You might think that that’s it for this year unless you head to the southern hemisphere. No more snow. No more ski-ing. No more snowboarding. And certainly no more snow-kiting. Nothing until next winter…
But you would be wrong – there’s still another month at least in Haugastøl, Norway where Red Bull have just held their first Redbull Ragnarok event.
Thanks to snowkitefilm for this wonderful video – as extreme sports go, it just looks like the best of fun….
Following in the tradition of the epic Norse battle – the Ragnarok is the mythological last battle between the good and evil Gods, where only the heroes of the battlefield survive – Redbull continue the myth in the expectation that only a few kite surfing heroes will triumph at the end of their competition. “Endurance is paramount, and only the toughest riders will make it to the finish line. Freestylers will be favored by having the possibility to overcome some obstacles in order to shorten the track,” they say.
It’s an elite event. 200 riders from around the world were hand-picked to take part in a 3-hour race over a distance of 10-20 kms, a total of 6 rounds of approximately 30 minutes each.
As you can imagine, kiting on water transfers quite easily onto kiting on snow although Aaron Hadlow from England, kiting on snow for the first time in this competition, commented that it is easier to do technical tricks on water, but that he was thoroughly enjoying the big jumps off the cliffs … I’ve added a link here for you to see what sort of jumps he’s talking about:
Hadlow is a 5-times champion kitesurfer on water. 22 year old Ruben Lenten from Holland was also trying snowkiting for the first time. Both arrived several days early to try it out. “It’s so much fun, I’m having a blast…” said Ruben.
Haugastol Turistsenter lies between Oslo and Bergen, about a 4-hour drive from Oslo, and is the gateway to the El Dorado of all snow-kiting locations, Hardangervidda, in Norway. It is recognized as being one of the best spots in the world for snowkiting.
You can trust Red Bull to choose nothing but the best for their extreme sports competitions.
Hardangervidda mountain plateau offers huge areas and stable wind conditions throughout the entire winter. The season usually stretches from December through to mid-May.
The closest snowkite spot from Haugastøl is Ørteren which is only 4 km away.
It is important to be cogniscent of the fact that these snow kite spots are located along one of Norway’s highest mountain crossings. The weather at this altitude can change quickly, and sometimes can lead to temporary road closures. When this happens cars are guided across and off the plateau in a convoy led by snowploughs – one plough in the front and one at the end of the line. It is not possible to duck out of the line, and snowkiters are not permitted to join and to drop off at their preferred spot.
If you already are up on the plateau, you will have to wait for the convoy to pass and you will be expected to join at the back of the line. You should always have a mobile phone with you.
The rules are strict and they expect you to adhere to them.
You can follow the link to the official Haugastol website where you can find a snowkiting spots map giving more information.