[an error occurred while processing this directive] Snowcat Skiing: Mount Bailey, Oregon Snowboard Camp: White Mountains, New Hampshire Hut-to-Hut Skiing: Shrine Mountain, Colorado Ski Touring: Bugaboo Group, British Columbia Resort Heli-Skiing: Wasatch Range, Utah Hike to Ski: Mount Marcy, New York Ski Mountaineering: North Cascades, Washington Telemark Camp: Chic-Chocs Mountains, Quebec Lift-served Off-Piste: Silverton Mountain, Colorado Kite Skiing: Squirrel Lake, Wisconsin
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Adventure Main | E-Mail the Editors | Adventure Customer Service | Subscribe November/December 2001

 

10 Perfect Ski Trips
Kite Skiing
Squirrel Lake, Wisconsin

DIFFICULTY: SMOOTH SAILING

All prices in U.S. dollars

I've dodged a lot of hazards in my years of skiing—boulders, stumps, death cookies (ice chunks that snag ski tips)—but this was the first time I ever had to worry about hitting an ice-fishing hole. Then again, I'm not at Whistler or Vail; I'm sliding across Squirrel Lake in northern Wisconsin. Number of lifts: zero. Vertical feet: zero.

My speed comes not from gravity but from the wind that fills my bright parasail. When an ice-fishing hole looms, I roll onto the edges of my mid-fats and carve a GS turn around it. Scudding nearby is my guide and instructor, Dan Clausen. He dips into a tele turn and screams past me on the opposite reach.

Kite skiing—a cold-weather cousin to kite boarding—may be new to most Americans, but Europeans have been at it for years. The sport's adaptability may be its biggest draw. No need for mountains: You can kite ski with Nordic or Alpine gear across any wide-open space—fields, meadows, even golf courses, where you can grab big air off bunkers.

Kite-skiing hot spots include Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. Clausen takes advantage of Wisconsin's hundreds of frozen lakes. "We skate-ski through the woods," he says, "then if we get to a lake and the wind is up, we sail across." And maybe do a little ice fishing along the way.

—Tina Lassen

CONTACT: Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center (+1 715 356 1099; www.skimwp.org). Private kite-skiing lessons are $40 per person per hour.

Back to Intro >>

 Click locations for ski guides.

 
•  Introduction
•  Snowcat Skiing
Mount Bailey, Oregon
•  Snowboard Camp
White Mountains, New Hampshire
•  Hut-to-Hut Skiing
Shrine Mountain, Colorado
•  Ski Touring
Bugaboo Group, British Columbia
•  Resort Heli-Skiing
Wasatch Range, Utah
•  Hike to Ski
Mount Marcy, New York
•  Ski Mountaineering
North Cascades, Washington
•  Telemark Camp
Chic-Chocs Mountains, Quebec
•  Lift-Served Off-Piste
Silverton Mountain, Colorado
•  Kite Skiing
Squirrel Lake, Wisconsin

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