Sunday, February 16, 2014

Whoa, Kite Skiing Is Something!

There’s a whole lotta ways to play on snow. Some involve riding on a chairlift with the crowds and carving down the mountain on your sliding device of choice. (Which I love) Others take you away from the crowds and the sundeck beer stands to find your own way through the mountain forest and meadows. (Which I also love in the form of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing)
One of the latter approaches that I’ve never tried is kite skiing.

No doubt there is specialty gear that allows for the best control. But the principle is to get a kite - paraglider types seem to be the most popular, although they don’t need to be as large as the ones that you use to fly - and you work your control lines to manipulate the kite into pulling you across the snow.
There are many kite surfers in the Bay Area, leaping off the waves. That this is also a seriously effective type of snow transport is evidenced by the fact that kite skiers have skied all the way across Antarctica, thousands of miles.
These pics are of a kite skier on a Tahoe meadow a few days ago. Though the wind was just a decent breeze, this guy was flying!
Talk about fun!

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