (snow conditions)   Wind blown snow on a solid base, some wind scoured spots
Weather:   cloudy, snow, blowing snow, drifting snow and whiteouts, 30-35 degrees
Wind:  mainly southern winds 20-40 mph
Highlights: wide open, hilly terrain at 6500 feet above sea level, poor visibility, white out conditions and too windy during a snow squall.


TRACK snowkite island park Saturday 3/4
MAX SPEED 20.18 mph
SKI AVERAGE SPEED 10.62 mph
SKI DISTANCE 11.00 miles