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 Snowkiting at night? 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 2
Post Snowkiting at night?
It's a clear sky, nearly a full moon tonight, and the northern lights are visible here in Grand Forks, ND. It's quite beautiful outside. I've never been snowkiting before so I was curious to know if a full moon and clear sky can provide enough light to clearly see and avoid obstacles at night? It seems like it might be fun, especially with the northern lights like they are tonight.

Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:21 am
Posts: 241
Post Night

I'm wish I was there. A kite session under the northern lights would be pretty spectacular.

As long as the visablity is good (aka it's not too foggy), moon light or ambient light from the city reflect off of the snow and make snowkiting very possible. The low visablity makes for a thrilling ride bacause you don't know exactly how fast you're moving, and hearing becomes your primary sense---so if you throw some earbuds in and crank nine-inch-nails, it's that much better.


Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:05 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:54 am
Posts: 5
Night is some of the best times to go. Clear nights in Grand Forks are nice but an over cast layer over the city reflects the light from the city to the snow outside and i have been able to see all the way across King's Walk golf course.

Another note...My first kite session was at night here in GF! Great memories.

Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:47 pm

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 28
Mike -- I saw the moon but not the lights last night; very sweet. Sam (of X2M future fame) and I went out Sunday night in Grand Forks and as Kenny mentioned the cloud cover reflected back plenty of light. The only challenge was the sketchy snow cover; the brown grass spots don't reflect the light well, so it's harder to see the obstacles (there are some scary low signs on the golf course). Once we get full snow cover, you won't even need the moon; just make sure you know the place well enough to be aware of the danger zones.

Also, it makes sense to carry a small light to rig/derig/untangle lines. Black Diamond's Ion headlamp (which you can wear around your neck) works well.

Quick annecdote: Sam and I got to the south end of the golf course about 4:30 pm, and walked out onto it to check snow conditions. We noticed two guys far north apparently walking south toward us. Sam joked maybe they were golfing, but as they approached we realized they were both carrying kites. One was from Fargo and one from Wisconsin; both new at UND this year. We encouraged them to get on KiteND and hook up with the local crew. It was nice to know we weren't the only crazy ones out in the cold wind...


Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:57 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:31 am
Posts: 32
Location: North Conway N.H.
Some of our best flying has been at night and I would say we spend about 50% of our time out at night. If you live up north with the short daylight you get out at night or not at all sometimes.

Make sure you're really familiar with the terrain and serface features in the daytime so you know where things like bouys and ice huts are. Also lights on the kite and your body are a good idea as well as some reflectives. It sounds a little "overkill/safety Nazi" but when the drunk sled heads rip across the lakes at 100mph+ it's good to be seen.

The lights on the kite are used to give other kiters an idea where your lines are and on non-moon nights it gives you a better ideal of what the kite is doing when you can't see it so well.

When you're out on a full moon it's rediculously bright. It feels like flying.

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:03 pm
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