Thur, Mar 14, 2019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

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neilmack
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Thur, Mar 14, 2019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

Post by neilmack » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:09 am

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As this plan was being hatched 🐣 on Kite Manitoba (Whatsapp Chat Room), the winds at 10 am were clocking around North 20 knots, gusting 26. The chief consultant on any Red River kiting in the heart of Winnipeg city is our own local expert Jeremy N.. He’s got a spot on the Red in the downtown core for any wind direction, earning Jeremy the distinction as the original “Urban Cowboy Kiter”. Unfortunately Jeremy couldn’t join us due to work obligations.

Rally time was set as 12 high noon, at the corner of Tache Ave and Ave de la Cathedrale, with max 2 hour free parking in the area. Oh the pressure.

Access to the river was fairly easy, since local pedestrian traffic had created a snow walking path from Ave de la Cathedrale, down the river bank, across the snow on the Red River, and into The Folks. We picked this route since it didn’t involve crossing The Forks property and parking was close. The Forks had just closed the Red River portion of the River Walk due to end of season water on the walking trail. The Assiniboine portion of the River Walk was still open for business as usual.

John L. and myself met at the rally point and checked out the wind on the Red River by foot. It was decided a pair of 7m kites and two ice screws would be most suitable.

Wind was gusty but more less straight down the river. Based on the tall trees being pushed hard by wind, there was no doubt “wind gradient” was going to be a big issue.
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Site Inspection Complete , 7x7, me (Neil) left , John right.
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Back to the parked vehicles for kiting gear.
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Gearing up near the Tomb of Louis Riel
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Ice screws were set in the ice, near the snow walking path across the Red, about mid river, with a goodly distance between the two kites.

In the mean time Roland & Barry had join in to offer inspiration and assistance. No issue rigging straight downwind since no one else was using the river ice that day.
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Roland blessing the fleet prior to launching. Esplanade Riel Footbridge in the background, right. Canadian Museum of Human Rights on the left.
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12:47 pm, John launched first so that we could keep good separatation, doing a unassisted tether launch from his ice screw.
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John launching kite. Fort Garry Place in the background.
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12:50 pm . I walked out my kite using the tether and let the kite sit on a wing tip in the gusty wind, but in the end asked for the assistance of Roland to hold it down while I got hocked up.
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Roland holding for launch. St. Boniface Cathedrale in the background.
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Close up of the Cathedrale.
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Launch went about as expected, smooth on the initial ascent, then a firm pop up at the top. It was definitely gusty, but gentler than the sun baked thermal blasts found in those off-shore Arubian breezes. Full depower on the 7m Switchblade seemed to be the best way to deal with the gusts on the Red.

The KiteTracker tracks best describes the route. Interesting that the wind nearer the Provencher Bridge was smoother than further up river (downwind). Link below.
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http://www.kitetracker.com/gps/tracking?r=neilmack_478
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KiteTracker tracks - colour the river surface white.
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Just before landing back at the ice screw, I tried to get a photo of The Canadian Museum of Human Rights and my 7m kite, together, but the museum was too far behind me for the kite to fly in front of the camera easily. Only caught a piece of the kite, which was way too forward (upwind) in the wind window, evident by the kite’s drop to the deck as it was looking for more wind.
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The Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
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After about 20 minutes my snowboard had developed a case of “wet friction”, which happens when newer flat snow gets wet, and allows your wax picks up dirt from the snow, which doesn’t want to slide well regardless of the pull available. Air temp was around 0 oC.
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Roland assisted with the kite landing.
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Below is the after session group photo taken at 1:15 pm
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After session selfie - all kiters and gear back safe and sound.
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Wind at 2 pm, Winnipeg Airport
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Wind hadn’t finished ramping up. An hour or so later, the wind was up to N 24 knots g 35, as several other brave Manitoba kiters headed out to test Thursday’s big wind.
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Thanks for reading. :grin:
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Neil MacKinnon
Last edited by neilmack on Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hangliderman2000
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Re: Thur, Mar 14, 20019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

Post by hangliderman2000 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 am

A very nice” vignette “ of the kiting adventure on the mighty Red River by the Forks. Glad I was able to participate and be a part of Manitoba history.

Roland
The wind is free but the ' toys ' add up.

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davec
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Re: Thur, Mar 14, 20019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

Post by davec » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:49 am

Neil you also have Reporter skills. You made it feel like I was there. Well done, congrats guys.Only 1 question, would you kite there again and if so in a north or a south?

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neilmack
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Location: Winnipeg - south end, near Pembina Highway & Perimeter

Re: Thur, Mar 14, 20019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

Post by neilmack » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:49 pm

Thanks for the messages back, Roland and Dave.

Yes - I’d definitely try it again on colder snow and a north wind. A due south wind might be a problem due to the huge St. B Hospital buildings. A SSW to SW might work if we set up a little closer to the forks.

Darn it’s due south today, so maybe next year.

Neil

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neilmack
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:32 pm
Location: Winnipeg - south end, near Pembina Highway & Perimeter

Re: Thur, Mar 14, 20019 - Snowkiting at The Forks - Surrounded By Manitoba History

Post by neilmack » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:01 pm

Since I referenced other kiters going out on Thursday afternoon, I wanted to include .....

Richard L. did some 6m kiting at the Floodway & St. Mary’s Rd Bridge, around 3 pm.
I dropped by as Richard was packing up ... but didn’t get a photo of Richard.

Below.
Photo from windy Thursday at Kirkness Rd, after 4pm, found in Saturday’ Winnipeg Free Press, page A14. Photo only shows Daniel’s kite, but no Daniel.
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Caption read.....
HIGH AS A KITE
Chris Mason catches the wind while kiteboarding and Daniel Koenig goes kiteskiing near Highway 59, north of Winnipeg. Today, there’s a chance of flurries and the high will be -3 C.
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B152369B-DC2B-4D56-B6FA-F67A24879792.jpeg
Photo by Trevor Hagan, Winnipeg Free Press
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Did I miss anyone?

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