In the world of adventure sport, snowkiting is perhaps the most exciting recent innovation. Dieter Strasilla pioneered the discipline in only the 1970s, covering good distances in Switzerland and Germany with the use of skis and a paraglider installed with a ball-socket swivel.
Snowkiting in Canada you’ll be blessed with a blend of wide-open spaces, reliable snowpack, eye-popping scenery and robust winds, no wonder Canada is fast rising through the ranks of top snowkiting destinations!
Snowkiting in Canada: Snowy delights
A combination of deserted mountains and frosty wilderness, the Lewis Hills stand 2000 feet above sea level on the west coast of Newfoundland. Historically a renowned dry hiking region, the Hills’ 50 square-kilometre alpine plateau (one of the world’s biggest) provides the perfect conditions for beginners using kites such as the 4-metre Ozone Flow.
The Lewis Hills has an awful lot else to recommend it too: heart-in-your-mouth bowls and pillow drops for snowboarders, steep chutes for skiers and The Cabox mountain (with a 2,672 foot elevation) for climbers.
The view from The Cabox’s summit down into the glacial Serpentine River is one to remember.
Avalanches are relatively frequent but occur only in certain areas such as nearer the Blow-Me-Down Mountains. Watch out for them.
Kiting the Lake
Known more for its skiing and snowboarding attractions, Whistler in British Columbia can also boast the magnificent Green Lake for snowkiters.
Between the end of December and early March, this 1.2 kilometre-long frozen expanse enjoys almost perfect wind conditions: a cold high pressure wind is pulled down from Pemberton in the north, warming as it nears the coast. By the time it hits Whistler it is as consistent, stable and warm an outflow as anywhere in the world.
The snow is defined as powder with occasional kicker, and the ice more than thick enough to withstand crash landings.
(More than 4,000 kilometres east of Whistler is Sauble Beach – providing perfect accommodation for snowkiting action on Sauble Beach’s Lake Huron.)
Reaching the Best Spots
Access to the Lewis Hills is tough – before the 40-kilometre snowmobile approach, you’ll spend 7 and a half hours on the Trans-Canada Highway from St John’s.
Whistler’s location couldn’t be more convenient: it’s barely 124 kilometres north of Vancouver and a whole host of buses and private cars will take you there. Vancouver is, of course, connected to many parts of the world by regular direct flights.