7th Big Horn Snowkite Summit by Noah Poritz
Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains have been a magnet for snowkiting for more than a decade. Early in that history of exploring and kiting, the idea of hosting a snowkite event blossomed in the minds of the Jackson Hole Kiters. Within a couple of years, the Summit was born. Every year, kiters from around the US, Canada and Europe arrive in early December for a sampling of the fantastic snowkiting that these beautiful mountains have to offer.
This year’s Summit proved once again how the Big Horn’s are a premier snowkite destination. Hosted by the Wyoming High Country Lodge, the Lodge’s personnel continue to improve the experience. Every detail is covered. In addition to fantastic meals, comfortable rooms, a hot tub and many other amenities, this backcountry lodge has taken the time and effort to offer snowcat transport to the various kite spots and provided a heated trailer for kiters to relax between sessions. They even groomed the launch/landing area for our convenience!
Early October snowstorms blanketed the Big Horns with a mantle of white and this base of snow set up the Summit for success. Daily winds fulfilled the Summiteer’s needs and provided the energy for a superb snowkite experience. On both sides of Big Bald Mountain and the nearby Lil’ Baldy and Rooster Hill, kiters relished the exhilaration of wind power, sunshine and soft snow. From first-time, “never-ever” kiters, to experienced kite masters, everyone came away from this year’s Summit with stories of immense satisfaction. As one beginner shared after her first day of wind powered fun, “I love snowkiting!”
Summiteers enjoyed a wide range of Ozone demo kites during the week: Pure, Explore, Hyperlink, Chrono, Subzero and even a Wasp was buzzing around. One tester, a beginner, loved the Pure so much she bought one there and then! She really liked the predictability and well-mannered behavior of the Pure.
As the week progressed, our collective anticipation grew, a high-wind day became increasingly likely. Sure enough, like clockwork, the last day of the Summit was a small kite day. While some put up 12m kites and boosted to the moon, most of us were on 7, eight and nine meter kites. All-day, right until the sunset, we ranged all over Big Bald Mtn and enjoyed the super-fun times of a high wind day in the Big Horns.