Monday at "The Wind Tunnel" Basecamp Site 1

After two days of wandering the snow fields, and doing most anything to keep the mind occupied and spirits up, the plateau finally delivered on Martin Luther King Jr day. The snow cover was near perfect, good fortune really, seeing how the snow fell three days before and would be gone tomorrow. The winds arrived in the early am and the forecast called for a strong southerly all day, just what we had been banking on. The time was now, for us jonesing kite stragglers to ride the expansive terrain and get a taste of that prime snow we had been drooling over for days.

In the early morning the sun was shining with 20+ degree air temps, people were riding straight away, feeling out the conditions with medium and large kites. That did not last long, as noon approached the clouds began to thicken and the south wind ramped up, most small kites were quickly pulled from the quiver and raised to the sky. The 25mph+ winds now made it ideal to explore the far boundaries of the area with little apprehension of having to hike back. Riding amongst the wind turbines is something else, massive twirling sculptures, much like a piece of modern art, working to harness the same power we're after. Their sheer size would distort one's sense of scale and depth, especially when gazing upward towards their props as you turned your kite across the sky. No room for daydreaming on this Kite Rally session tho, the high winds and gusts called for a certain degree of focus and intensity.

When sought out, the wind tunnel area had a good variety of riding options. Powder turns in the deeper drifts down a slope on the backside got high marks, you could park the and kite and carve some flowing S turns with the added help of gravity. A small causeway with heaps of snow was another fun area, although I never really got it dialed in, was ideal for freestyle play. The big hill with the farm pond at it's base and the tower atop was the windiest section and had some jumping/gliding potential, but had lost much of it's snow cover. The small pond was being hit up by a number of kiters and held substantial snow. I only wished we'd had another day of the same wind direction to go deeper into it all.

The day's snowkiting was a blast but also consuming, after too many request from my legs screaming stop! I conceded and called it quits, even tho my head said "there's still fun to be had" -and there was, the remaining kiters who rode on was proof positive of that- but I could stop now, without regret, and bask in the glory of the days kiting along with the rest of the crew. The itch had been scratched and the skunking denied. The long drive home would go easy now as the wait for next years Tug Hill Kite Rally begins...

The following stills are taken from my perspective that day with a go pro helmet cam. I tried to post a variety of pics including landscape/sections kited, kites in the air, MassKiters, snowcover/tracks, as well as any unique shots.