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Splitboard Advice

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby Jtjohnso24 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Skinning up on skis versus a split is pretty much the same. I've found a split is generally lighter, smaller, and faster. In steeper terrain, I think the edge on a ski is slightly better. You can make up time by being in better shape than the skiers you are with, but the transition from skin to split still takes some time. I guess it depends on your goals for that trip and who you are with.

For skating out, it greatly depends on the terrain. The actual act of skating is the same as you would do in the resort, and there's no difference between a resort board and a split. In the backcountry, sometimes you can ride right back to your car Sometimes the snow is hard pack or it's tracked out enough that you can still skate out as normal. Other times the path is flat and narrow with a lot of snow. Stepping out with one boot could result in a post hole. If you skin back towards the Citadel (near Loveland Ski Resort), you might have this problem on the way back through the trees and in the flat sections.

Overall, splits are still the only way to go if you want to snowboard in the backcountry. I still think skiing is fun as well, so I switched over. Some of my friends switched to skiing while others stuck with a splitboard. You can still use your regular snowboard in a shuttle/hitchhike situation or if you're lucky enough to have a snowmobile.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby MarkSandusky » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:50 pm

I picked up a Craigslist special last year for what I thought was a screaming deal (skins too) It was a hand-done Voille set up. The stance was a little weird for my style/experience, and I cant for the life of me even remember what board it is, it rides pretty soft. All that being said, I have bought new hardware from Voille and intend to split my K2 Eldo and remount all the gear. I think the Eldo will be a good choice for snow that is less than perfect, and am looking forward to hitting some huts and doing some easier winter climbs. I chose this route because I don't have the time/resources to become the tele skier that I would want to be to 1. feel I was skiing safely and in control, and 2. ski with any sort of style. I have been riding for some time now, and it is what I am best at. That too, I HATE snowshoes

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby daver » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:01 pm

SolarAlex wrote:I think sticking with colorado companies that build boards that are suited to the typical conditions in CO is a good idea.


I think Never Summers do not hold an edge well on icy/steep conditions. Not my favorite company, I spent a season on an SL. Just saying my opinion on a company that seems to put a lot of money into marketing. I would spend the little bit extra and get a Venture if you're stuck on buying local.

However, to the OP I would go with the cheapest setup you can find. There have been a lot of good deals on K2 Panoramics (I ride one). It's gonna get beat up anyway and save your money for later on when can pick a split more specific to the riding you want to do. There is always the DIY approach. I'd say you have about a 50/50 chance of it working correctly. (I split a 2008 Rossi Jones and mounted one of the pucks a little crooked so I had to carry a hammer with me to hit the slider/binding every transition)

Just get something now and start using it.


Elliot wrote:If your looking to buy local, Cold Smoke SplitBoards out of Gunnison CO has a solid product with a cheaper price tag. There website isnt up yet but shoot em an email coldsmokesplitboards@gmail.com


Seconded

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby Carl » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:00 pm

FireOnTheMountain wrote:More into the approach and ridding myself of the evils associated with snowshoes and also descending the easier peaks (initially at least).

I understand that it is borderline stupid to split when skis are far more superior...


Ditching the snowshoes will be well worth it. Two steps forward one step back is still progress. It's not like you're considering telemarking.

Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:49 am

Sweet, again thanks everyone for the input.

pbakwin wrote:The Sparks are a big improvement & seem very well engineered.


THe Sparks look to be a pretty sweet binding, think I will go that route.

jmc5040 wrote:My opinion is that if you are first getting into splitting and you don't have the option or desire of going with a solid binding setup, your mountaineering ability will not take a huge hit until you start getting into more technical terrain. Like commented on earlier though, once your in the more technical terrain being on a steep icy slope with a crampon that just came off because your soft boot just flexed too much is not a good place to be.


Really want to go with softboots so it doesn't compromise the ride. Have read some forums online with people using crampons on their softs and it worked for them. Do any of you have experience on steep, consolidated snow with soft boots and crampons?

Carl wrote:Ditching the snowshoes will be well worth it. Two steps forward one step back is still progress. It's not like you're considering telemarking.


You the man Carl. :lol: Austin told me if I'm not looking to ski Cap, then skiing is the safer/better option. More oportuinites there and I totally get that. Again though, its that slight caveat that I have to ski instead of board.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby jmc5040 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:41 am

I've used Black Diamond ABS strap-on crampons many times on my softboots. They fit pretty good on the boot overall, but the heel doesn't seat perfect inside the body of the crampon. The trick I've learned is to flex your boot to the fullest extent that it will see when going up a steep slope and tighten the crampon straps in this position. This mitigates the risk of the crampon slipping off of the boot when it is flexed. I always give constant attention to the crampon and boot to make sure that they are still attached as they should be. The comment I made in my prior post was a sketchy learning experience of my own.

With all the new boot technologies I'm hoping this concern will soon be a thing of the past for softboots.
"My senses become heightened and the stresses of life fade with each step I take further from civilization. When I'm in the wilderness my brain and body work seamlessly together to do their finest work - a single flowing track down one of natures high peaks." - Jeremy Jones

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby ak47 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:48 pm

The spark crampons (chomps) are key for those steep san juan skin tracks and don't weigh much, though I usually only carry and use them in spring

Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby skitexas » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Splitboard.com has a ton of information and is a great resource.

I've been on a Prior BC for the last six seasons, tried out a Chimera Sceptre last winter, and picked up a Furberg for this season. If you're using the setup for 14ers (i.e. awful snow), you're going to want something versatile and durable. I'd stay away from boards without tip/tail rails (Chimera, LibTech, Gnu) as you're probably going to accrue irreparable rock damage pretty quickly which can progress rapidly into delamination problems. I'd seriously consider getting a Venture Storm or Odin when my Prior finally bites it.

I'm currently using the first iteration of Deeluxe Spark boots and have been really impressed. Stiffer boot with a Vibram sole designed to have some split-mountaineering applicability. They hold strap crampons well, perform well in semi-technical terrain, and feel great on the ride down and for long days. Definitely reiterate jmc5040's advice on paying attention to your crampons though. I think the new Deeluxes have crampon welts, which would be amazing.

Sparks or Karakoram bindings are mandatory in my book as Voile slider plates leave a lot to be desired. The customer service from Spark R&D is legendary, and I can't say enough good things about them.

Make sure you carry extra binding pins, zip ties, and a multitool; you don't want to be stranded when your gear inevitably breaks on you.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby Carl » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:36 pm

skitexas wrote:The customer service from Spark R&D is legendary, and I can't say enough good things about them.


Good point; maybe I do actually have something meaningful to contribute to this thread. I can't speak to how any of these boards/bindings ride, which of course is the most important thing, but customer support is a close second. Spark and Never Summer are made up of some great folks who are a pleasure to work with. Got to know them through Friends of Berthoud Pass. My friend Ben's company Icelantic is also making splitboards now. All of my friends who snowboard (granted I try not to keep too many at any one time :wink: ) speak highly of Spark and Never Summer / Icelantic boards. I was skiing/riding Berthoud with Y.C. when he sent this big and made it in an Icelantic ad http://www.splitboarding.eu/en/splitboard/splitboards/icelantic-gemini-13-14.
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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby KyleS » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:09 pm

FireOnTheMountain wrote:Really want to go with softboots so it doesn't compromise the ride. Have read some forums online with people using crampons on their softs and it worked for them. Do any of you have experience on steep, consolidated snow with soft boots and crampons?


I have the Deelux Spark boots with Vibram soles which have pros and cons, but are a pretty solid compromise between snowboard boot and mountaineering boot. I can definitely give more details if you're interested. They work great with my Petzl Vasak Flexlock crampons. I've climbed all day on steep hardpack snow with no problems, and even single pitch ice climbs without issue. They're way more comfortable than hard boots.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby XC Snowboarder » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:09 pm

My $0.02. For riding peaks I ride a NS SL Split with TLT5 AT boots and interface on Voile mtn plates. My previous set up was on Blaze with a plastic mountaineering boot. I wanted a soft boot for a better ride but I really valued the mountaineering boots on most peaks for a number of reasons, some of which are covered in the other posts. I may revisit in the future but I will tell you that AT boots are super comfy in walk mode and I love the crisp response on steep technical terrain. When you combine that with the toe pieces it definitely helps speed up the transitions. Footwear has been the crux for me and I would take your time, review your personal objectives and check everything out before you commit. As far the NS not holding a line I was super nervous about ditching my full camber Voile that I had ridden so many times. I found the NS to be fully capable and trustworthy when riding 14ers, which as noted above is usually not the best snow. If you need any more info I would be happy to elaborate on my experiences or send pics.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby nkan02 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:09 pm

FireOnTheMountain wrote:I understand that it is borderline stupid to split when skis are far more superior...

yeah, as a skier, I don't have much to contribute to this thread either. I'd just say that one splitboarder dude totally showed us skiers off this spring! quite unexpectedly, I might add. But it goes back to the underrated issue of skill vs gear. He was on Voile split.

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Carl wrote:Ditching the snowshoes will be well worth it. Two steps forward one step back is still progress. It's not like you're considering telemarking.

More astute telemarkers have already recognized the issue. No wonder AT stands for "aging telemarker"

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