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 Post subject: How to get up the steeps?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:44 am
Posts: 136
Location: cascades
okay, so i took my kyber out for it's first backcountry adventure this weekend and LOVED IT! loved it loved it loved it. i'm sure you can relate. :)

i have a question about skinning/side stepping, however. i was with a bunch of tele folk, and we negotiated a few small steep sections on the skin up. in most cases, my wide-a$$ skins would just charge up anything, while my tele brethren had to side-shuffle up the steep parts. however, there were a couple sections that were too steep for even my skins, and i couldn't get my edges to bite like the skiers could when trying to side-step up.

so, getting to the point- what's the best course of action in this situation? can splitboards side-step? any pointers?

thanks all!


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 Post subject: Re: How to get up the steeps?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:56 am 
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Location: The land of MO (SLC)
ikkin wrote:
so, getting to the point- what's the best course of action in this situation? can splitboards side-step? any pointers?

thanks all!


Welcome to the party ikkin! And how quickly you have learned one of the hardest parts of touring on a split, steep hard side stepping. :shock: Only thing harder is long traverses on hard snow, both are the same problem presented in a different way. Often split crampons are your friend in these situations.

This is one occasion when I see the splitters on hardboots having a better time, the lateral stiffness in the hardboots allows more edge power in split mode. As for the rest of us soft booters, if you figure out a good method for these situations we are all ears.

UB

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:11 am 
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Location: Denver
Get the crampons and attach them when you get into that situation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:32 am 
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Seems like those too-steep to skin sections always coincide with some nasty exposure below.

With advanced technique and skill, you'll develop the ability to stay on skins through these sections. And then one day, when you're perched over an especially bad drop, you'll suddenly realize you're slipping, and you'll take the Big Ride down.

My recommendation is to skip step #1 and switch to axe and crampons when you come to steep, exposed sections. Even boot hiking up will be more secure. It's always a pain to switch back and forth, but do consider the terrain below you when you decide to push the limits on skins--even if you're using ski crampons.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:11 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Like other people said, when it gets too steep to skin, boot up.

This is one reason I like my Whippets, I don't have to embrace some false dichotomy between bad judgement on skins and bad judgement booting -- I get to exercise shitty judgement in both modes without much fear of an unstoppable tumble ;-)

In all seriousness, sometimes you're going to have to do some climbing. Get used to the idea of "snowboard mountaineering" and you'll be in the right frame of mind for making sensible decisions on the ascent. (IMHO) Sometimes it's best to get on a rock rib, portage your board, and just CLIMB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:44 am
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Location: cascades
so i guess this is just part of splitboarding, eh? skiers get to side-step up while we scramble...but then we surf on down while they...well...i'll stop there. i ski too. :twisted:

unruly baker, i have a clarification question: you mentioned that split crampons can help...and then you mentioned traversing. can split crampons help on the traverse as well? do they interfere with the glide?

also, i think i experienced that whole "Big Ride down" and "unstoppable tumble" thing...the reverse sliding face plant...right into a tree well. awesome. i couldn't stop giggling.

regardless, thanks for the tips/info. you guys rule.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:58 am 
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Location: The land of MO (SLC)
ikkin wrote:

unruly baker, i have a clarification question: you mentioned that split crampons can help...and then you mentioned traversing. can split crampons help on the traverse as well? do they interfere with the glide?



I'm no expert on this topic as I have the good fortune to not have to deal with hard snow all that often and try to limit my traversing as much as possible, I have only used my split crampons a couple times, but crampons are the lesser of two evils on hard traverses, you lose your ability to glide unless the crapons lift with your heel (most don't), but you have a smaller chance of having a slide for life scenario.

I'm sure others with more experience with the crampons will chime in.

UB

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:50 am 
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Location: Seattle
I have not tried splitting with crampons so I can't comment, but I just bought a pair of Burtons on ebay. There are 4 pairs left for anyone who wants to buy a pair. I do know that with experience you will get better at side stepping or egding your split. Make sure that the skins don't come out too far to the edges of the board that will not help edging.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Burton-SPLT-66-Cram ... dZViewItem


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Posts: 122
Location: Los Angeles, CA
ikkin wrote:
so i guess this is just part of splitboarding, eh? skiers get to side-step up while we scramble...but then we surf on down while they...well...i'll stop there. i ski too. :twisted:


I've never met a skier insane enough to sidestep up a 50 degree couloir when they could boot up it. Have you?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
jcocci wrote:
I have not tried splitting with crampons so I can't comment, but I just bought a pair of Burtons on ebay. There are 4 pairs left for anyone who wants to buy a pair. I do know that with experience you will get better at side stepping or egding your split. Make sure that the skins don't come out too far to the edges of the board that will not help edging.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Burton-SPLT-66-Cram ... dZViewItem


Standard skin-trimming advice is to trim them so that you leave about 1-2mm clearance for the steel edges whilst covering the P-tex as completely as possible. While it is important that edging not suffer, you also need to realize that most of the gripping on traverses will be done by the part of the skin nearest to the edge, so you need to strike a balance. (Your knees will likely be destroyed by the time you finish any significant traverse if you attempt instead to angle the planks... trust me on this...)

Crampons help enormously when traversing in firm spring conditions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:25 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Unruly Baker wrote:
...crampons are the lesser of two evils on hard traverses, you lose your ability to glide unless the crapons lift with your heel (most don't), but you have a smaller chance of having a slide for life scenario.


You pretty much hit the nail on the head, although the newer Voile crampons (as well as the B&D crampons for those with the Dynafit toe mod) are made so that they can rise with your boot. Depending on whether you are focusing on security or speed, this is a useful option to have. (For the Voile crampons, there is a grey plastic piece that slides into the underside of the slider plate, so that the crampon is held in the same plane as the bottom of your boot.)

If you're facing a slide for life scenario, it's nice to have a Whippet pole, but then again, it may be time to get out the boot crampons and an ice axe. That said, I consider a pair of harscheisen (ski/split crampons) to be indispensible for spring peak descents. YMMV.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:31 pm 
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ttriche wrote:
Standard skin-trimming advice is to trim them so that you leave about 1-2mm clearance for the steel edges whilst covering the P-tex as completely as possible. While it is important that edging not suffer, you also need to realize that most of the gripping on traverses will be done by the part of the skin nearest to the edge, so you need to strike a balance. (Your knees will likely be destroyed by the time you finish any significant traverse if you attempt instead to angle the planks... trust me on this...)

Crampons help enormously when traversing in firm spring conditions.


Very true and honestly I haven't trimmed mine as I haven't had a problem and I also don't want to for fear of trimming off to much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:59 pm
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Location: WA Backcountry
jcocci wrote:


Very true and honestly I haven't trimmed mine as I haven't had a problem and I also don't want to for fear of trimming off to much.


FWIW, the skins that came with my Khyber overlap the board by a few mm each side, and needed a trim. They came with a trimming tool, which was helpful.
The skins on my old Voile were already sized so that they did not overlap.


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