Snowkiting Whistler is better known for its World Class skiing and snowboarding than its snowkiting and kiteskiing. It does however, have quite a following of avid kiteboarders who hit the frozen lake whenever the North wind is getting sucked down from the mountain tops and out to the ocean at Squamish.
If you are looking for a snowkite lesson check out
Squamish Kiteboarding School
or email them below.
Whistler, Green Lake - KiteFacts:
Best winds: January - Early March
Water Temp: Frozen = Ice
Water Type: Powder with occasional kicker
Weather: Sunny days are when it blows
Nightlife: Yes - restaurants and clubs
Snowkiting Lessons: Email Squamish Kiteboarding School
Green Lake is the spot for snowkiting in Whistler. On just about any sunny Day between late December and early March depending on and how cold the season has been, you are bound to find friendly Whistler, Squamish or Vancouver locals, usually being chased by their dog, riding this lake. With the number of water and snow crazy Aussies, Kiwis and Brits enjoying the ski season too, Whistler Snowkiting is beginning to see a few of these people arriving with their kiting gear for their extended stays in Whistler.
Sublime Lines beneath the slopes...Snowkiting Whistler
The wind in Whistler works on the opposite principle to the Squamish summer Thermal Inflow sucking up the valley. The Whistler Outflow is generally started with a cold high pressure (keeping it mainly sunny) in Pemberton (further north) and Whistler with the wind being pulled down the valley as it warms closer to the coast causing the outflow. Occasional temperature inversions also cause very stable warm winds to come down the valley making for classic snowkiting conditions in Whistler.
Given the shape of the lake and trees surrounding it though, it can be gusty and a bit up and down - but since you won't be swimming, we hope - (which would mean you are kiting on thin ice!) a kite falling out the sky should mean a simple relaunch or at worst a walk back across the ice and snow.
If the snow is good, you're experienced and not intimidated by the odd tree; you may find a small bit of terrain down on the far side of the lake to put your skills to the test.
To get out to Green Lake go all the way through town as if heading for Penberton. You will see the lake on your right with a place to park and short scramble path down onto the lake where you can setup in a slightly sheltered area just there.
Well known Squamish Rock climber,
Matt Maddaloni shreds the snowlip.
Images: Nick Sopczak - rawspectra.ca
Since Whistler is a mountain junkie's playground, you would think I could at least give something about snowkiting in the terrain-filled Rocky Mountains here.
There are open mountain areas above the tree line and on glaciers that have been explored, and are out there, but these are not easily accessible unless you have access to snowmobiles and a good crew of people, or better still a helicopter and you can read the high mountain weather patterns - a key issue. Unfortunately unlike the Alps of Europe and other snowkiting spots, easy road access to open mountainous areas does not happen much here or in the Rockies. We are exploring these possibilities further and we'll be sure to let you as things become viable for snowkiting.
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