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Skyline UT, USA

Forum for snow- and landkiters
Matteo V
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Local Beach: US, Iowa/Nebraska/Kansas/Utah/Oregon Coast
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Stevens, North coast of Oregon
Style: Just like school in summertime
Gear: Delta Kites and LF Kitefish QuadMod
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Skyline UT, USA

Postby Matteo V » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:34 am

Skyline is good to go already! Plenty of snow and good conditions now, then this storm over Christmas will make for epic conditions. It is shaping up to be a much better winter out here than last year.

Anthonyshopguy
Medium Poster
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 4:07 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: Grandmesa CO
Favorite Beaches: Lake Arena CR, Cocoa Beach FL, Ivanpah CA, Lake Meredith Tx, lake Huron Mi, Metro Park MI ** 6 Mile on lake Mohave NV.
Style: Snow kiting, buggy, water
Gear: 21m Flysurfer Soul, 17m LEI Cabrinha Contra, 15m LEI Slingshot Turbine, 13m Waroo LEI, 11 m foil Frenzy Ozone, 11m Lei Escape PL, 9m Lei Nemesis Best, 7m Lei Waroo, 6m foil apex HQ, 174 SB for the Pow, 169 split SB for the outback, Cabrinha 154 twin tip for the lake, 600 switchback Polaris to get me there, and why not add in a nice new big foot buggy for that once a year buggy blast at Ivanpah.
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Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby Anthonyshopguy » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:06 pm

Hey Mateo v what do you like to fly at Skyline with say 12mph winds? So I really want to get a couple of days in over there this winter. Is there a best month for wind conditions?

Matteo V
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1220
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:42 pm
Kiting since: 2008
Local Beach: US, Iowa/Nebraska/Kansas/Utah/Oregon Coast
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Stevens, North coast of Oregon
Style: Just like school in summertime
Gear: Delta Kites and LF Kitefish QuadMod
Snowboard (Cambered and Rockered)
Foil kites on the snow
Brand Affiliation: NONE F--- the corporate world
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby Matteo V » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:14 am

Anthonyshopguy wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:06 pm
Hey Mateo v what do you like to fly at Skyline with say 12mph winds? So I really want to get a couple of days in over there this winter. Is there a best month for wind conditions?
Sorry, but my experience is limited to December through the beginning of March. And pretty much any of those months are equal so long as there is snow (and there is snow in April and May too).

To sum up a very long PM that I will try to send you, Skyline (and other spots in Utah) are just as weather dependent as anywhere. The main thing to keep in mind in Utah is to have a 17m (15-18m foil kite) as your go to kite. The best thing about Skyline is how you get skunked. If you show up with a 12m as your biggest kite, yes you will get skunked the bad way - while watching everybody else blasting around on bigger kites. But with a 17m, 12m (almost never use), and an 8m (for use as an additional cover for your sleeping bag when car camping in the parking lot), you won't get skunked - so long as you are willing to head to Strawberry Res (2hours away with parking lot car camping too).

Skunked at Skyline is pretty much always due to lack of visibility (very predictable - when it is supposed to snow). You can head down to "electric lakes" -7 miles away, which is not on a lake but rather referencing a sign pointing to that reservoir. Just park along that road for some steep angle, or kiting in a meadow. The meadow parking is iffy as you have to be completely off the road which has a pretty narrow shoulder.

But the place to go when it is snowing is "Strawberry Reservoir" This is a chain of spots with different names and parking just like at Skyline. The first spot is Strawberry River, which is the "most consistent" with the earliest and most reliable winds. Other spots further along the road (going east) are great too, but you have to have the wind make it there. Stay east (at Strawberry River) unless the forecast looks really good for the wind. If you make it to the furthest east spot, the View, you will be kiting on the lake shore with your choice of flats on the ice or rolling hills on the shore. Just be careful as the wind can die there without warning. So don't go out 7 miles with out a way to make it back in reasonable time.

So if you are tied down to a specific time frame, just keep mobile out here. Honestly, after snowkiting Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah, - only Utah is a sure bet if you can be mobile between Skyline and Strawberry. In the past few years, I have only lost days to snowstorms that were too severe for me to consider going to Strawberry, and 2 days when I could get a foil kite up in super light winds at Skyline, but not seal the deal with some upwind progress. And I think I am somewhere north of 150 sessions in Utah. Given that I am not a "local" here in Utah, and I do prefer to kite back in the Midwest if there is snow, that is pretty good. Or rather, you won't catch me in Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho anymore.......well maybe Idaho...if the wind ever blows there.

Anthonyshopguy
Medium Poster
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 4:07 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: Grandmesa CO
Favorite Beaches: Lake Arena CR, Cocoa Beach FL, Ivanpah CA, Lake Meredith Tx, lake Huron Mi, Metro Park MI ** 6 Mile on lake Mohave NV.
Style: Snow kiting, buggy, water
Gear: 21m Flysurfer Soul, 17m LEI Cabrinha Contra, 15m LEI Slingshot Turbine, 13m Waroo LEI, 11 m foil Frenzy Ozone, 11m Lei Escape PL, 9m Lei Nemesis Best, 7m Lei Waroo, 6m foil apex HQ, 174 SB for the Pow, 169 split SB for the outback, Cabrinha 154 twin tip for the lake, 600 switchback Polaris to get me there, and why not add in a nice new big foot buggy for that once a year buggy blast at Ivanpah.
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Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby Anthonyshopguy » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:22 pm

Thanks for taking the to go give me such detailed information. Hey do you think a full size RV could hit those lots at Skyline.?

Matteo V
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1220
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:42 pm
Kiting since: 2008
Local Beach: US, Iowa/Nebraska/Kansas/Utah/Oregon Coast
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Stevens, North coast of Oregon
Style: Just like school in summertime
Gear: Delta Kites and LF Kitefish QuadMod
Snowboard (Cambered and Rockered)
Foil kites on the snow
Brand Affiliation: NONE F--- the corporate world
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby Matteo V » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:04 pm

Anthonyshopguy wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:22 pm
Thanks for taking the to go give me such detailed information. Hey do you think a full size RV could hit those lots at Skyline.?
I know a guy (Gorge/Oregon Coast kiter turned hydrofoiller) that did it with a big RV up at Skyline 2 years ago. Though that was later in the year than when I was up there. The road is kept clear because of a coal mine and a coal fired power generation plant on it. But there are signs that say "tire chains or snow tires are required on this road (in season)". I actually get around just fine with front-wheel-drive and snow tires on my small van. In between snowstorms, the road mostly dries out and regular tires are no problem. But you would be much more dependent on the the weather as to when you could go up or leave. You could get chains and be fine, in my opinion. But Strawberry is a bit more hairy with the parking lots as they are just plain packed snow all the time. Given that some of the entrances are fairly steep like at Strawberry River, you may want to skip that area. Still, skyline is the best bet.

Here is a link with maps

http://www.nwkite.com/forums/post-211925.html#211925

fernmanus
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Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby fernmanus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:26 am

Matt gave good information. I will add that one can also get skunked by a high pressure ridge centered over the state of Utah. Of course,you can still go skiing at local resorts with perfectly sunny conditions, but high pressure can kill the wind.

Skyline gets more windy days than Strawberry. Strawberry has more rideable terrain.

The best wind at Strawberry is post-frontal NW wind. Strawberry is rideable on SW wind at a couple locations, but SW wind can be inconsistent at Strawberry.

Skyline is rideable on any wind direction. West is the typical thermal direction. SW is usually pre-frontal and NW post-frontal. East winds are the most fun as they open up protected leeward areas that are often untouched powder.

I agree with Mattthat a big kite is necessary if you want to ride on the light days.

I recommend watching locals ride for a bit before going out. This will give you the opportunity to observe the wind direction, wind shadowed areas and to acclimate to the high altitude.

Matteo V
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1220
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:42 pm
Kiting since: 2008
Local Beach: US, Iowa/Nebraska/Kansas/Utah/Oregon Coast
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Stevens, North coast of Oregon
Style: Just like school in summertime
Gear: Delta Kites and LF Kitefish QuadMod
Snowboard (Cambered and Rockered)
Foil kites on the snow
Brand Affiliation: NONE F--- the corporate world
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby Matteo V » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:38 pm

fernmanus wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:26 am
Of course,you can still go skiing at local resorts with perfectly sunny conditions,.......
If you do get skunked, and are not dying for a rest day, you do have the opportunity of ridesharing snowboarding or skiing right at the top of the road out of Fairview. About 7 miles up from the intersection in Fairview is the base where you pick up. Doing this would solve the issue if you just arrived on the one or two days of the month that is not doable with a big kite.

As far as high pressure killing the wind, yes it does at the parking lot. But you do have the option of parking right at the crest of the hill (looking down on the parking lot) and kiting out of there. It is a very rare day when you cannot use a big foil up at the top. Even with no pressure differential, the thermals kick off the trees lower down the mountain and can provide just enough.

Just a note: The parking lots are there to keep you off the road for the constant running of snowplows on the road. If you kite on the top and park on the road, don't stay parked there when not kiting or using the internet/phone (you have to go up here to get a signal for most carriers).
Attachments
SkylineToElectricLakes.jpg

fernmanus
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Re: Skyline UT, USA

Postby fernmanus » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:44 am

It is true that I have only gotten skunked a couple times because I own big foils, but those days with the lightest of breezes require good flight skills and nicely waxed skis.

I was at Strawberry today. Snow conditions are excellent with good coverage. We had 8” of fresh today.


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