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 Post subject: What are the limits?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:48 pm
Posts: 16
Location: deepest darkest devon - thats england to you lot
Hi

We have just been to the Alps and found that compared to randonee skis our splits were very poor - they could not hold an edge and were far harder work to climb with - we even swapped to skis just to check it wasn't us - bit of a joke as the last time I skied was 10 years ago but they still went uphill better than our splits - ( sorry Mr Burton)- what sort of conditions do you use them in - the photographs seem to suggest flattish / rolling stuff not icy glaciated terrain 3500m plus

Look forward to hearing from you

Cheers

Bruce

PS can you please write in English as some of the threads are difficult to understand


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:28 am
Posts: 108
Location: Portland, OR
Was it hard to edge because the skins aren't as wide as the boards? Meaning the skins don't go all the way out to the board edge, so you slip on side-hills.

Board-specific crampons are nice

English


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:48 pm
Posts: 16
Location: deepest darkest devon - thats england to you lot
Hi

No we have skins that very nearly go to the edges - the make is [a<]457- and crampons - the boards are S series - the snow was hard and icy and steep.... what we really want to know is what type of terrain splits work in as they were not at all at home where we were? Got no problems with them down hill - except the usual one that Burton think that everyone is very tall - no issues when it is soft but dragging a long board through trees with crap snow on the way home is interesting

Cheers

Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:51 pm
Posts: 203
Location: PNW
Yes, all other things being equal, a ski will hold an edge while skinning better than a splitboard. It's quite simple, the splitboard binding system is not as tight as a randonee binding, and skis are narrower than splitboards so it is easier to hold the best edge angle. The edge of your ski is right under your boot. Not so on a splitboard.

I imagine that really wide and soft powder skis are also harder to use on icy stuff.

The split board is not designed for firm/icy conditions. I would either just boot up in foot crampons if it is a solid base, or, if it is a breakable crust, then use splitboard crampons.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:16 am
Posts: 43
Location: Switzerland
To answer your question - I'm not sure of the advantages. Having done ski touring, snowshoeing with board on back, and splitboarding, I can say that ski touring is by far the easiest going up in all conditions, with snowshoes and splitboarding about equal in powder. On icy stuff, snowshoues and skis blow a splitboard away.

I just got smoked by all 3 members of my group, although I've the most endurance. 2 snowshoers and 1 at skier. We were on refrozen sunbake in the alps and lost 1 hour over 1500 meters elevation. I shit in my pants 2 having slid out my downhill 'ski' and nealry taking a ride for life, and was generally much slower because of the extreme care I had to take with each step. I fear death and was not happy being on a splitboard. Switchback turns on icy slopes are also quite fear-inducing,

I've also done a particular tour in powder on the splitboard and snowshoes and found that I was faster up in the snowshoes. Another HUGE disadvantage of splitting is that the skins can (and will) ice up and then dramatically slow your uphill speed.

When you discuss weight, the extra hardware on the splitboard, plus the weight of the skins is not much less than snowshoes. Snowshoes work wonders on skinny ski tracks, and handle switchbacks like a charm.

The advantage of splitting is not having a board on your back., but I honestly question whether this bebfit outweighs the negatives (I just outfitted myself with a complete AT setup if that's any indication.)

Given that I'm in Europe for a few more years, I'll be saving the split for those special powder days, using snowshoes when it's warm or icy, and using the AT setup when its a classical ski tour (lots of flats & ups & downs).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:18 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Bishop, Ca
I regularly use my splitboard on icy terrain above 3500 meters. (Like most dumb Americans I had to break out the calculator to figure out what elevation that is. If anyone is wondering, it's less than 11,500 feet).
On icy terrain, a splitboard will always be a bit more challenging due to the width and the binding setup. But, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Once you get good at it, the difference between being on a splitboard vs. skis is insignificant.
Icy traverses really bothered me at first, but after a little bit of practice it was rarely an issue. I currently don't have any problem keeping up with the “skinnyâ€Â


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:29 pm 
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Location: PNW
psychomac wrote:
I'll be saving the split for those special powder days, using snowshoes when it's warm or icy, and using the AT setup when its a classical ski tour (lots of flats & ups & downs).


What kind of boots are you using? I was going to ask why you would use snowshoes for when it's icy. But then I remembered what it used to be like trying to climb mountains in traditional snowboard boots. Unless you are already using your ski boots for snowboarding, I would consider switching to a boot that is better for climbing. In my experience there are no conditions where I can neither skin with the splitboard, nor just boot up the slope. I have never thought to myself, that I wish I had snowshoes. Verts or crampons maybe, but not snowshoes.

Skins getting gloppy in wet snow is a common problem, that can be minimized by waxing with Glopstopper, or by rubbing a soft candle onto the skins. The wax improves glide and prevents snow from adhering to the skins.

One thing I really don't like about snowshoes is that most of them force an unnatural stride. Your feet are forced to be far apart. Also, all the snowshoes I've used have been absolutely horrible at side-hilling. They are too wide to work effectively when going across a steep slope. For that matter they suck for kicking steps too.

Honestly, I've never heard of someone who can ski, that also thinks that snowshoes are efficient. If you hate the splitboard that much, then at least consider using approach-skis.

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Me llaman el desaparecido
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volando vengo volando voy
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:16 am
Posts: 43
Location: Switzerland
i use soft boots, because i believe hard boots on a snowboard are inappropriate - too little side flex. crampons are out, since they don't fit wide boots.

with snowshoes (msrs), you go up steep icy slopes - traversing is not necessary. with any combination of gear, traversing icy slopes is scary, and when doing so on snowshoes i tend to point them uphill and side-step to maximize traction. skis work because good edge control and narrow platform.

i prefer to board, and would choose this over sking in most cases, and for that matter i don't hate the splitboard, i'm just realistic about the limitations given my experience using it, at skis, and snowshoes. i'll choose the tools for the job, and luckily i can afford them all.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 44
I've got a burton S and tested it with the aK skins and with Voilé Tractor 130mm wide skins. Basically, it's day and night. The ak skins suck. They are far too narrow and therefore cause major slipping on steep and icy terrain. I tried some Voilé skins once and they will definitly be my choice next year. These can actually touch both edges of the ski, meaning far better traction and edge hold. Their only disadvantage is the lack of a clip at the back. I hope they will make longer 130mm skins by then so I can add the burton clip to them...
And you also have to accept the fact that when using a split, you have to put the crampons on before the skiers do. Knowing this, I have been on all kinds of terrain and apart from my first day on a split, my fellow skinning partners (mostly skiers) never went up faster than I did. Even with the aK's.
A little trick on steep and icy terrain when going through it sideways is to bend your lower ankle a bit to have at least some skin touching the snow. You will lose edge angle but in the end the ski holds better because of the contact of the skin on the snow. Of course, this is only possible with soft boots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 42
Location: Routt County, CO
Splitboards/snowboards are made for powder. I would have loved to see a snowshoer post holing chest deep in the bottomless CO pow this weekend. They wouldn't have made it very far,I can tell you that. Also funny how on the most brutal trailbreaking day of this season the splitters where the ones banging at the front while the skiers followed. Absolutely nothing breaks trail like a split in the deep nasty. Ice riding/skinning is overated IMO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:51 pm
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Location: PNW
In regard to the boots, hard plastic boots are only the far side of the spectrum. A lot of guys use mountaineering boots with good flex, and they use them with regular strap bindings. They still snowboard pretty well, and they make you a lot safer and more capable when the board is off. They are also, of course, crampon-compatible.

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Me llaman el desaparecido
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volando vengo volando voy
de prisa de prisa rumbo perdido


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:16 am
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Location: Switzerland
[quote="bcd"]You're going to catch a lot of shit for that comment. Willingly disrespecting others in the backcountry will get you dirty looks, nasty comments, wise-ass “adviceâ€Â

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:55 pm
Posts: 924
Location: socal
He's talking about being a goon and snowshoeing in the skin track... :roll:


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