Snowkiting the Sierra: California’s only snowkite center opens at Royal Gorge |

Snowkiting the Sierra: California’s only snowkite center opens at Royal Gorge

NORDEN, Calif. — California’s first and only snowkite school opens today at Royal Gorge ski resort, offering customers state-of-the-art snowkiting equipment and expert instruction in a high Sierra meadow known for consistent wind.

Snowkiting is the growing winter sport of wind-powered skiing and snowboarding. Snowkiters capture the wind with a kite that is attached to their bodies by a harness. Powered by the wind, snowkiters can climb mountainous terrain, travel across flat meadows and perform aerial maneuvers and tricks. Sierra Snowkite Center is only the second snowkite school in the nation to partner with a ski resort.

Sierra Snowkite Center is led by North American Snowkite Tour Champion Tyler Brown. Brown is a Tahoe native who has traveled the world competing in snowkiting events, and was named the Best Overall Rider at the 2012 Superfly Event in Utah.

Brown and his team of snowkite instructors will offer group and private lessons, as well as guided backcountry snowkite tours. The center will also offer gear demos and a full selection of rental gear. The center also plans to host a snowkiting race series beginning the week of Jan 9.

“Whether you like to glide through untouched powder, launch gentle, soaring jumps or race across backcountry terrain powered by the wind, snowkiting has something for all skiers and riders,” Brown said. “Sierra Snowkite Center is proud to partner with Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge to introduce snowkiting to Donner Summit and the Lake Tahoe area.”

The center’s instructors embrace a relaxed but effective teaching style that can be tailored to a wide range of snowkiters — families seeking a fun day of kiting, kiteboarders wanting to adapt their skills to the snow or intermediate snowkiters who want to perfect their technique and skills.

Sierra Snowkite’s location at Van Norden Meadows offers consistent wind, 250 acres of undulating terrain, and a wide array of natural and man-made features. The meadow has both beginner and advanced terrain for snowkiting. After recent snowstorms, the Sierra Snowkite Center terrain is covered in deep snow, making for prime snowkiting conditions.

Only moderate wind is needed for snowkiting, and a Sierra Snowkite Center will update its website each morning at 7 a.m. to notify customers of wind conditions and hours of operation. The center is located on Soda Springs Road just off Donner Pass Road (Highway 40) across from Soda Springs ski resort.

For more information on Sierra Snowkite Center, visit, email or call 530-816-0485. To learn more about Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl Resort, go to or

Video credit: Lake Tahoe Television

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