White Kite #4
The 2011 december issue of the White Kite Journal.
The 2011/2012 winter picture certiﬁed journaL 2011 december issue Lautaret : November sessions 2012 Frenzy Ultralite Trois Evêchés. Vintage : Norway 2005 USA 2011 : FISH LAKE 2011/2012 winter picture certiďŹ ed Laurent Hemard Shop Kites and Boards Phil Grab Lautaret Pass 2011-11-12th COntents Lautaret : November sessions The sessions we had during this last november in Lautaret 2012 Frenzy Ultralite Introducing the new 2012 Ozone Frenzy Ultralite Trois Eveches Our only one session to the mythical spot Les Trois EvĂŞchĂŠs Vintage : Norway 2005 Into each issue of White Kite, a trip we had long time ago USA 2011 : Fish Lake A snowkiting session with snowmobiles in Utah wk Francis Richard Cool gliding Les Trois Eveches Lautaret Pass 2011-11-11 2011/2012 winter certiﬁed 2011/2012 winterpicture picture certiﬁed editOrial Early december now, the (ﬁrst) ski resorts are just opening. Everywhere on the medias, TV, facebook, news, the same message «Let’s go to the ﬁrst ski resorts open. Yehaa. Super. Crazy. Yahwoo.» But... Hey guys, open your mind, we are cruising on snow with our kites for more than the past two monthes now. Ah, ah, ah... The ﬁrst issue of White Kite was a repot at the Iron Cross Pass (Col de la Croix de Fer) on last september 20th with fresh powder. Well, so this jounal is mainly about our way of skiing, snowboarding, safe gliding, freeriding, backcountry sessions, having freestyle tricks, cruising around on snow, drawing our own track without anybody around, far from the avalanche risks, the real freedom of skiing, I mean SNOWKITING !!!! In this issue #4 of WK, I will speak about our sessions here in France at the Lautaret Pass during past november, especially showing the mythical spot Les Trois Evêchés we can reach when the south-east wind is blowing, I will introduce the new 2012 Frenzy Ultralite, the Vintage page will show a journey we had in Norway on 2005 with the Ozone team, and as last report, we’ll go for a snowkiting session with snowmobiles on a plateau where no kiters went before, that was in Utah, near Fish Lake, on 2011 february. OK, it seems that the snow will come to our french Alps tomorrow december 4th. Great news. Next issue #5 of WK will bring amazing reports with powder sessions. Have big time dudes. Always take care with your kite in the mountains. Cheers. :-) Pascal Lautaret Our november The further pages will show our sessions we had last november, on the only one snowkiting spot in France during this beginning of winter. The most of us are living pretty far from the Lautaret but we have to drive upthere if we want to go snowkiting. Early november, the snowfall was cool, we had fresh snow as you can see on the photos here. On the right, Francis Richard is cruising close to the Pass, behind the ****Hotel des Glaciers. The picture below shows me during the ďŹ rst session of the year at the Lautaret, it was with super light wind and the area is called Le Jardin Alpin. 2011/2012 winter pictures certiďŹ ed sessions pass wk But the warm wind was blowing for ﬁve days right after the ﬁrst snowshower. The good fresh powder snow we saw on the ﬁrst picture was melting super fast. Then we had three difﬁcult weeks with only some parts of snow mixed with large ﬁelds as you can see on the pict above. Anyway, we were lucky to keep snowkiting while no snow was available anywhere in the Alps below 3.500m. So we went to the Pass about twice per week, trying to ﬁnd some safe places with the best snowpack as possible. The main place remained the slopes just right to the Jardin Alpin and we had some sessions with only 3 knots blowing. It was not the perfect conditions for cruising, neither for long backcountry route. I have to tell that the weather forecast was often wrong. As you do know, every snowkiter here at the Lautaret is expecting to see the south/east wind blowing. This is the only one wind-direction which allows us to go on the long way up to the mythical spot Les Trois Evêchés. And our friend Windguru was showing super nice south/east arrows for more than one full week, with a strength of wind about 12-15 knots. Of course, as you know Windguru, this forecast was wrong all the time. That’s the reason why we went so many times, driving far from Grenoble or even more, to get to the Lautaret. Every time we were so excited when thinking to get to Les Trois Evêchés. But, once at the pass, no south/east wind at all, only south or sometimes even super gusty north, and only 2-4 knots. So, most of the time we had to stay near the road, trying to ﬁnd a place for snowkiting a little bit. By this way, the main thing was to have some gliding time. Nothing else really interesting was possible. The picture on the right shows my friend Jeff gliding close to the snow, as the new way of ﬂying with a kite. Jeff Blachon Lautaret Pass 2011-11-12th wk v During this special november, with only some parts of hard, icy snow, we were lucky to get to the Pass on mondays, tuesdays, thursdays, you know, and we tried to avoid the week-end as so so many snowkiters came from everywhere in France, even from Switzerland, Italy, that was crazy. On sunday there were so many kites in the air, we never saw so many people at the Lautaret even during the Snowkitemasters. Well, at the end, the conditions became really extreme, with super hard snow, rocks everywhere, more grass parts than snowﬁelds. Now, I write this report while the snow is dumping on the Alps so hopefully we’ll have soon the same snow conditions than we can see on the picture above, I took it on early november, and Lolo on the pict on our right will land softly now on smooth fresh powder I guess. OK, as you perhaps already know, we went once to Les Trois Evêchés, that was on the 11-11-2011 and we shall see the details while reading the further report of this december issue of WK. Laurent Hemard Shop Kites and Boards Lautaret Pass 2011-11-12th wk Christophe Aribert Lautaret Pass 2011-11-22 On the picture above we can understand that some parts of grass don’t stop the kiter. The weather was shinny everyday during november but really cold so the snow remained hard enough for skiing. Well, I spoke already about the new way of gliding we are using now. I mean gliding all the time really close to the snow. It’s good feeling, difﬁcult as gliding high, very interesting as we try to follow the shape of the slope, and above all it’s really safe. But of course, as we saw from the beginning of the snowkiting sport, some friends of ours keep ﬂying super high. Obviously no real serious accident happened for the past ten years but everybody is OK to say that this kind of high gliding is scarring us really strongly. Here on the right, my friend Francis keeps every run under control all the time. Even with super gusty wind, even with lot of rocks around, Francis manages to turn in the air, pulling the kite to the right or left side, and always landing safely. I don’t know what you think, but I would a lot prefer to see him never gliding so high any more. This is only my opinion ;-) Now, on the next pages, we shall see our only one session during last november to Les Trois Evêchés. Let’s go. Francis Richard High gliding Lautaret Pass 2011-11-18 wk 2011/2012 winter picture certiďŹ ed LEs Trois Eveches Do you really think that this picture was made last november ? Can you imagine such a freeriding area without any avalanche risks ? I just want to tell you that we are coming from the bottom of the valley we can see far in the center of the picture. Only using our kite and the wind. This way from the valley to the area here where I took this picture is not really difﬁcult. We only need the south-east wind blowing. It happens deﬁnitely not so often in the winter. We were lucky to come to this mythical place on the strange date of 11-11-2011 and of course I tried to make the photo at 11h11mn. When shall we get there once again ? Nobody knows. 2011/2012 winter picture certiﬁed ba wk Romain Mandier Les Trois Eveches Lautaret Pass 2011-11-11 Snowkiting is the real ultimate skiing/snowboarding sport. On the 2011-11-11 no ski resort was open yet. All the skiers were dreaming about freeriding. Only dreaming. Of course, some touring skiers could get along the same route than us. We met some of them on this special day. But they are hiking hard for three or four hours and skiing downhill very tired and not long time at all. We are freeriding and skiing all the time with our kites. On the way up. On the way downhill. Always. On the 11-11 the wind was light. We had the time to look at the landscape around, following our kite and skiing up slowly like we could do with a skilift. Our kite is our new skilift. Our new season pass. A worldwide season pass!!! These three photos are self-made. I came ﬁrst on the slope for the picture 1, then I set the tripod wk and the photo camera, and I went down, climbed in front of the camera, crossing this image from the bottom left to the top right and then I came back to turn off the camera and got further ahead to the summit. It’s been hard to do as we always want to go as fast as possible to the summit area, just in case the wind stops suddenly. It would be a pitty to stay stuck after wasting time for photos. But when it works, this is not wasting time though. The picture 3 is near the top, we can see the departure point in the valley on the left, this is a few kilometers to cruise with our kite from this place near the Pass. We didn’t get so cool snow for kiting any more as we had to stay near the pass for the next three weeks. The wind never blew from the right direction to get up there one more time. LEs Trois Eveches 2011/2012 winter pictures certiďŹ ed The Frenzy ultralite Introducing the new 2012 OZONE frenzy Ultralite. white kite Christophe Aribert Lautaret Pass 2011-11-22 The 2012 Ozone Frenzy ULTRALITE is the best foil kite I ever used for snowkiting. With the Highest grade Ultralite & Skytex canopy and Edelrid sheathed bridal lines this new Frenzy can ﬂy with super light wind. I kept it in the air and I managed to cruise ahead on snow during the november sessions with lees than one knot wind speed. The kite is really fast and above all the strength in the bar during the loop remains always exactly the same. This direct and responsive handling gives to the kiter an easy and controllable power for the loop and for sure the largest depower range. This amazing feeling comes to the partially closed cell leading edge designed by Rob Whittal for ultimate performance. The double Pulley Speed System wirks with new Ronstan Orbit Pulleys which is as well the same on the new depower-system. An improved system which doesn’t loose the bridles or the front line in case of breaking. Look at it on the photo above, the line cross up/under the other line. This is a complete security. The Frenzy incorporates new technologies from Ozone’s world leading paraglider designs, as well as an added safety option with the new Contact Snow Control System, allowing for easy 100% ﬂag-out safety whilst retaining the brake handle landing option. The picture on the top right shows the bar and the new 5th line for the 2012 ﬂag-out system. The blow-out valves have been removed from the under surface for further weight savings. Ultralite will last for hundreds of hours when properly cared for, but will not withstand endless abuse. The ULTRALITE is the perfect choice for advanced snowkiters that know how to handle kites in all conditions! I’m currently editing a video about this kite and will add it on the Vimeo channel White Kite News soon. white kite Guillaume Chastagnol Haardangesvida 2005 april Vintage norway 2005 Every issue of White Kite will make an old snowkiting session alive one more time. We could see a picture of the Etna volcano on the october issue. Here are eight pages about a trip we had on 2005 april in Norway with the Ozone crew. It was for a work on the 2006 kites, Rob Whittal had to design the new shape, I had to make the pictures for the brochure and website. Chasta had to show the high level as he is doing on the left. Amazing place for snowkiting. The Haardangersvida plateau near Geilo. Unforgettable memories. norway 2005 April is the best time in Norway for snowkiting. Still lot of snow. Not too much cold. Don’t get there on january... And amazing strange colours during the sunset which starts from 4 pm to 10 pm. We always went back to Geilo for the dinner at midnight... Crazy. Everybody knows that we’ll ﬁnd endless area for cruising, but once you get there, and when it’s time to launch the kite beside the road, I can’t explane the feeling we have in front of these snowﬁelds and hills around. On the picture below, check out Chasta having a handrail run ending with an indy grab. No mistake allowed here. But Chasta never makes mistake with a kite, so all right dudes. norway 2005 Guillaume Chastagnol Haardangesvida 2005 april We got bad weather as well during our journey. We spent two weeks there so all kinds of sky came to us blown with the wind. We stayed in our warm and smooth appartment seen on the left picture, when the snow was dumping hard some days. So, what an exciting time we had when getting to the plateau for freeriding sessions. Look at Chasta on the double page. Isn’t it a real freeriding run he has got ? And think that Chasta can get to the top in less tban one minute for a next run. Again and again. Where do you see any avalanche risk ? I can tell you the answer : nowhere ! We don’t need any helico. We don’t need any over priced ski pass. We don’t see any crowded slopes while snowkiting. Sometimes we meet a white ptarmigan crew. That’s what snowkiting is. Deﬁnitely. ba norway 2005 Guillaume Chastagnol Haardangesvida 2005 april do : cruising, long distance, huge triangle routes, slashing fresh powder, all freestyle tricks by Chasta who manages to do every one from his snowboarding years, cool gliding along the soft norvegian hills, we even had a 45 knots sessions with our Frenzy 5m in a super stable wind. We took some time left for visiting the fjords, we went hiking to some typical refuges, sincerely I didn’t know that I will never get there any more unfortunately. That’s life. The best moments always end too early. :-) ba Check out the sequence on the top. Chasta starts with a step-up on this snow cliff, then two sprays on the edge with powder, and at the end drops the wall with the Indy grab. Everything the best freeriders are dreaming of is here on this picture. I’ve got on my external disk a sequence where Chasta is doing a front 360° tail grab while the step-up to the top of the cliff. Awsome. Well, as you can imagine, we had really great sessions during two weeks. Everything our snowkiting sport allows us to A snowkiting session in Utah starting with a thirty kilometers snowmobile run to a high plateau where no kiters have ever been riding. white kite Fisih lake Guillaume Chastagnol Utah 2011 february During our journey in the USA with Chasta on last 2011 february, we went to a plateau in Utah with the snowmobiles from the resort Fish Lake. Brian Schenck, Marty Lowe, Chasta and me. We drove ﬁrst with the sleds through the pinetrees forests for about ten kilometers, then we crossed a very long valley with a fat snowpack of fresh powder snow and at the end we arrived on the snowkiting spot. That was my ﬁrst snowmobile run ever, so I started slow and carefully but after a few kilometers I turned into conﬁdence with the engine and I had some 90 km/h runs ﬂoating at the top of the powder snow. It was a cloudy day, with some snowshower time by time, so we had to wait and take a coffee in a forest hut for the slednecks. In the afternoon, some blue parts of sky appeared so that was time to launch the kites and to go cruising around with the 5-10 knots wind. It was not a difﬁcult terrain for snowkiting but obviously a super wide area. Fisih lake That was the perfect snowkiting session as everybody is expecting. A new area to be discovered. No avalanche risk at all. Super smooth powder snow. Pretty stable cool wind. So it was up to us to go everywhere we decided, always keeping the snowmobiles seen in the valley, just in case the wind stops. When we have been cruising all the powder we changed area for some new landscapes and gentle slopes further ahead. Of course, Chasta had lot of freestyle tricks and weâ€™ll see that on the next video I will edit about this session. A few safe gliding as well. I will never thank Marty and Brian enough for this session. They both lent a snowmobile to us, one for Chasta and one for me. Nothing special to be mentioned, but this session was already a great moment. Fisih lake white kite Guillaume Chastagnol Skyline, Utah 2011 february The White Kite Journal is a snowkiting reports area. Showing along the pages what our snowkiting sport can be : the ultimate skiing/snowboarding way of life. All photos, stories, designs, by Pascal Boulgakoff. You can leave a message or your questions at : firstname.lastname@example.org For worldwide snowkiting News : White Kite News on Facebook Are you Facebook allergic ? : A lot more snowkiting infos at : www.boulgakow.com White Kite News at Overblog Want to read older WK issues ? : White Kite Magazine archives May be you prefer watching movies : White Kite News video channel