I have been thinking about writing a Utah ride guide to Utah Snowkiting. I receive a lot of questions on where to ride from both locals and from riders visiting our state. It makes me sad when I see visitors and locals missing out on the optimal places to ride. For example, Strawberry has 8 launches and Skyline has 4. Depending on wind direction, wind strength, and coverage some locations are going to be better on a given day.
I am not thinking about charging anything, I would just ask that locals give me the 411 when I visit their home spots.
My questions for you. Should I write a pdf or just start a thread on this forum or would someone like to host it elsewhere? What info would you find helpful? In addition to launches, I was going to talk about where to stay and what equipment to bring.
By the way, this is a special year at Strawberry. The conditions are the best I have seen since I started Snowkiting there 15 years ago. The snow is deep with no exposed sagebrush. Skyline is just silly deep with a 100+ inch base.
A Utah snowkite guide would be greatly appreciated.
We originally got our trip planning info from old forum searches, but that's hit and miss at best.
When we arrived, other kiters in the parking lot sometimes knew less than we did.
For example, our first time at Skyline we sat in the parking lot with our kites pumped and rigged because there wasn't enough wind, and a local showed up and hiked a couple hundred yards over onto the base of Bosco's Ridge and kited up. We learned that when the wind is borderline in the parking area, it's often kiteable once you get over on the ridge.
Another time at Skyline it was blowing mild straight east and there was almost zero wind in the parking lot and there also wasn't enough wind on the ridge west of the parking lot because of the wind shadow from Bosco's. We debated hiking up Bosco's to kite the east side of it, but weren't sure if that was a safe area or if there would be enough wind there. We ended up finding a spot about a mile north on Skyline drive where the wind was howling through a low saddle on the ridge and we had a great session.
Our first time to Strawberry we drove in expecting to see a ridge loaded with kiters like you see on the videos, but there were only two kiters on the frozen lake, and after driving 5 miles past it looking for the good spot, we turned around and got info from them (an instructor giving a lesson).
For those learning to glide, the terrain variations at Skyline have significant impact on the best area where even subtle changes in wind direction can be significant.
Windstoked, I really appreciate your comments. The scenarios you mentioned are exactly what I had in mind. By the way, the day you rode the saddle, the wind was out of the NE. You could have also driven across the street to the parking lot on the west side of the road and launched there. The east side of Bosco is rideable and can be awesome on an east day. What is less known is that the south side of Bosco is also rideable when coverage is good (like this year).
I think I will dedicate a thread to each launch and a thread for other topics like forecasting, equipment, etc.
Great idea, fernmanus. The kiteforum spots is helpful, but it doesn't include an ongoing thread from users where more detailed info on a launch such as the dynamics of wind direction or current condition updates are discussed. In addition to basic access info, wind data etc., I often find the varied user experiences and discussions of a site more valuable.
Perhaps if an experienced and knowledgeable local just started a separate thread for each major snowkite launch in the snowkite section, it would be more visible to forum readers, because condition or event updates would keep it near the top, at least for the snowkite section where there isn't the volume of new threads that continually push topics off the first page.
Hi there Utah people
I am a kiter (water) from Boston - also a decent skier - headed to SLC towards the end of March. Would love to try snowkiting. Would love to talk to someone about it first though. Any chance I could get a call or a phone number to talk to someone? You can check me out on FB - Lorenzo Majno. My phone number is 617-480-3710 and my email is email@example.com. THANKS! Dying to try this!
Hi Fernmanus I have been thinking of coming over there from Western CO for 4 to 5 days. Yes what you are describing is what I'm literally looking for right now. I could give you the low down on basic Grand Mesa kiting if you want to try to include western CO.