This is a tale of two kiters. It was the best day ever
. It was the worst day ever
Set the stage
Grand Mesa forecast for Sunday is calling for winds at 3 MPH with gusts of 4 MPH, I think the forecast is wrong, if we go out to kite lake I think we're going to have a Katabatic winds that just might be good.
Saturday, So coming back from teaching a class on adaptive snowboarding at Powder Horn ski area, I stopped and checked the wind on top of the Mesa on my way home, not much
. When I ran into some guy who had just walked out over 5 miles of the Grand Mesa. Because he could not get his snowmobile started and unstuck. Lesson learned don't take a 1984 sled back into the deep outback with nobody to back you up or not even sure it runs right. And he had 2 of these pieces of ancient history with no maintenance. Not smart. So being the big-hearted guy I am I agreed to meet him at 11:00 am at Mesa Top parking area and see if I could help get his sled out. It turned out to be very anticlimactic : shot some go juice into his motor started in a few pulls and tied onto his sled to put him back on to the packed trail. Then we went and checked out Kite lake. Wind felt good, rode back to the Parking lot to meet Tom with his sled and Todd who I had planned on towing out to Kite lake when our rescuee offered up his extra sled for Todd. Awesome!!!!
Got back out to Kite lake to find some of the best conditions imaginable. Steady wind, gee I thought I was on the beach never had winds this steady. We were seeing winds at 10 to 12 mph. Conditions where TOTALLY UNTOUCHED POWDER AS FAR AS YOU COULD SEE. It was on average 12" to 16" deep. GO BIG OR GO HOME. MY PHILOSOPHY. I put up my 21 Soul riding my board, Tom put up his 15M, riding his snowboard, Todd blew up his brand new 15M, Sling Shot Turbine, Anybody who had followed my posts might recognize this kite its my first new kite that I bought 4 years earlier. Todd had struggled for years with sub par HQ Apex's and because he has used these kites exclusively. He had no Idea what a well performing kite feels like. Again intimidated by the size of the 15 and his interpretation of wind strength he opted instead to go back to his 10M Apex, with the Turbine sitting there inflated and ready to go.
Remember the beginning of this tale it was the best day ever!! I left my phone with my rescuee who decided to see what this kiting was about. He took some awesome pics. I'm guessing I put in close to 2O miles hit speeds over 25 MPH and had some of the most silly fun jumps ever. Todd said he saw me several times at 15+ feet. I ended it all by exploring all the way from Kite lake 1 to kite lake 3 over a three mile stretch that ended in my first ever long distance 2+ miles downwinder.
Remember this is the tale of 2 kiters. Todd had some kind of miss connect on his lines and never went more than a couple of hundred feet. Tom and I both put in 10 miles plus no problem Todd put in 100' and struggled all day. He is ready to quite. Saying he wants to kite to relax not to get uptight. Well flying JUNK can lead to frustration. Lesson learned I'm going to bring some smaller LEI's that fly well that should help with his anxiety for size. And I'm going to spend time with him until he feels comfortable. Todd and I have been adventuring together since 1984. He's saved my life and I've saved his, we are the best of friends and I'm broken hearted that he has not progressed as I have. I place most of the blame on the POS kites he flies. Sometimes outside things influence our choices and I know economics plays a big part in Todd"s choices.
Any way enough down stuff. I had the best time I have ever had kiting and Tom agreed. BEST DAY EVER ON THE GRAND MESA. The tracks I posted are my best guess where I traveled. Though not even close to the amount of tacks I put in.