Friday, March 24, 2017

Session 13 of the 2017 season: Opening day for me at my home launch

Metrobeach with it's dirty water and dooming effect came alive today.
I barely saw a whitecap the entire 2.5 hours but the wind was up high.
With the temperatures nearing the mid-60s all of the warm air rose above the cold stable water surface.
Overall not a bad day, had some periods of working hard to get back upwind from the beach area. Not the steadiest of winds but fun lofting the kite and slashing a few swells. There was about a dozen kiters on kite sizes 11 thru 17M.

TOB:  1:30 - 4:00 non-stop                  
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  hardly a white cap 
Weather:   mid-60s with thin overcast
Wind:  up high within the 11M range
Highlights:  floating boosts

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.

  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 DISTANCE 11.00 miles

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Session 11 of the 2017 snowkite season: Island Park Idaho - the sun is shining

Wind blown conditions on a meadow near Island Park Idaho
Craig and I decided to take a day off from riding Big Sky and do some snowkiting.
Took a suggestion from Kyle and headed to Island Park just across the Idaho border.
There we found meadows of snow covered terrain to kite on. The hills were a treat - I never kited up or down hills before. The snow conditions were near excellent with wind blown powder and plenty of it. Mostly sunny conditions with blowing and drifting snow  

  1:00 - 3:00
Gear:    11M Z1 and Burton Board
Water Conditions:  (snow conditions)   Wind blown snow up to 10 inches deep on a solid base
Weather:   Mostly sunny, blowing, drifting snow 15-20 degrees
Wind:  mainly southern winds 20-30 mph
Highlights: wide open  hilly terrain at 6500 feet above sea level

TRACK snow kite island park Idaho
MAX SPEED 22.34 mph
SKI DISTANCE 20.56 miles