I can’t begin to express the mood throughout Tahoe over the past month. After a five year hiatus, the snow has finally returned! The drought has done both good and bad things for the moral of Tahoe folks over the years. Some have forgotten how rought winter here can be and are reeling with the repercussions of the impacts that these storms can have on daily life while others, myself included, are grateful for winter’s return and are basking in all it has to offer. Lately, a slew of snow covered grins can be found frolicking throughout the mountains. What does this mean for Tahoe snowkiting, you might ask? In addition to loads of great snow and an abundance of windy days due to all the low pressure systems, it ultimately means that the amount of snowkiting terrain that Tahoe normally has to offer has doubled or even tripled. These systems have been very generous not only in their amounts of snowfall, but also in their low snow levels. Many of these storms have also blanketed Nevada in snow, making it one of the most prime snowkite locations on earth. Nevada has a treeless “Mars like” landscape and with solid snow coverage, it has been a pleasure to explore with a kite. All in all, the Sierra Nevada’s are the place to be this winter.
Shovel, eat, kite, ski, shovel, eat, sleep, ski, kite….. you get the idea. As I sit here on another stormy morning writing this, I’m hurried by the sound of the wind and a fresh blanket — 6-8” of new snow. I would invite any and all to come join in the epic snowkite season. I’ve been loving my new F-One Bandit X’s and have been putting an amazing amount of miles on these kites. Everything from big airs to farming pow turns to large glides, it has been a top notch performer. As far as kiting locations go, I would really push people to get out and explore new terrain. This is the season to do so. If it looks kiteable it probably is. Just keep in mind avalanche safety in addition to wilderness safety as well.
A few notable locations to check off your list in the Tahoe area would be as follows:
- North Lake: Prosser Reservoir, the North side of Martis Valley
- South Lake: Hope Valley
- Mammoth area: the east side of Conway summit.
Words by Tyler Brown // Photos by Matt Bansak: mattbansak.com