For convenience I'm calling it The Farm, on the assumption that this spot hasn't been kited before. If I'm wrong and it has been hit up before then that'd be cool too.
Anyway the spot I'm talking about is around the headwaters of Farm Creek, on the back of Back Perisher. I've forgotten exactly what day I went there, but I think it was the 28th August. I was staying in Perisher and I brought my kites up intending to have a look at the saddle over by Porcupine Rocks (which has been mentioned as a possible spot on these forums - you can easily see it from Mt Perisher), but it was all grass.
I've had my eye on this Farm Creek spot for a bit, so on a bluebird sunny and 10-15kts NW breezy day came I hit it up from 10am till about 3:30pm. It got up to 6-8 degrees too so the snow was soft after being slightly crusty early.
NW down the Farm Creek valley from the base of Olympic T-Bar.
It's only got a narrow opening to the wind, but that opening faces NW, so it's pretty good considering how frequently those blow up there... The more W there is in it, the more it's gonna start hitting a prominent spur that runs off the back of Mt P. If the wind was coming from behind that spur I'd say it'd be too gusty. There's more room for the wind to blow in from the N, but the closer to N the wind is the more it's gonna be coming from behind Back P, and then you've got the same problem there. But straight NW seems to be perfect - nothing downwind except the main range approx 4-5km away.
If you've got a lift ticket it's easy. I rode to the top of Mt Perisher Double before hiking briefly over the back of the hill, then strapping in and riding around the trees and rocks down into the valley. And the top of the double is the best place to look right down into the valley to check out the snow down there, or a short walk from the top of Olympic for a similar view from the other side. You can only see a little way into the valley from the Mt P Triple and Double chairs, or from Vista run.
Without a lift ticket I'd be wanting to hike up Happy/Sun valleys and through the saddle at the bottom of Olympic T, or I spose you could buy a single ride on the Perisher Quad and catch it to the top. Don't know what they'd say if you turned up with that ticket with a board on your feet, since that ticket's intended for foot passengers... But then without a lift ticket to Perisher I imagine you're better off going kiting out of Thredbo.
There is an old pole-line through the centre of the valley, running SE to NW, from the bottom of Olympic and off into the distance, probably to Guthega. Probably a nice feature in case the weather turns sour and the vis dies, and I found a snow pole makes an excellent kite peg.
For snow cover (and more importantly for safety), the further you go NW down the valley the better, to a point. The saddle is frequently bare, and it's too close to Olympic anyway. Down into the valley the snow cover was suprisingly good, considering the NW aspect. I suspect that spur off the back of Mt P I mentioned above helps the snow drift a bit deeper than usual for that aspect.
In the middle of the valley there's a decent sized clearish patch. But at 140ish cm of snow depth (at Spencer's Creek) there was an assortment of exposed rocks, sinkholes, and some open pools of water too. I didn't find these too much of an issue though.
A more experienced kiter than me would be able to explore the hillside to the north which is rockier, I didn't go too far up 'cos I'd be coming back downhill switch and I didn't need the extra speed. The hillside to the south has some low trees on it and is in the wind shadow of the spur, so it's not an option.
This was my third snowkiting session so I was quite cautious, but it turned out that the session could hardly have been better for my progression or more fun
I got there at about 10am and the wind was lighter than I hoped, probably about 5kts. After a deliberation I put my 10m Access up and got going quickly. I was exploring a patch about 100mx100m, and going both ways farily comfortably.
After about 15-20mins the wind was getting up a bit and I powered the kite down a bit. For a bit it felt like I was perfectly powered up, but the wind got a little stronger again. I got lofted twice (unintentionally) from turning the kite too quickly while I was on a tack and turning it into a redirect. I didn't go very high up, and both times I landed on my board before flopping down on my bum - I know I'm not ready to be practicing that stuff so I wasn't bothered that my landing technique wasn't solid. I was pleased to find the loftings didn't scare me, but they did make me concerned about getting overpowered so I packed up the 10m and had a break.
While resting the wind abated a little and I put up my 6m Access. This turned out to be perfect - I had it fully powered up and was really comfortable with it. The quicker turning speed was appreciated too. By this stage the wind was probably 10-12 kts, and it was pretty clean wind too.
I'd found a favourite patch of about 75m long by 30m wide of clear snow (except for the snow pole that I was turning around on the southern side) where I could ride in a figure 8 shape back and forth across the wind. I'd hit the heelside edge briefly to speed check before turning, so I got a big arc turn going instead of a simple change of direction. Before too long I was downlooping on pretty much all of the turns, and that was awesomely fun.
I found that Dave's advice of braking the kite back into the centre of the window after it overflied out of the turn was working well, especially going switch (south), where I always seemed to go a little faster than the other direction. I figure that southern tack was a little more downhill.
I did try riding toeside twice, but both times I stacked it pretty quickly, so I figured I'd leave that skill to another session where I could get some more advice before trying again.
So I must have done 100+ laps of my little figure 8 course. Towards the end I was stopping and resting more frequently, as I didn't want to have an accident due to fatigue.
When the sun was getting lower, about 3:30pm, I packed up and booted up through the saddle to the bottom of Olympic, caught that, and traversed (the moguls up there were massive) out to Pretty Valley and back to the lodge for a well-earned beer.
So all in all it was a massively stokingly fun session, and a good little spot for playing around in. But I reckon that's all it's really good for. I haven't done any kiting out the back of Thredbo yet, but from what I've seen and heard about the terrain out there I reckon a trip out that way would be awesome. And I feel now I've got some basic skills I'd be able to kite *somewhere* not just back and forth.