Hood River man makes record ascent of Mt. St. Helens with snow kite

Photo courtesy Aaron Sales - Global Sessions

SKAMANIA CO., Wash. – A Hood River man accomplished his 10-year mission to summit Mt. St. Helens on a kite board, setting what he calls an unofficial record ascent of the iconic Pacific Northwest peak.

On Friday, Aaron Sales used a nearly 20-foot windsurfing kite to speed up the east face of the mountain on a snowboard.

The 3150-foot ascent from the base of the mountain to the crater rim took him 35 minutes, which he says is “an unofficial non-motorized speed record.” It’s also the first documented trip to the mountain’s summit using a kite.

After reaching the top, he packed the kite away and snowboarded back to the mountain’s base.

“That will go down as one of the best runs of my life,” he said.

Sales said he’s been trying this feat for years, but the combination of the heavy spring snow pack and great wind conditions made for the perfect opportunity to reach the summit. | WATCH THE ASCENT HERE

“This turned into a lifetime goal for me,” Sales said in a release from his company, Global Sessions. “I thrive on a good challenge, and after getting denied by the conditions for more than a decade, I decided I wasn’t going to give up until I made it.”

On the same day, Sales made what was likely the highest snow kite jump ever filmed in North America. He said he reached more than 200 feet up in the air, and held the jump for over 40 seconds.

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