Finding wind at Strawberry

Daily Wind forecasts, questions about weather, gear, locations, etc.

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Finding wind at Strawberry

Postby Kenny » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:37 pm

I am posting this thread because perhaps we can all learn from one another and get more riding days at Strawberry. Strawberry is a gem. I love Skyline, but Strawberry is truly a work of art, a snowkiting wonderland.

Last Saturday, January 8th. I rode the Cabin site solo. In my forecast, I said that you may have to go to CC East or further to find wind. On a west wind, Strawberry River is usually very light or inconsistent. It sometimes will fill in nice at CC East, but sometimes you have to drive further East. You will notice that as you drive that the elevation increases after Ladders. The view turnoff can often be good, but occasionally the cabin site area is the only place to grab a ride. On Saturday, the wind was blowing a solid 15 mph from 2 - 4:30. I don't know what was happening elsewhere, but I did notice that when I dropped down off the hill at the cabins and went down to the level of the lake, the wind speed dropped to around 10 mph. As long as I stayed high, the wind was solid.

One of the secrets that many on you may not be aware of when it comes to Strawberry is that it blows there almost every day. The problem is that unless the wind is out of the NW, you can't always be sure where it will blow, when it will blow, and how long it will blow. Chasta once spent several weeks traveling to Strawberry every day and he got in a ton of riding. If I had more time, I would buy a cabin up there because I can tell you that unless high pressure is camped over us, it will blow some time during the day at Strawberry. I just wish we still had the wind meter at Strawberry River, it was so informative!

Here is what I know and I encourage others that have more experience than I do to add to this thread.

N or NW wind - we all know that this is the most reliable direction at Strawberry. The wind will usually blow all afternoon and sometimes in the morning as well. Strawberry River, Coop, CC, Ladders, View Spot, and Cabins all do well on a N wind. If there is much of a western cant to the wind, then Coop and everything east does better than Strawberry River.

West wind - If it is pure west, then cabin sites is the best bet, next best is the View spot. If it is stronger, then the sites to the west of cabin sites will all have wind, but cabins will tend to be the strongest.

East Wind - Cabin sites is usually the best bet. I wish I had more experience with East wind at Strawberry. I do know that you can get in some great riding on east wind at Strawberry, but it tends to be more of a morning opportunity.

SE wind - I don't have much experience with SE wind. I have had two phenomenal sessions at Strawberry River on SE wind, but it was light (I rode a 19M foil in powder until after sunset).

S wind - The marina will sometimes give up rides, but the wind can be intermittent and it may only come up for an hour or so, leave and come up again an hour later. This is the most unreliable direction at Strawberry.

SW wind - Marina, mud creek, ladders, cabin sites can all be good, but once again wind the wind can be intermittent and it is hard to predict when it will come up.

My commentary on S and SW wind at Strawberry. I have had some excellent days riding this direction, but I have also had some frustrating days. This direction can feel solid and steady, so that you travel with confidence far from your launch and then it shuts down completely with no warning. I have had 1 mile plus post-holing, epic slogs back to my car after getting stranded on a SW wind. The other issue is that you can never be sure exactly when the wind will turn on, so you may sit around waiting much of the day. I can say that if you have never ridden at the Marina and the surrounding hills, campsite, and Mud Creek - you have not yet experienced all that Strawberry has to offer. It is not as epic as a downwinder from CC East to the Cabin sites, but there are some amazingly fun spots to ride.

Since it is difficult to forecast when the wind will turn on and for how long at Strawberry on a S or SW day, I usually point riders to Skyline or PowMow, especially if the wind is light as the line and PM are sure money on pre-frontal wind days. However, when I do see a strong SW flow, I think it is worth taking the risk and going to Strawberry because you often find untouched powder and magnificent terrain at Strawberry.

One more note, I bought a SPOT locator this year for kiting at Strawberry. I figure that it is better to be prepared than to spend a night out in the cold. If you do decide to do downwinders at Strawberry and travel away from the road, it is a good idea to not go alone and to have a way of getting help.

I hope this thread will help. There is plenty of room at Strawberry for all of us to enjoy it's bounties.
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Re: Finding wind at Strawberry

Postby bordy » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:38 pm

None of this is true.. there is never wind at strawberry and everyone should keep going to skyline it is the best spot in Utah!

Hehehehehe :oo :oo :))) :))) :twisted:

This really is the first year the cabins have been good in a few years, Kenny mentioned it but I will restate... No one should be riding the cabins alone ever. Kenny you are just as quilty as many for posting about your great solo sessions there, this should never be the norm.

I stumbled across some new kiters the other day at the cc parking lot they were trying to find the cabins to go kite, they where all begginers and had read about it on our forum, there are truley some spots that need to be "achived" the cabins is such a spot. I sent them all back to the river where they had a great day.

I love sharing info about all our great kite spots, but as with the issues we had with barb wire beach and the "fast and loose" attidude that was taken there. We as a comunity had to get together and find a solution. I hope this does not happen at strawbs and I think the Cabins is the first spot to create this type of real DANGER.

Let be real for just a moment... I ride strawberry often, I have never ridden the cabins alone or with out carrying snow shoes( if snowboarding or AT gear if skiing), collasable poles, warm stuff, water (in a reusable container that I can melt snow in if need be), food, a cell phone(my sprint service seems to work in a few places around strawbs) A lighter and some times a shovel ( just in case a jump or snow cave needs to be built). It also makes sense to bring a pump if you fly inflatables cuz you can break down to walk with out dragging you kite.

There have been days when my friends and I cover a hundred plus miles in a day at the cabins and never see anyone. We have discused evac plans and whould not question the need for a helo in a life threating problem.

As a former memeber of a Army mountain warefare unit I know to much about exposere to want to die from kiting the cabins alone, and that could very well happen at this kite spot.

as a side note Kenny has been kiting a very long time, he may feel comfortable kiting part of the cabins alone It is important that this is said Part of the cabins not adventure kiting solo. I have launched there alone only to hang out around the road and the cabins themselves, this is not dangerous since we are staying near the launch, once you venture out past there you could easly get lost, in good weather, let alone if it get socked in. Unless you are withen site of the road kiting there alone is just silly. The days that are epic at the cabins are when it is a mid kite forcast and you drive up wind knowing if the wind fails you can run for the road and then follow it back to the lot of bail out to it. Riding away from the luanch site on a light wind day is just asking from trouble cuz the wind is going to stop and you are going to be phucked.......

What makes the cabins always seem better is becuase the launch has more elevation, you can still "drop" down into the same crappy wind you drove away from at the other lower launches I have watched several kiters do this and have to walk for a long time to get back up high into the wind , just like the wind in Jakes bay, and at the top of jakes hill are different this is what makes the cabins work also. You are much better riding CC on days you are alone becuae you can climb the hill, have a blast around the ridge tops and see the road and your car the entire time. Even the overlook will provide the same sexy wind at the launch but then just crap at the water level on the resiovor

Rememeber distance snowkiting means you will cover distance, any time you go out you could be walking back, In my years at the cabins I have walked once, for a couple of hours only to be lucky enough to get a sled ride out, becuase a friend at the launch told a random person with a snowmobile I was lost, the snowmobilier saved me hours of walking, and perhaps a night in the elements that I may or may not have survied...

There is also Barbwire, powerlines and a entire community of homes around the spot to catch your kite or board on and ruin your day. Plus you launch and then drive up wind through all of these hazards, luckly the powerlines go underground away from the launch.

The Marina is for sure the best place when its South through true West, I have even ridden the Marina when the Cabins is not blowing at all on a west.

Enough from me, I love strawbs and know it can hold hundreds more snowkiters there is plenty of room out there, but if just one of us needs to be rescued, becuase they where not prepared to face the challenges of strawberry then we failed as a community.

The river is the welcome spot for every one and works N through a super stroung SW.

Chicken creek is great for everyone
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Re: Finding wind at Strawberry

Postby Kenny » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:38 pm

Billy, Thank you for pointing out the inherent dangers at the cabin site - my bad for not saying more. There actually is a safe place to ride adjacent to the parking lot where you can go back and forth for about 1/8th of a mile without the aforementioned obstacles. If you have to bail, it is a short downwind walk to the snowmobile trail and you never have to lose sight of the road. There are power lines upwind of the riding area and a small barbwire fence downwind, but they are easy to avoid if you use common sense. If you ride south 1/8 of a mile there is a barbwire fence and on the other sides are the cabins. There are lots of other obstacles in addition to the cabins - a radio tower, lots of power lines, etc. If you are dropping your kite at all or if the wind is not steady, it is a place to be avoided.

I actually find the cabin site area to be confining because the only way to really explore is to go up wind or tack a very long ways past all of the power lines. There are power lines downwind of the cabin launch site, on the other side of the road, and to the south amidst the cabins.

Billy is right about CC East being the most friendly spot for new kiters. Next best is Strawberry River. The Marina is also a good spot if you don't venture too far. Billy hit the nail on the head, you don't want to go to far away from the launch unless you are well prepared. Newbies should not even consider downwind runs until they have a lot of experience and long downwinders should never be done alone.
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Re: Finding wind at Strawberry

Postby RickHeninger » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:12 pm

Kenny and Bordy... This sounds like pretty useful 411... So I added it to the Strawberry weather page aresenal of info. So please add whatever other details that need to be pointed out about Strawberry. thx.
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