Okay okay, I’m in denial about the ski season ending, with fresh snow in the Alps this week and much more than a metre just melting away at the top. I’m not quite as motivated as some others who are out there with skins on the skis, climbing up to ski down in slushy snow. For those who don’t think it’s worth it but still want to slide around on snow, there’s snow kiting.
Snow kiting can be done on skis or a snowboard. Pictured is my friend Simon, using his sea kite and his lovely fat skis at the Col des Aravis after the lifts in La Clusaz had closed. Although land kites are more suitable, kite surfers such as Simon with their sea kites can start their summer season early, presuming they have a snowboard or skis and access to snow.
The beauty of this sport is that you can slide on the flat snowy surfaces that nobody else bothers with, and you’re not reliant on a lift system. You are, however, reliant on wind. On top of that, the wind has to be a good wind — something stable and strong enough to keep the kite in the air, but not gale force either. But back to the beauty of this sport. You can do it while the sun is setting with glorious mountains reflecting pink sunlight before day turns to night. If I were able to control a kite that large, I’d definitely be trying this sport. Will kite flying practice help?