Bighorn Snowkite Summit

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

Oh, yeah. It’s on!



Summit Time







Hello Everyone! Sorry for the slow posting. The holidays were crazy!

Thanks to everyone who made the Bighorn Snow Kite Summit a success. Once again the ever articulate Noah Portiz has captured the essence of this years event.

The 2nd annual Big Horn Snowkite Summit was a high flying success! Without question, the Jackson Hole Kiters have created the premier snowkite event in the Rocky Mountains. Staged in the backcountry of the northern Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, every type of snowkite enthusiast was present at this year’s Summit: beginners flying trainer kites, novices making their first efforts with full sized kites, intermediates sending it for easy boosts, and seasoned air-sport masters flying off the top of Bald Mountain with huge, ridge soaring glides.

The Summit was also historic: Never before in North America have snowcats been engaged to transport kiters from their backcountry lodging to and from the day’s kite spots. This was a huge accomplishment and significant credit goes to our hosts at the Wyoming High Country Lodge. Managers Cheryl and Howard Jones and their staff made a major commitment and provided careful planning to make this year’s Summit a winning combination of lodging, sumptuous food and comfortable accommodations. Recognizing that there was a need for additional beds to accommodate the 60+ kiters, the lodge added a large Mongolian-built ger (yurt) to handle overflow.

When planning an event, one never knows how the weather will affect success. A much needed storm pummeled the Big Horns just prior to the Summit. This snow gave participants a solid base on which to kite. Added to that was a remarkable 7 out of 7 days of wind. Wind, sunshine and powder: Amazing weather guaranteed a successful event!

Our daily routine at the Summit was very special. We would awake to the lodge’s fire-warmed great room, fill up on a huge breakfast, pack our personal lunch and snacks for the day, load one’s snowmobile or pile into the lodge’s snowcat with our kites and boards and migrate out to one of the day’s predetermined kite spots for a day of snowkiting. Day after day of this routine was magical.

Snowkiting has certainly come a long way in North America. The most striking example of this evolution is the flight skills that the most experienced Summit participants brought to the mountains. These kiters are no longer content with small flights off the snow. Skilled pilots were routinely making minute-long, ridge soaring flights. Some brought speed wings, taking advantage of the mountain’s ridge lift, to further their flight times. Every day was a remarkable showcase of mountain flying. In tandem with the daily exhibition of flight, an evening seminar on this sub-set of kiting was covered. Every aspect was dissected and considered.

For those kiters who prefer to stay closer to the snow, the week was full of great riding and plenty of terrain features to session. Many of Bald Mountain’s gullies provided us with natural pipes to challenge our freestyle skills. Small changes in the prevailing wind direction allowed for different parts of Bald Mountain to be exploited for our kiting pleasure. Everyday brought a superb sunset session that was dramatic. All week we watched as the sun would set and an ever growing moon would rise in the east, culminating with a full moon that week. Also like clockwork, the lodge’s snowcat would arrive at the kite spot and return the crew back to our mountain home and its awaiting hot tub for a well deserved soak. Dinners were particularly festive; it was definitely a kiter’s lodge! The menu changed daily and no one lost even an ounce of weight that week.

With two years of successful Snowkite Summit’s under their belt, the Jackson Hole Kiters and the Wyoming High Country Lodge have put the Big Horns on the map as the number one kite destination in the lower 48 states. Pencil in your December 2015 calendar: People are making plans for next year!

Thanks for Reading and Windy Regards,
Noah Poritz





BHSS Flier

Hello Everyone,

We are happy to announce the second annual Big Horn Snowkite Summit. Once again the snowkite tribe will gather early in the winter at the Wyoming High Country Lodge, right next to the legendary Mt. Baldy in northern Wyoming.

This years event will take place Monday, December 1st through Sunday December 7th.

This years “event” is really more of a gathering of like minded individuals. While I am sure there will be discussions in the evening at the Wyoming High Country Lodge, nothing is structured or programmed. After last year’s successful event, (in spite of the consecutive days of 30 below zero) we wanted to focus on snowkiting and having as much fun as we possibly can.  Ideas involving the progression of the sport should be hatched over a beverage of choice after a long day of kiting.

Much like last year, we need to stress that you will have to be responsible for you own safety and transportation over snow! Snowmobiles are ideal, but there will be access to snowcoaches to transport kiters to the event site.

The Basics:

When and Where: This years Bighorn Snowkite Summit will be based out of the Wyoming High Country Lodge, December 1st through December 7th.

Lodging on site requires snowmobile or snow coach access and it first come first served.

The lodge will sellout! Our gracious hosts, Howard and Cheryl Jones have made extra efforts to accommodate everyone who wants to stay on site by installing a yurt! There is an all inclusive, per day amount of $75.00 that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Anyone who attended last years event will attest to the fact that the food was incredible and no one went hungry! Just mention you are there for the event. If you are interested, make your reservations now by calling Cheryl and Howard at  307-529-0914! 


Additionally, breakfast, lunch & dinner at the Lodge will be available to off-site attendees. An RSVP is required if you are staying off-site & would like to take advantage of meals.

In Lovell, WY –

If you are coming for the weekend or want to stay offsite, here are the closest hotels.

Western Motel , 307-548-2781                                                                                 HorseshoeBend Motel , 307-548-2221                                                                                     Econo Inn 307-548-2725

Lovell is approximately 35 miles west of the location of the Bighorn Snowkite Summit. Parking will be available at the Crystal Creek rest area, & over-snow shuttles will be provided to & from the kite site each day. A snowmobile is advantageous, but not necessary.

For all attendees who are staying off-site, gear storage will be available at the High Country Lodge, “basecamp” for the Summit.

See you there!

Jackson Hole Kiters




NW Bald Mtn

The Bighorn Snowkite Summit! In a word, it was epic. I could go on and on, but our friend Noah Portiz has penned a summation that cannot be matched. A million thanks to our hosts at the Wyoming High Country Lodge, Howard and Cheryl. The food and hospitality were superb.

Never before in the United States has the announcement of a snowkite event created so much interest in so short a period of time. The idea was to host a week of snowkiting, on-snow instruction, kite demos and evening seminars at a backcountry lodge in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. The brainchild of the event was a few of the Jackson Hole Kiters, a tight group of avid Ozone riders that have been progressing snowkite technique and adventures for many years.

The northern Big Horns have been a snowkite destination for a handful of Wyoming and Montana locals since 2006. Each year we have push the limits of snowkiting in the Big Horn range. Each year we have come away enchanted by the diversity and immense magnitude of these mountains. In the lower 48 states, the Big Horns are one of our finest locations. Once the idea was hatched, it took only two days for the reservations to exceed the lodge’s capacity. With that news, some kiters said, “No problem, we’ll camp out!” Snowkiters are a hearty group, without a doubt.

With the dates set for the first week of December, it was now a matter of dialing in the logistics. Located at 8888 feet, the Wyoming High Country Lodge was to be our base for the week. Lodge managers Howard and Cheryl Jones came through with confirmation that they would do whatever it takes to make the event a success. With many of the local kiters in the northern Rockies having snowmobiles, and Howard with his Snow Cat, on-snow transport from the trail head to the lodge to the kite spots was successfully handled for non-snowmobiling participants. Because the event was to occur on the Big Horn National Forest, permits and insurance were required. Following that, all that was left was for the snow to get deep and the wind to blow.

Snow and blow it did. The first official day of the event we were rewarded with solid 30 mph winds and fresh powder. That first day, Snowkite Summiteers could be found at numerous kite spots shredding fresh powder and boosting sky high. Amazingly, this was our one day of above 0˚F temperatures! That first night, 9” of new snow fell and temperatures plummeted. A river of sub-zero Siberian air flowed into the Rockies. The nighttime lows averaged -25 ̊F night after night. While it was sunny, daytime highs were negative 15 ̊F! Everyone was on high alert not to have any exposed skin to guard against frostbite. The smallest routine chore became slow and time consuming in these arctic temperatures. Sightless kiters with frozen goggles were common. Throughout all of this, Howard and Cheryl kept the fireplace stoked and served up a week of hot, scrumptious meals. Amazingly, even the hearty kiters who camped out in tents were happy.

Every day we would venture out with our sleds and kite different spots. Some kiters tried out the latest kites from Ozone, the Summit and Frenzy. Others learned the basics of speed flying. Others “went long” and explored new areas of the Big Horns. Some visited areas that had never been kited before. Every day was a new adventure at the Snowkite Summit.

Every night was also an experience that will be remembered. Discussions were held on creating a grading scale of difficulty for snowkite terrain. Conversation on kite industry support was covered. A code of best practices for snowkiting was discussed. Consideration was given to revitalizing a nation-wide snowkite association. One night was devoted to viewing some of the best snowkite videos from the past and present. Ozone International Team Rider, Johann Civel, who was there from France, provided the US premier of his and Wareck Arnaud’s latest RIDE UP film: Blowin’ in the Wind. Through all of these nightly seminars and films, a couple gallons of Montana moonshine and 7 kegs of Montana homebrew were consumed! These were nights to revel and remember.

By the end of the week the kiters at the Big Horn Snowkite Summit were showing some wear and tear. The sub-zero temps were slowly draining us. Some of our sleds were reluctant to start. Through all of this, a new dimension of the future of snowkiting was being formed. Where it is going, no one can positively predict. However, snowkiting is refining its identity. Summit participants came to the Big Horns with widely differing experiences and perspectives. Perhaps the greatest outcome of the Summit was the friendships. Old friends and new friends, coming together at a remote lodge high in the mountains of Wyoming. These friendships will keep the future of snowkiting alive and well and provide a basis for the continued progression of the sport.

Thanks for Reading and Windy Regards,

Noah Poritz
Bozeman, Montana


Tentative Schedule and General Event Info:

The schedule is tentative and subject to change depending on wind and weather conditions.  We would like keep the schedule flexible to take advantage of inclement weather for discussions and maximize time on the snow during good conditions.

There will be a daily meeting at 10am at the Crystal Creek parking lot on Hwy 14a at the road closure. If you need over snow transportation to the event from the Crystal Creek parking lot, you need to be there at 10am each day. At that time we will have updates to the daily schedule including kiting location, clinics and discussions. The Bear Lodge guests and other attendees with Snowmobiles will just need to check the email updates from or on Facebook at Jackson Hole Kiters. Wyoming High Country Lodge guests will leave directly from there.

Here is some helpful advice for having a great time at The Bighorn Snowkite Summit. I do not speed while driving through the small towns on the way to the Bighorns… Ever.  My trailer lights all work and I have a 2014 Wyoming Snowmobile permit. You should be prepared for cold weather. While there will be tents to escape the wind, you should bring food, water and warm clothing with you. You should be comfortably self sufficient for a cold, snowy and windy day in the mountains. The scope of the terrain or storm conditions can cause you to get lost. A GPS or map and compass would not be a bad idea. Cell coverage is limited so you cannot rely on your phones.

  Keep in mind that the local community as well as the Forest Service, have gone out of their way to make this event happen. We would like to maintain our good relationship with them and encourage attendees to act as ambassadors for our sport.

All that being said there will be many friendly mountain athletes there to support you should you need any help. Below is the Tentative Schedule. Please look it over since the topics we hope to cover are listed. Remember the schedule is tentative and will change to maximize conditions for the best snowkiting and discussions.

Monday Dec 2nd

-Meeting: 10 am at the Crystal Creek parking (14a road closure east of Lovell, Wy)

-Arrive, get settled, get debriefed on the terrain and go kite

Discussion 7pm:

-Forecast and schedule analysis

-Creating an ethical and reasonable standard of safety and practice to represent our 

  snow kiting community

-Creating a difference between a stunt and what is normal

Tues Dec 3rd

Discussion 7pm:

-General industry and media concepts… Attracting skiers, snowmobilers, outdoor


-What is the potential growth and future of our sport?

– Creating an Image of a snowkiter for the adventure sports industry

Wed Dec 4th Discussion 7pm

-Exploration and forecasting… what are our BIG ideas and how can we achieve them?

-2014 season schedule brainstorm

Thurs Dec 5th

-Clinic- 1pm advanced snowkiting on terrain. Build your skills no matter your level

-Discussion 7pm on Kite soaring, is it here to stay? If so how can it be done safely? How do you teach it properly?

Friday Dec 6th

-7pm Discussion large terrain course discussion, course concept, and format

-Conclusion to sum up the weeks discussions

             -Clinic – 1pm Beginner to intermediate Snowkiter skill building

Sat Dec 7th

-Bighorn Valley Locals meet at 10am at Crystal Creek

             – 7PM Celebrate the coming 2014 season party

              -Clinic, 1PM at the Base of Bald Mountain-Learn to kite for locals, trainer kite    progression for beginners and never ever kiters.

Sunday Dec 8th

                           -Bighorn Valley Locals meet 10am Crystal Creek
            – Freeride all day and get tips from Pros, Locals welcome and anyone interested welcome
Jackson Hole Kiters

Update! The High Country Lodge is booked to capacity for the Bighorn Snowkite Summit. We’re so excited that so many people are coming! Here are additional lodging options for the event:

In Lovell, WY –

Western Motel , 307-548-2781 – offering 25% discount off nightly & weekly rates

Horseshoe Bend Motel , 307-548-2221 – $68/night single or $78/night double

Econo Inn, 307-548-2725 – $45/night single or $55/night double, ask for Anita or Jesse

Lovell is approximately 35 miles west of the location of the Bighorn Snowkite Summit. Parking will be available at the Crystal Creek rest area, & over-snow shuttles will be provided to & from the kite site each day. A snowmobile is advantageous, but not necessary.

In Dayton, WY –

Bear Lodge, 307-752-2444 – offering 20% off nightly rates with a room block held for the event. The Bear Lodge is located 15 miles east of the Bighorn Snowkite Summit. The road is closed west of the Bear Lodge, so a snowmobile will be required for transportation – ask about nightly rates that include snowmobile rental.

For all attendees who are staying off-site, gear storage will be available at the High Country Lodge, “basecamp” for the Summit. Additionally, breakfast, lunch & dinner at the Lodge will be available to off-site attendees. An RSVP is required if you are staying off-site & would like to take advantage of meals.

If you are interested in getting on the wait list for lodging at the High Country Lodge, or have other questions, please contact Virginia Symons at 307-413-0174 or

poster BH event6 (2)

PRESENTING: The First Annual,

Bighorn Snowkite Summit!!!!




The Bighorn Mountain Range is located Northern Wyoming. The upper portions of the range ease back in steepness to form what is arguably the best snow kite terrain in the United States. In particular, Mt. Baldy possesses a combination of nearly treeless rolling mountain meadows, advanced steeps, and a ten thousand foot altitude that holds snow and catches wind. The usually ample early season snowpack and diversity of this amazing area makes it the ideal staging grounds for the first ever, Bighorn Snowkite Summit.

The goal of the Summit is to bring together snow kite enthusiasts of all ability levels early in the winter season for an epic snow kiting adventure on amazing terrain, gather industry professionals, and committed snow kiters of any level, to participate in a series of roundtable discussions about the current and future state of our sport. This discussion series is designed to scrutinize the growing pains of our sport as we face the need for some type of standard in a number of areas. Locally, we will provide an opportunity for first time snow kiters, local snow enthusiasts and anyone who is interested to improve their skills through a series of demos and clinics.

The Wyoming High Country Lodge is set just behind Mt. Baldy and is an ideal location to base the Summit. They offer rustic cabins and a large central lodge. The Wyoming High Country Lodge has agreed to support us with some snowmobiles and a belt track snowcat. The Jackson Hole Kiters and a number of others are also willing to help with some snowmobile support to get kiters out to the lodge and to the primary kiting areas. The event itself is free. The proprietors, Howard and Cheryl Jones, have generously offered an affordable package for snowkiters. For just $65 dollars a night, you get three hot meals a day! A 20% payment to hold the spot is asked by the lodge. Should the unthinkable happen and the snow does not cooperate, the cancellation window is five days out for a full refund minus a 10% processing fee.

When conditions permit, we will be on Mount Baldy snowkiting the entire time except for a couple discovery missions. There is enough room for everyone here. The discussions will be at night after dinner and the clinics will be during the day. Take this opportunity to wax the skis or board, and brush away the off season blues to enjoy great company and snowkiting in the Bighorn Mountains.

 RSVP on Facebook at:

For Condition updates and RSVP go to Jackson Hole Kiters on Facebook and

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