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Thrill seekers flock to frozen MN lake to fly themselves on a kite

CNN
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POSTED: Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 7:04pm

Most of us are really over winter, but there is one group who thinks it's been the best one yet.

Snow, ice and wind conditions have been perfect for snowkiters in Minnesota.

This past weekend more than one hundred came together for the 10th annual kite crossing.

"This has been the best year... best year ever. I've been in this for 10 years, and this is the best season," said Mike Kratochwill, owner of the Lakawa Snow Kite Shop.

While most of us complain about the cold and the snow, people like Mike Bares have a message for you: "Aw get over it. Enjoy it. Get out there. It's pretty cold."

At 80 years old, Dorian Olson is having the time of his life, "You've gotta have something in the winter to keep you busy," Olson said.

He and a hundred others from across the country and Canada came to Garrison to race their snow kites 26 miles.

People of all ages use giant kites attached to skis and snowboards, to zip across the lake. Its a sport that counts on snow and ice.

Lakawa Snow Kite Shop owner Mike Kratochwill has been waiting for a winter like this, "This season has just been fantastic for business. It has been fantastic for those of us who do what we do with the kites.”

Kratochwill's business has seen a fifty percent increase in just the first two months this season with no end yet in sight.

Its 10 degrees below zero here on Lake Mille Lacs. The average temperature in March is 34 degrees. There's so much snow and ice packed here, they think they could be snow kiting into May!

"You just have to make the best of what you've got. It's a wonderful time of the year,” Mike Bares said.

Once the race here started, no one really cared who crossed the finish line first.

"This is the best season I ever recall," Kratochwill told CNN.

Snowkiters all know this winter has already been a winner for them.

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