Snowkiting at Skyline, Utah

Snowkiting till Dusk

WHO: Dave and Pam – Tahoe Mountain Sports Owners

WHAT: Snowkiting

WHERE: off Skyline Drive, Mt. Pleasant, Utah

WHEN: Late January 2011

GEAR: Ozone Frenzy 11m and 13m Kites, Ozone Base Harness and ContourGPS Helmet Camera

Last week, the Tahoe Mountain Sports adventurous team travelled to Utah for a week of skiing, working and then, of course, snowkiting. We started out at Alta with the Mountain Hardwear crew to test out their new DryQ fabric (more on this in a future blog post), then down to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer and finally to a tiny town 2 hours south of Salt Lake called Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Here is where most would likely say, “You’re going where?” or “Are you crazy? There is nothing down there!” But, little known to the outside world, this is pretty much the Mecca for high-alpine snowkiting… seriously one of the most addicting and exciting sports that exists. Mt. Pleasant also happens to be home base for Ozone Kites‘ USA headquarters and they even have a bar attached to the warehouse (the only bar in the entire county no less).

Skyline is a truly unique place. It’s basically a paved and plowed road, at 10,000 ft. above sea level that runs for about 15 miles. They have a plowed out, huge parking area that is shared by kiters and snowmobilers alike, and they even have an avalanche beacon basin where you can hone your avy search skills.

Heather walking up from the parking area to the launch zone

You can see in the pic that there is a super flat launching area right next to the parking lot and then miles and miles of hills, terrain features and untouched powder (or semi-powder/hardpack when we were there). The best part of Skyline is the huge hill right next to the launching zone and it is just super fun to kite uphill, tack back and forth at the top of for a little while and then pretty much soar down to your hearts and kites content. Day 1 had us kiting in very gusty, storm conditions, and I was on the Frenzy 9m. But, when we woke up on Sunday to bright sunny skies, I was worried the wind was not going to show up. So, we headed up the hill, waited for about 20 minutes through no winds and then BAM, in classic Skyline fashion, we got some light puffs and all of a sudden it was on with 10-15 knot winds making for a perfect light wind, end of vacation session.

I got a killer video of Brian (co-owner of Ozone USA/Windzup) ripping it up in front of me and then we both got a little hang time right at the end of the vid, though I didn’t quite land it! Here it is:

Pam getting ready to rip it up
Brian riding along
Snowkiting Skyline
Snowkiting Skyline
Dave Laying it out during the storm conditions of Day 1
Heading down the hill

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