Forums Splitboards What choose – Voile Mountain Gun 161 or 171 ? Reply To: What choose – Voile Mountain Gun 161 or 171 ?
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I weigh 175-185 and chose a 161, on the advice of Don Barney at Voile. It nosedives sometimes if I don’t pay attention when descending with a pack, but it’s easy to flick around on steep and narrow or icier terrain. When the budget permits, I’m going to pick up a 178ST for winter touring (more powder); when I bought my board, I talked to DJ Barney (Don) at Voile, and he said that he’d ended up with pretty much the same quiver, for the same reasons. Specialization, mostly. He’s about 2″ shorter than me and 10lbs. or so lighter. Personally I have settled upon a strategy of either going for things in-a-day or from-a-basecamp so that I don’t have to descend anything steep with a big pack. Just a 10 oz. summit pack, some water, a snack, and avy tools for peak bagging (where I deliberately chase the steeper lines). Then retrieve the ‘mid and overnight junk for the easier ride back down, and lean way back while cruising :-). Plus, I pack light.

I saw a Voile swallowtail on eBay this winter, it went for ~$500 I think? Boy I sure wish I’d thought to pick that puppy up. But then again, even on Tyndall, Williamson, Darwin, and Shasta, the crux of the descent is above basecamp, so I’m not losing *that* much sleep over it. I’d like a swallowtail for winter touring or longer tours, but then again, for longer tours I have an AT rig, and what I *really* want is a pair of stupid-light 1.5-camber waxless skis like the Atomic Chugachs so I can go faster on things like the High Route. I digress… a lot.

The fact of the matter is that short boards tend to work better for knocking around in steep chutes, while long boards (particularly swalllowtails) are better for deep powder and heavy packs. You’re going to have to either compromise a little or buy 2 boards. Or ski sometimes 😉

For what it’s worth, I seem to recall BCD riding a Mtn Gun 171 in the Mendel Couloir. The top was ~70 degrees (his estimation), and he nailed it, which kind of goes to show that it’s not the brush that makes the painting. 🙂 (aka “tis a poor craftsman who blames his tools”)