Welcome back Snowkiters!
First off, I want to give a big shout out to all the kiters that made it out last year! In a nut shell we have already blocked off the same dates as last year. I'm am very excited to announce this is our 10
th consecutive year facilitating snowkite adventures. Time does fly when your having fun. One thing is for sure, I love the snowkiting and I love seeing people get stoked on snowkiting year after year. So to all the previous guests Jim, Matt, and myself we hope to see you again.
If you are a first-timers thinking about booking a trip or just going out on your own. I truly hope you get to experience this incredible spot at some point. Many will agree this is one of the most ideal places in North America to kite. If you don't know what we do here at Thermal Foundation Snowkite, we offer all inclusive trips. We facilitate all the transportation (from airport, daily snow cat shuttle, snowmobile kite support), provide great food, and stay in surprisingly nice three star accommodations at 9500' (yes it has a nice hot tub)
. and help you have the best snowkite session.
One bit of reality the lodge crunched some numbers from last year, and they realized we were spending little more on snowcat gas and maintenance. (When a Snowcat throws it's tracks, it's not cheap to fix and we need them to running smoothly during our trips). So unfortunately, I have to increase the cost of trip $15 per night per person. We think it's a fair price (compared to four day self guided hut skiing trip)
. As for up grades this year Matt has dialed in the rack system and
kites are gracious to send out their latest foil kites for us demo. I've been foiling with new Hybrid 12m Hyperlink, and it boost to the moon!
If you are receiving this message via email I have Bcc you all in this email so that your email isn't exchanged or forwarded into long chain email. Please be discrete about sharing or forwarding to unknown sources. But I do encourage you to share with your skier/kiter/flying/badass friends that maybe interested. This trip is suitable for all kiter levels, but no snowkiting experience is necessary. Although, if you have not taken a certified kite lesson
and you can't ski or snowboard blue run or can't confidently stay up wind and your ratty gear 10 years old, this is not an ideal kite location for you. There no expectations, but we want you to have fun and safe time.
The important travel info: Please read before booking a trip.
Dates: Back to back weekends
(You pick the best weekend for your schedule, limited 15 guests per trip).
The snowkiting: The Big Horn Mountain range is astronomically larger than we could ever kite across, the cool part about this is that thousands of acres of terrain has still never been kited before. The Jackson Hole Kite crew, and Montana kite crew started kiting this place years ago, and famous for Mid west Sledneckers, hunters, anglers, hang gliders, and Native American historians. I took my first trip out six years ago to check all the hype. It's no joke, this place has it all. Big amphitheater bowls, gentle gliding hills, big glide hills (great ridge soaring smaller paragliding), big open flats for first timers, wind lip kickers, cold dry powder, and makes the place interesting for all level kiters. We can literally can ride a different spot everyday. Most of the kiting is just 1 mile from the main lodge, making ideal for quick shuttles and less down time.
Current Condition: As of 12/05/2017 Season opener has already kick off, this is a great sign that it should another deep year. At 9500' snow stays cold and dry, average day time temps are around 19-22 degrees and windy almost every day out of SW or NW. Puffy Jacket and three base layers are a must in WY...you know the drill. Bring your biggest kite, but they may have pre-frontal 9m (average size person) day from time to time, last year we did one high wind day, and some people had to play it safe and not rig up. Please remember conservative decisions is very import in the back country.
The Big Horns are located 9500' east of Levell ,WY. The lodging is called Wyoming Hi Country. They have super friendly management and they really appreciate the business coming from kiters, in other words they love us, and they take care of us. The food is excellent, and they only caterer to bigger groups. They'll be serving three full meals a day exclusively for us. Tri-tip brisket, home made lasagna, Thai Curry Chicken, and salads kinda meals. Jim's wife is vegetarian so if you have any dietary restriction they can accommodate those requests.
More cool stuff, we are planning for non stop action, we have access to the lodges two
Snowcats! Yes, you will be shuttles out each day in a Snowcat, how cool is that? We are also using a Polaris Ranger to shuttle all our gear in and out the first and last day (these are the logistics that you don't have to worry about) We'll get you out kiting the first day guaranteed! Very rare to get a unkiteable day at 9500'! Also, we are going to tow out a
“mobile warming haute” for your comfort. New for 2018 is their new exterior ski/board rack, more heated cab, and rechargeable boom box.
As for safety or rescue situations, Jim and I and on the same page with newly added SPOT (satellite EMS device). Local search and rescue crews can be called if something like that arises. But rest assure you are in wild country and it is your responsibility to act accordingly. Still you need to use good judgment, nobody will care how big you went if you break yourself! We will discuss the dangers of “gliding” and why you need to understand dynamics before attempting. You will be requested to sign a liability waiver and decoration of fitness before joining the trip.
So this is the important part, flights are averaging $245 (coming from SF, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, B.C) most flights arrive in P.M. So you need to
arrive Wednesday night the day before the trip starts. So that way I can pick up first thing 8:00 am on Thursday morning so we can have a full day of kiting. As for our last day please do not booking departing flights out of Billing before 6 pm. You are responsible for getting yourself to
Billing, MT International Airport
the night before. There are several cheap motels near the Airport, I can coordinate that as well later. Most of these hotels have free shuttle to and from Airport.
2018 Big Horns Snowkite Trip includes:
*All transportation provided with driver from Billing, MT to Venue (two 8 passenger vehicle)
*Three nights accommodations WY Hi-Country Lodge (one queen sized bed per guest in the main lodge or private cabins)(couples can request a private room).
*Full catered event: Full-breakfast, lunch, and three/four course dinners. Non-alcoholic beverages provided.
*Snowcat shuttle 2x daily to and from Snowkite staging area (returns after lunch and EOD). Full access to “mobile warming haute”
*Limited individual “snowmobile support” from your snowkite coach, will go over riding/rigging tips/general support/kitemare rescue (short shuttle back to main shuttle).
*3 complimentary cases of micro brewed beer provided for appreciation of returning Thermal Foundation guests.
*Your trip fee includes 18% gratuities towards the friendly lodging staff.
Trip cost: $840.00
per person (includes WY tax)
* 5% Discount for all previous Thermal Foundation guests
*10% BYOF...Bring Your Own Friend, they must be a first timer.
*15% Discount if this is your 5
th trip. (Fuzz this means you!)
* Cannot combine discounts
Air fare or transportation to Billing, MT
Accommodation night before trip. But I have arranged a special $75.00 room rate for TFSA kiters @ The Dude Rancher Lodge. Receive code before booking.
Tipping your snowkite coach at the end of the trip is at your discretion. Since guests frequently ask us for guidance in this area, we suggest around $10 - $20 per day, per person as an appropriate gratuity for excellent service.
Rate are quoted for seven or more guests per trip, 50% cancellation fee applies if guest canceled fourteen days before trip date, 100% fee if canceled within 3 days of trip.
Trip payments will be sent via Paypal email request (online transfer.) Please send as a “Friends and Family transfer” to avoid unnecessary fees
100% Trip deposit required by Feb 20
Thank you, and hope to see you in the Big Horns this year! Please call or text if you have any questions.
Thermal Foundation Snowkite