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Front Page » January 16, 2007 » Local News » Winter wonderland
Published 3,691 days ago

Winter wonderland

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A variety of activities abound on a winter day

Kashe Potter snowboards in Huntington Canyon.

If you travel at all over the mountain from Huntington Canyon to Fairview you have no doubt seen the snow kites, snowboards, skis, tubes, and snowmobiles that dot the mountain on any given weekend.

Snow kiting is a relatively new activity on our mountain but top athletes say it is the most exciting and most dynamic winter sport ever. Snow kiting can be done in the mountains and on frozen lakes or parks. They say very little wind is needed to keep the kite up and keep you floating over the limitless snow available in the Manti-LaSal forest. The area at the summit is basically treeless and makes ideal terrain for the snow kiters. They compete for space with the snowmobilers who also use the popular mountain destination.

One of the best things is the fun is free, that is after you purchase your kite. Most of the people interested in the sport already own the snowboard or skis required and they add a kite and they are ready to hit the snow.

Experts say that snow kiting is pretty easy to accomplish and you just need a little air and you're off and flying. They urge everyone to stay clear of roads, telephone lines and anything hard which you could collide with on your ride.

The snowmobilers can be found every winter weekend in this same area traversing the snow covered slopes with their mighty machines that seem to get more powerful every year.

The machines take the riders deep into the backcountry where peace and beautiful scenery abound. It's quite the social event with the snowmobilers gathering with family in the parking lots to share a hot lunch and then it's back on the snowmobiles for more exploring.

The mountain clears off around dark as there is a steady stream of large trucks pulling large trailers leaving the white stuff to return back to civilization.

The snowboarders hit the run farther west of where the snowmobilers congregate. Boarders are dropped off and then they board down through the trees and slopes to where they are picked up at a location near the bottom of the hill. They get in and throw their gear aboard to be transported back to the top where they start over again. If you can drive you're enlisted to help transport the boarders and the drivers trade off so everyone gets a chance to enjoy the fresh powder.

If you're in the junior high set then you con your parents or your friend's parents into taking you to the run and they act as chauffeur for this activity. This will last for a few hours until the parent becomes dizzy from going around in circles. If you pay attention you can even survive this outing without serious injury. There are a number of vehicles in the roads and parked alongside the roads at any given time and the utmost care must be given to driving through these situations. Add the snowmobile traffic to the boarder traffic and the situation can be a bit dicey at times.

On a recent weekend this driver watched the vehicle behind me spin around a few times before it returned to its correct lane of travel. Things turned out OK because luckily no one was using the lane headed up the mountain. Another vehicle looked like it had just driven off into the snow and he had to be pulled out. I'm sure he didn't just drive off into the snowbank, but it appeared that way, as luck would have it some guys from state parks were there that day and helped pull him out.

The mountain does become a winter wonderland and also a great playground for those not afraid of getting a little cold. This playground can turn a dreary winter day into a magical event of fun and games.

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