This winter I have been dreaming of snow, skiing, and split boarding. With only 1 certification left in my IFMGA track, skiing is a top priority. However, I love snowboarding. I have always loved snowboarding. Why is snowboarding less effective in the back country?
Most guides in this country truly believe that Alpine Touring is the most efficient way of travel in the back country. I have to agree with the argument especially with hilly terrain. Some arguments are about the transitions from skinning to downhill travel. I am going to disagree with this argument and I will show you why later in the blog. Last, most snow boarding boots don’t work well for other types of activities in the back country, such as mountaineering or ice climbing. This article shows exactly how to use a splitboard to travel in the backcountry as a climber and mountaineer and can keep up with your skiing friends.
A fellow guide and friend, Steffan Gregory, has shared with me his split boarding set up that is the most effective for back country touring, transitions, and the ability go climbing as well.
To begin with, the photo below shows the entire set up.
In order to achieve efficiency one must have the following items for their back country set up:
- Tech Fit Compatible AT Ski boot. Also make sure the boot you choose can hold a regular crampon if you are climbing steep snow or ice.
- Dynafit adaptor Plates from Spark R&D
- Dynafit Speed Radical Toe Pieces
- Hard boot compatible bindings
- Voile Splitboard Dual Height Climbing Heels
- Splitboard Skins with tail clips
- Split boarding crampons
one must purchase an AT boot that can accept crampons as well as tech fit bindings (dynafit, etc.) and are warm for the winter environment. An ultra light example here.
You can purchase any AT boot with multiple forward lean adjustment and a good cadence in the walk mode, and fairly light. Make sure the boot can accept crampons which some AT boots can. Dynafit TLT5’s and 6’s as well as Scarpa Maestrale’s can work well. Steffan rode in Orange Scarpa Maestrale’s for years and worked fine.
Touring Binding/Toe piece:
These will give you the ability to skin efficiently are an affordable option.
With the photo below, the bindings are no longer made. Bomber was the company that made them.
The Dyno DH fills this void and saves pounds off your feet and is faster. These are super lite have no pin to slide thru, are superfast for transitions which create a skier speed transition.
Skins/Tail Clips/ Ski Crampons:
***Please note that Split boarders have to have tail clips and Split board Crampons! The biggest advantage to the Dynafit toe pieces are to allow crampons to fit the split boards during tour mode without getting out of the ski! This is mandatory in split boarding! ***
Get the gold 130mm’s for splitboards – Dynafit Crampons
With this set up, Split boarding can be an effective way to travel in the back country while en route to climbs. The set up allows you to keep up with your skier friends, and demonstrates a new era in split boarding!
Please note that the information we have provided here does not give you the ability to travel into the back country safely. Only with professional education, clear judgment, and the ability to assess avalanche terrain will you have the knowledge to know whether traveling in the back country is something you are willing to do.
Backcountry skiing is DANGEROUS, HIGH RISK ACTIVITY, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, GET EDUCATED! and most importantly have fun!
To learn more about back country education please visit our winter recreation page.
To learn more about my friend Steffan Visit him here.
None of the information or people in this article are liable for the info provided or the actions you take in the back country!