Splitboarding has been talked about a lot over the last year or two. The basic concept is allowing snowboarders to skin up steeps and access backcountry terrain in the way skiers can. Last year Never Summer (who had been making splits to order for years) added a couple of splitboards to their production range. We have teamed up with our sponsored chalet The Rider Social to offer splitboarding weeks complete with all the kit and guides etc. There are a couple of places left on these courses please contact them if your keen!
After Avant Premiere, we headed over to Chatel to drop off some boards, hang out and get some more riding in! Paul had a great surprise for us – he had sorted a guide (thanks Rory) to take us out on a days splitboarding. The first impression is that there is a lot of admin. Things have to be set up in certain ways, and there is a lot of gear piste and park riders are not so familiar with. We are dealing with big mountains and loads of snow though, so safety first.
After some quick briefing, we were finally ready to start skinning up the mountain. The first 10 metres feel a bit like bambi on ice – not great. However once you get into the rhythm things all start going much faster, and you become far more efficient. With the sun blazing down on us – it soon got very hot. After just over an hours climb we reached the summit. A desk job does little to prepare you for hiking mountains. We were dripping with sweat but layered up fast, as you soon get cold once stood on the top of a mountain.
The ride back down was amazing. It is not often you get to ride powder like that. We followed this up with a much shorter hike then a long descent back towards Chatel – again riding some great deep powder. Walking through waist deep powder was less fun, but all in all I would say a day like that is well worth the effort of the climbing!
I can officially say I like splitboarding and really want to do more of it! We had a couple of GoPros with us so hopefully a video and more photos will surface at some point!