Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 18 of the 2015 season: Snowkite at Milner Beach another surprise session - Wishing for some freshies

Closing out February with a surprise quickie session. Had to alter some plans after I realized it was windy out. I didn't have my phone with me so I didn't realized I was getting wind alerts. Caught me off guard... that's a first.
I got out by 3 and by 4:30 was back in due to previous plans. Rare SE winds to 20 made for easy riding although hard pack conditions made it a workout.
Craig joined in about 4 and got in his mandatory hour. Overall not to bad just wishing for some fresh snow.

Highlight: Again another quickie surprise session.
Didn't expect this and the forecast
didn't forecast it 
TOW:  Small window of opportunity - 1.15 hours (3:00-4:15)
Gear:  11M 
Water Conditions: Areas of  blown powder on top of an older crusty base
Weather:   16 degrees, bluebird
Wind:  Rare SE winds up to 20 MPH - decent winds - enough to do it all
Schooled:   My Favorite - Parking the kite while doing downwind runs.

Bluebird day

Milner Beach 2-28-2015
Max Speed: 18.4 MPH
Distance: 10.8 MI
Duration: 1:17 hour

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 17 of the 2015 season: Snowkite - Milner surprise session with mostly crusty conditions

Surprise session, with a forecast of 5-15 from the north I didn't expect much. I didn't see anything happening until 2 o'clock . That's when I got a wind alert from SCS Harbor saying the wind cracked 15 mph from the northeast - perfect, so I thought. First off, I got a 2:30 dental appointment to finish off.
Got done with that and by 3:15 I was walking to the Milner launch about 100 yards out on the lake. Rigged the 11M and launched at 3:54. Good winds until about 5:15, that's when Craig the wind killer arrived.

Highlight: Surprise session - didn't expect this and the forecast didn't forecast it 
TOW:  1.15 hours (4:00-5:15)
Gear:  11M 
Water Conditions: Untouched areas of lite blown powder on top of an older crusty base
Weather:   10 degrees, mostly clear
Wind:  Gusty up to 20 MPH from the N- NNE - decent winds - enough to do it all
Schooled:   My Favorite - Parking the kite while doing downwind runs. See video clip

Milner 2/26/15
MAX SPEED: 16.99 mph
SKI DISTANCE: 10.39 miles
TOW: 1:20 hour (4:00-5:15)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 16 of the 2015 season: Snowkite Lake Leelanau, Bingham Park launch

Craig and I avoided the tracked areas of the TC kite festival on Lake Leelanau. Launched up wind from the festival, finding areas of untracked snow for our enjoyment. Snow squalls moving in and out increased the wind speed to full depowered mode. Took a down wind run to the Bingham boat launch and checked out the festival. About 20 or so kiters freeriding when we got there. The snow conditions there were all tracked out with some crustiness.

Gear for the day
Highlight: Untouched areas of wind blown powder - easy downwind slalom runs.
TOW:  3.0 hours (12:00- 3:00)
Gear:  9M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Untouched areas of blown powder on top of an older solid base
Weather:   COLD - 5 degrees, snow squalls
Wind:  Gusty up to 30 MPH from the NNW- NW - plenty of wind although fluky on the inside near launch site
Schooled:   Parking the kite while doing downwind runs

GT Light data - 15 miles north

TRACK 2/22/15
MAX SPEED 16.62 mph
SKI DISTANCE 22.22 miles

Tearing down

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day 15 of the 2015 season: Snowkite MetroBeach Another Surprise Session

Stayed mostly on the terrain area of the beach due to better surface conditions. Ventured out on the ice only to find tracked ice pack, ice and some decent areas of hard pack for riding.

Highlight of the day: Surprise session - a narrow
band of  drifted powder along shoreline made the day
TOW:  1.5 hour (2:30-4:00)
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Icy tracks from snowmobiles, ice,
untouched areas of hard pack and a  narrow band of
drifted powder along shoreline.
Weather:   20ish degrees clear skies
Wind:  Up to 20 MPH from the SW - just enough
Schooled:   Parking the kite while doing downwind runs

MB 2/17/2015
MAX SPEED: 14.42 mph 
SKI DISTANCE: 11.09 miles

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 14 of the 2015 season: Snowkite Crystal Lake - Freezing rain, 1/4 inch of ice on top of whatever was there before


Freezing rain on top of small amount of snow. Wind scoured bare ice spots with frozen ice spikes sticking through. Horrible conditions for snow kiting. Cut my time short due to these conditions.
At least I got to try out a new venue, the beach on the southern end of Crystal Lake. In the town of Beulah, MI.

Highlight of the day: Ice carving
TOW:  .5 hour
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Diamond Plate Ice.
Weather:   30ish degrees and a black and a white day, blowing snow 
Wind:  Up to 25 MPH from the NNW - just enough
Schooled:   Nothing

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 13 of the 2015 season:Snowkite - Crusty Ice carving - Milner Beach

An early morning session proved to be an ice carving session. After a warm spell, a quick freeze and a little freezing rain added to the top of the crusty snowpack. It made conditions sub-par to say the least.
Although it was a fast day and it required a minimal workout  - it was easy to set an edge but the fun factor was nulled by the unforgiving conditions. You didn't want to be dragged across today's snowpack - it would of felt bad.

No photo shop here - this is a Michigan black and white winter

Highlight of the day:  Not much, an epic ice carving day if anything.
TOW:  9:00-10:15 (1:15 hour)
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: The warm spelled thawed the powder then a little bit of freezing rain on top, made for a crusty snow pack.
Weather:   21 degrees and a black and a white day 
Wind:  up to 18 MPH from the NNE - just enough
Schooled:   Nothing

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 12 of the 2015 season: Metro Beach - Snowkite - Sneaker session with endless, bottomless, wind blown powder

Endless Powder

Highlight of the day:  Quiet and smooth, no ice carving today.
Down wind runs in wind blown powder.
TOW:  2:00-4:00 (2:00 hour)
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Wind blown bottomless powder
Weather:   25+ degrees and  bluebird day  
Wind:  up to 18 MPH from the WSW - just enough
Schooled:   Parking the kite and doing a down wind slalom and working on opposite toe side.

Got lucky with the light breezes - just enough to make it work.
Craig showed up around 3 but by then the breeze was lightening up and by 4 it was quitting time.
Sounds like the midnight riders got a good session in from midnight to 3:30 AM. With reports of several kiters getting
out and enjoying a full moonlit session.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 11 of the 2015 season: The Day After the big nor'easter - a quickie fresh powder snowkite day at Milner

The day after the big nor'easter. Once I got my drive way cleared I was able to catch a session at Milner Beach. With the ever persistence Craig.
Winds were side off, shifting and dropping in speed. We made it work, having a few good downwind runs thru the course of deep soft drifts. Then beating back upwind to do it again, when the wind cooperated.
Overall worth the rigging for this rare day. Hoping more to come.

Highlight of the day:  Quiet and smooth, no ice carving today.
Enjoyable down wind runs in deep fresh powder.
TOW:  1:00-2:00 (1:00 hour)
Gear:  11M and Burton Hero
Water Conditions: Fresh powder up to 20 inches worth
Weather:   20+ degrees and  bluebird day  
Wind:  10-20 MPH from the NW - Light slightly offshore winds but Craig and I made it work
Schooled:   Parking the kite and doing a down wind slalom  - just like going down hill on a blue run.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day 10 of the 2015 season: Epic Snowkite Milner Beach

Craig, Chris, John and myself logged an epic day.
Solid 9.0 plus winds with a wind driven snow storm occurring.
Plenty of downwind runs with a bonus upwind run to Veteran's Park and a tiring down wind ride back.

Highlight of the day:  Imagine a 24 mile down hill black/blue run for nearly 4 hours
TOW:  12:00 - 4:00 ( nearly 4 hours)
Gear:  9M and Snowboard
Water Conditions: Fresh snow drifts up to a foot with a half inch of scoured snow on top of ice.  
Weather: A once a year Nor'easter Snowstorm with 8+ inches falling during the session. and winds to 30 MPH
Wind:  15-30 MPH from the NE
Schooled:  Parking the kite and doing the down winders.