Continuing the snowkiting story line—after this post yesterday—today’s blog is on Sam Salwei and Jason Magness, two adventuring friends of mine from North Dakota who next month will set out on the 2XtM Expedition, a three-week trip to traverse their home state self-supported and entirely powered by the wind blowing them over snow.
Why you ask? Here’s the deal:
In February, three athletes/environmental activists will set out on a three-week expedition using snowkites to traverse the entire state of North Dakota. Their goal: To promote renewable wind power energy in North Dakota, which the Department of Energy has called the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.”
Snowkiting is a sport where skiers/snowboarders are pulled by giant paraglider-like canopies. The 2XtM Expedition’s goal is to raise awareness for the potential of wind power in North Dakota and the United States in general. The athletes—Sam Salwei and Jason Magness of Grand Forks, N.D. + new entrant Paul Cassedy of Calif.—hope to exemplify the vast amount of wind that North Dakota has in a tangible way by literally being blown 390 miles across the state.
The group will travel self-sufficiently, hauling equipment in backpacks and sleeping out in temperatures that may drop below zero degrees. A typical day will consist of melting snow for water, kiting for 6 to 8 hours and cooking one hot meal at the end of the day before sleeping out under the stars.
They will follow wind patterns and traverse the state northwest to southeast along the Missouri River.
An educational tour will coincide with the expedition, 2XtM volunteers giving presentations and talks at churches and schools across the state on the sport of snowkiting as well as climate issues and wind energy.
To learn more: http://www.2xtm.com/
Here are a couple images from last year’s expedition. . .
All photos by Sean O’Connor/www.freesolophotography.com