Janus wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:56 am
@ Matteo, I can't imagin using a kite for climbing the lee side of a hill.. you're hiking I asume?
Skyline is somewhat unique compared to the "sled in" areas that I have been to. Climbing the Lee side is pretty much essential to utilizing the entire area at Skyline from the parking lot. If you are not good at it, you can certainly avoid it by launching alongside the road.
But Skyline is mostly a 17m kite spot. So pretty much everyone that spends any time there gets extremely good at handling steady light winds. Skyline also presents three main ways to climb the lee side of the hill to the West to get up to Skyline Drive (closed in winter). A good way to think of it is that there are rivers of wind, some fast some slow, some wide some narrow, and islands of no wind. If you can find these Rivers, and follow their course, you can make it up the backside of terrain that the wind is coming down. And there are three of these good ways that have rivers of wind coming down them, on the typical wind direction.
Again, this is a unique spot in that it is park (camp too) and ride. So everyone at least tries to get around without skinning in. If you had a snowmobile you would just drive and park it where you wanted to kite. But being already set up with a kite in the air, watching experience kiters make it up the backside to the advanced terrain, can give even intermediates the encouragement they need to try to get up the backside.
There are areas, however that there is no point to even try to get up on the Lee side. So until you actually see the spot, see someone climb the back side, and then do it yourself, you may have the wrong image in your mind of how this works. But it does work, and that is one of the things that makes Skyline such a good spot.
Kiters who conquer Skyline, gain light wind skill, the ability to read wind, and the caution it takes to operate in an area where the wind is good and strong in one spot, but 30 meters away the wind isn't enough to keep the kite up.