Places to Snow Kite

Places to Snow Kite
Snowkiting, an alternative to more traditional snow sports, allows you to harness the power of the wind to ride skis or a snowboard over snow-covered terrain. Unlike skiing and snowboarding, snowkiting doesn't require mountainous terrain; it merely requires a combination of wind and a flat, open snowy surface. Since this activity is a natural fit for the back country or on frozen waterways, you don't need to travel to a resort or very far from home. That said, there are a number of places around the U.S. that offer ideal conditions.

Powder Mountain, Utah

A huge ski resort that contains more terrain for skiing than any other in the U.S. (when taking cat and hike-to/shuttle terrain into consideration), Powder Mountain in Utah is home to the Best Snowkite Center. The resort offers snowkite packages, lift tickets, rentals and lessons. Powder Mountain also receives 500 inches of snow a year, so cover isn't an issue. Powder plays host to the SuperFly Open, a snowkite competition in March that offers a great chance to watch snowkiters. The Open also offers free clinics open to the public. Another popular spot to snowkite in the area is the Pineview Reservoir, which is located just minutes from the resort.

Powder Mountain
8000 N 5100 E
Eden, Utah 84310
(801) 745-3772
www.powdermountain.com

Mt. Haggin, Montana

Montana is one of the premier snowkiting destinations in the country, and Mt. Haggin is a reason. Housed in a long valley, Mt. Haggin provides many varieties of terrain to snowkiters, including powder fields and natural halfpipes. The area has played host to the annual Montana Snowkite Rodeo and receives 200 inches of snow during good years. Montana Kite Sports is the place to look for lessons and equipment.

Montana Kite Sports
405 3rd Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 459-6898
www.montanakitesports.com

Chaumont Bay, New York

Located in upstate New York on Lake Ontario, Chaumont Bay lays claim to being the largest freshwater bay in the world. The bay provides reliable winds for snowkiting. For lessons, information and equipment, T.I. Adventures in nearby Clayton, N.Y. is the place to head. Tug Hill is another popular destination in the area, which is known for receiving up to 250 inches of snow per year. The season generally begins in January.

T.I. Adventures
38714 NYS State Rt. 12E
Clayton, NY 13624
(315) 686-2500
www.tiadventures.com

Lake Champlain, Vermont

A Northeast area where skiing and snowboarding are always on people's minds, Lake Champlain borders Vermont, New York and Quebec. The lake's bays freeze early and thaw late, and in many years the entire lake will freeze. Located between the Green Mountains (Vermont) and the Adirondacks (New York), Lake Champlain is subject to enough wind for snowkiting throughout the winter. Stormboarding is the go-to source for snowkiting in the area, providing equipment and lessons. The store also sponsors Kitestorm, an annual snowkiting event.

Stormboarding
216 Lake St #204
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 578.6120
www.stormboarding.com

Minnesota

Minnesota is an example of a place that receives plenty of wind and snow, but its lack of mountainous terrain puts it off the map for serious skiing and snowboarding. However, those conditions and abundant flat, open areas ("Land of 10,000 Lakes") make it an ideal spot for snowkiting. Some options include the twin-city-area Lake Calhoun and Swede Lake, which are west of Minneapolis. These popular destinations are easily accessible from St. Paul and Minneapolis. Typical season is from December to March in Swede Lake and January to April in Lake Calhoun. In Minneapolis, you can find lessons and equipment at The Scuba Center.

Scuba Center
5015 Penn Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419
(651) 681-8434
www.scubacenter.com

Resources

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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