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Foiled Again

By Ann Driggers

It’s been a wee while since I wrote my first and only post about kiting. Kiting silence on the blog does not reflect reality. I have been able to get out and practice a fair few times both in the park and on the snow. However the conditions haven’t always been too favorable with winds either dead calm or close to hurricane force. Of course I have had plenty of fun trying, whether snoozing in the grass at Canyon View waiting for the wind to pick up, shooting across a snowy meadow whilst being lashed by willows, or scattering geese on the thawing ice of Lake Dillon. Indeed entertainment has not been in short supply, but progress has.

Kiting at Canyon View or Waiting for the Wind.

Canyon View Kiting 001.JPG

However, an opportunity to proceed beyond the comedy show recently beckoned. I was invited to receive a lesson from the best snowkiting instructors in the country, who happened to stop by the Mesa one afternoon this week. Furthermore conditions promised to be good with a forecast for 10 to 15 mph winds and a recent dump of fresh powder providing a soft landing for the inevitable wipeouts. With great anticipation I drove up the Mesa. But upon arriving at the Lands End Road the weather forecast looked kind of wrong. Actually it was very wrong. A quick check of the anemometer revealed sustained winds in the low 20’s with gusts of 30 mph. The temps were in the single digits, wind chills were well below zero and it was snowing about an inch per hour. Uggh! 

Still, all the students were very enthusiastic, as were the instructors, so we headed out into the meadow to begin our lessons.

Enthusiasm withstands the nasty weather.

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We were barely 30 minutes into the proceedings before I had a white patch growing on my cheek - the first signs of frost nip. I had to return to the warmth of the truck to take care of it. After that I had a very hard time getting warm again and the weather continued to be pretty nasty, so my afternoon was spent hunkered down inside.

My view for the majority of the afternoon. Yes, that does say 9 F at 3:08 p.m. Lovely springtime weather!

Mesa Snow Kiting 026.JPG

So unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make much in the way of progress but I did manage to snap some photos of the pros ripping across the snow. Hopefully I will luck out soon and the right weather conditions will coincide with my kiting attempts. I swear it wont be long before I too am jetting through the powder behind a kite. The pros show us how its done:

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They have some fine tricks too...

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And some goofy ones....

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