What a day!
Seven of us met up at Albertson's, J, Steve,
Kris, Bob, Dana, Shannan and I at 8:00. We got to Soldier Mtn about
10:30, just before the snow hit. We found lots of powder stashes
and had a great time inspite of the total lack of visibility, Around
2:00 we went in for some lunch, and someone noticed the lifts had
stopped. The cold front had come, bringing wicked NW winds, causing them
to close the mountain. Fine by us, we were ready to check out the
kiting scene anyway. Bob, Kris and Dana headed for home
We looked at the golf course down the road fromt
he ski hill, but it was pretty gusty, so we went on to the snowmo park.
on the way, the sky would clear and it would look awesome, then 5 minutes
later it would get socked in and snow like a mother, then clear, then
snow... We got to the park, J and I rigged small, but immediately
went back for the big guns. Steve was smart and started on his
14m. we were having a kick ass time. Steve and I were working our
way up wind, hitting all the favorite spots. I could see J from
time to time riding back and forth near the parking lot. The winds were
a bit light, but at least we could see for the most part. I was keeping
an eye on the horizon, because I didn't want to get caught by one of
those nasty squalls. Eventually, the wind picked up and the light was
getting better. It was becoming an epic session. I was getting caught up
in the experience, just cruising back and forth, jumping all over the
place. I quit keeping an I out for that nasty squall.
Sure enough, the bastard hit us, 35+ wind,
wicked turbulant gusts, and total white out. I had just made it
over to Steve and said we had better get the f*** outta here. His kite
was down but not for long, mine was yanking the shit out of me and nearly
uncontrolable. I dropped my kite, and started hauling it in. Steve
shot past and said he was heading for the road. I considered just waitng
for the squal to pass, but who really knows how long that might be... I
opted for packing up, slapping my climbing skins on and pulling out the ol'
GPS. We were maybe half a mile West of the parking lot when the shit hit
the fan. Steve made it to the road, though he almost found it by
crashing onto it in the blizzard. I hiked straight to the parking
lot. On the way, the snow let up and I saw Steve on the road, and J's
kite near the parking lot. I was relieved that we had all managed to
survive. J had some issues landing in the storm and had to cut the
kite loose. The good news is it didn't get away, it landed at the far
corner of the parking lot. My wife, Shannan, who was snoozing in the
truck, was instrumental in the final stages of the search and
rescue. She gave J a ride to look for his kite, and
spared Steve some of his long walk back down the highway. Lessons
learned were: If the weather is at all questionable, have a GPS,
know how all the Safeties work on your kite, and have a plan for self
What an awesome way to spend a B'day!
Everything had gone according to plan, with the fine powder skiing in the
morning, the switching of the winds and clearing skies right after lunch, the
good kiting session, and the bonus of some high adventure thrown in on
top. I wish everyday was my Birthday.
Thanks to everyone who came along. I hope
y'all had as good a time as I did!
Hawk and Graig, what did you guys find in the