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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am
Posts: 207
Location: WA
In the WA the Mountaineers (Seattle branch) has a Glacier Travel and Rescue class catered specifically for skiing and snowboarding on glaciers. Might be the first of it's kind? Cool thing is class is only a $100 stones after paying membership dues, which is another 60 or so. Best part is once you complete the course your encouraged to come back and help instruct. There is also talk of adding a route finding/nav portion as well as an advanced class.

Class pretty much covers everything except for cleaning your shorts while your actually dangling in one. :lol: Everything from self arrest with poles in skin mode to the number 1 and 2 rope. Hey everybody Smokey taking a shit back here. Okay I won't tell anyone else.

Don't know how much would apply to what your course would offer but the more info the betta right? Sounds like you might have a niche with the destination camps. Plenty of people will pay money to bag/ride a peak. Only can foresee one problem...insurrance?

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 Post subject: Re: Splitboard Camps 2006
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:53 pm 
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Posts: 233
A splitboard camp is a great idea!!!!!!! I've been mulling just that in the B.C. interior.....say Nelson... Hook up with a local guide, bc lodge, etc. Teach the up and the down skills, route selection, avy course.......all of that.

Baldface Lodge was Craig Kelley's last home.....John Buffery is still there. They do an early season avy training course....I think we could make it Splitboard exclusive.

Shasta is a great location too.....................next?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:15 pm 
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Location: California
It looks like Shasta Mountain Guides is interested in offering some of these courses. It's not official or anything but they like the idea. :)

Please see this thread if you have ideas for the 1st course curriculum.
http://www.splitboard.net/talk/viewtopi ... =6590#6590


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:41 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I like the people at SMG. I've never taken a course with them, but I know people who have and have only heard good things. I met Chris from SMG (in fact, he's "SMG" on ttips) on the last Shasta trip and he's a great guy.

But back to the camp idea... I've often wondered about doing something similar myself. I would love to do something like that and get paid for it. From what I know though it would probably be damn hard to do it as a living, though definitely rewarding.

On the splitboard-only idea, I think that's definitely a good idea that could work. I've taken several guided trips with both ASI and MAS. None of them were splitboard or even snowboard specific. In fact most of them I took before I even had a splitboard. Often the guides were not snowboarders, let alone splitboarders, and so advice specific to splitboarding was limited to stuff that carries over from tele/randonee, like basic skinning technique for example. But not certain things that are really splitboard specific. For example, a splitter might choose a different skinning line to avoid a traverse, and go directly up something a little steeper because the fat skins/skis can handle it. I think a course that covers the basics (similar basic stuff that you get in other intro classes) but then has some of these splitboard-specific things would be valuable, plus it's easier to keep the group together.

On one recent trip with ASI, I was really annoyed because I felt that I was forced into a rather dangerous situation. The weather was crappy (snowing, windy) and conditions were sketchy. I was the only splitter in the group, and the group had a quite varied background in backcountry. For some people it was their first time. We were skinning up a slope, and one of the guys in the group was having a hell of a time where it started getting steeper. It was in a bowl, and perhaps a bit of a terrain trap considering the conditions, and not somewhere where you want to hang out. So the guide decided that we should all boot the rest of the bowl from there. He wanted everyone to boot "alpine style" where you hold one ski in each hand and basically use them as poles while you boot up. This works great for skiiers because 1) you can actually hold a ski in each hand and get enough of a grip on them to use them to your advantage, and 2) the boots are hard enough to kick steps in. This sucks for a splitboarder because 1) the split ski is too wide to actually hold in one hand, and 2) kicking steps in soft boots sucks. I asked the guide if I could either continue skinning up next to the group (I could have easily skinned straight up next to them), or if I could put my Verts on and put the split on my back. He refused and basically made me do it his way, which in my opinion put me at a far greater risk than what I would have done if I had my way. I was slipping and sliding the whole way up and trying to not drop half my board and see it slide all the way to the bottom of the bowl. This kind of situation would be avoided in splitboard specific camps.

I have also had some great experiences with guided trips. One of the best trips I did was with MAS on Shasta like 8 years ago. It was a 3 day trip. The focus was on skiing, rather than summiting. The first day, the mountain was socked in and most guide services cancelled their trips. We continued since we weren't focusing on the summit. In the afternoon it cleared up and it was perfect the rest of the trip. The first day was spent hiking in and establishing camp. The group was about half snowboarders and half skiiers. The snowboarders all snowshoed in a straighter approach, and the skiiers skinned using switchbacks. The guides were cool with this, and they had one in front and one in back. The pace was nice and easy, and we all arrived not too far apart. The class assumed some basic experience with snow camping, but they still showed us some stuff about setting up the tents etc. The second day we did a short tour, during which we discussed route selection, then got in some turns. In the afternoon we worked on self-arrest, proper ice ax usage when climbing, and roped travel. The third day we got up early and made a summit attempt in two roped teams. We summited, had great turns back to camp, and packed up. On the way out, we had to pass through some unstable avalanche terrain, and there was discussion of route selection again. We ended up going through an area that had slid, but not *all* of it, and one of the guys set off a small slide. That was one of the best lessons of the trip as we got to see avalanche activity and dynamics first-hand, and it was easy to see how even a small one could easily be deadly. I thought the amount of material covered was just right, as was the length of the trip (not trying to cram too much into too short of a time).

On another MAS trip, I talked with the guide about what it was like being a guide, trying to see what it would be like to do for a living. The short answer was basically "don't quit your day job". :) It did sound rewarding, but it really sounds like a lot of pieces have to fall into place to make it work as a full-time gig. One thing I didn't really realize was the amount of certifcation you have to go through. I think all their guides (at least full-time) are level 3 avy certified, and wilderness first responder (or higher). That's a lot of stuff to get under your belt. I guess when you're out on your own or showing your friends around, that's one thing, but when people are paying you and it's a business... it's a whole different ball game. Also all the releases and legal stuff... you'd need a lawyer to figure it out and protect yourself. You have to be more than just a good people person. It really takes a unique mentality and way of interacting with people to be a successful guide. Again you're not just hanging with your buddies. You've got people with all different kinds of personalities, and you've got to keep them all happy. You have to make sure the person with more experience is getting enough out of the class, and the person with less experience is not overwhelmed. When someone freaks out climbing a 45 degree slope, you have to calm them down and get them out without endangering anyone. When someone gets hurt, you have to keep them and everyone else from freaking out, and take care of their injuries. You have to be aware of group dynamics and diffuse any potential issues between group members. You really have to be completely selfless. I dunno if I could do it... :) Additionally, the process of getting permits to actually legally guide in many areas sounds like a complete - all together now - quagmire. Many have low quotas that are already filled by the existing guide services. It would certainly make things easier to hook up with an established guide service who already has the required permits. That said, I'm sure it would be great if you could make it work. I just bring all this up so you can make a realistic assessment.

Still sound fun? :)

Now, having said all that... here is a class that I think could really be cool: a 3 day class where you split your own board, and then take it into the backcountry and learn the basics! I bet a lot of people would be interested in this. Look at the number of people who ask questions here about splitting their own board. The cost would include the Voile split kit, skins, and possibly crampons (hopefully at a discount vs. what it would cost to buy outside the class). Ideally, the cost of the whole trip would be less than buying a new split, so that people who are willing to cut their own board can get their split *and* some important background training for less than the cost of a new split, which I believe is really a limiting factor keeping many potential splitters out of the game. The first day would be spent in the shop splitting the boards and getting them ready. It should be possible to finish this in a day depending on the number of people. (It would be a good idea to have some spares on hand in case someone really screws up...) The next day head up to a backcountry location where you've rented a condo nearby. Spend the first part of the day going over the basic backcountry safety stuff, like transceiver usage, basic snow analysis, and route selection. Demonstrate the basics and practice basic skinning technique, then go for a real short tour, ending it with some sweet turns in a safe location. At this point everyone is super stoked because they got to make fresh tracks on a board they split themselves, and they learned some important info. In the evening have a gourmet dinner at the condo. I think that trying to add in snow camping would be too much at this stage. You could also show an avalanche safety video, so they really get to see what kind of destructive power these things are capable of. On the 3rd day, do a longer tour, covering more stuff (route selection, safe travel practices, basic pit analysis, ice ax usage), and do a longer descent. At this point, when everyone goes home they are at a point where they will be stoked about splitting, have the main tool they need (the split), know some backcountry basics, and more importantly know what they need to learn more about (avy safety, snow camping, etc.), and be ready to take a more advanced class.

If this class were available when I started I totally would have signed up.

End of sermon... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 6:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:21 am
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jimw wrote:
Now, having said all that... here is a class that I think could really be cool: a 3 day class where you split your own board, and then take it into the backcountry and learn the basics! I bet a lot of people would be interested in this. Look at the number of people who ask questions here about splitting their own board. The cost would include the Voile split kit, skins, and possibly crampons (hopefully at a discount vs. what it would cost to buy outside the class). Ideally, the cost of the whole trip would be less than buying a new split, so that people who are willing to cut their own board can get their split *and* some important background training for less than the cost of a new split, which I believe is really a limiting factor keeping many potential splitters out of the game. The first day would be spent in the shop splitting the boards and getting them ready. It should be possible to finish this in a day depending on the number of people. (It would be a good idea to have some spares on hand in case someone really screws up...) The next day head up to a backcountry location where you've rented a condo nearby. Spend the first part of the day going over the basic backcountry safety stuff, like transceiver usage, basic snow analysis, and route selection. Demonstrate the basics and practice basic skinning technique, then go for a real short tour, ending it with some sweet turns in a safe location. At this point everyone is super stoked because they got to make fresh tracks on a board they split themselves, and they learned some important info. In the evening have a gourmet dinner at the condo. I think that trying to add in snow camping would be too much at this stage. You could also show an avalanche safety video, so they really get to see what kind of destructive power these things are capable of. On the 3rd day, do a longer tour, covering more stuff (route selection, safe travel practices, basic pit analysis, ice ax usage), and do a longer descent. At this point, when everyone goes home they are at a point where they will be stoked about splitting, have the main tool they need (the split), know some backcountry basics, and more importantly know what they need to learn more about (avy safety, snow camping, etc.), and be ready to take a more advanced class.


Wow, that sounds like the ultimate solution to the problem of people needing to purchase a new splitboard before coming to camp. Not sure how time consuming having all the people in the class creating their own splits would be though. As a newcomer to the sport myself, if a camp were to become available like that I would definitely sign up for it.

Otherwise you have people looking at what would be another 600 or 700 dollars tacked on to the price of the camp if they are interested in learning splitboarding, which could turn many potentials away. (That would be if the camp had splitboards to rent and you would need to buy your own after, or if the camp required you to bring your own equipment.)

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 Post subject: Sounds Cool!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:02 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Orange County, CA
Yo BC Rider,

Thanks for all your hard work on this site and your stoke for splitboards.

Cool idea. Would definitely be interested in the camp if it is within a 1 day drive from LA and my schedule allows.

Keep us posted!


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 Post subject: Hmmm....
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:18 pm
Posts: 58
Location: SLC(neenerneener)
...I've not read every post yet, but has the idea of having a demo/rental fleet showed up? Exum (I think) offers split classes, and they have rental gear for folks in need. Depending on if this is a course added on to an existing guide service ir indy, you may only need to provide splits. Avy gear, packs, bags, snowshoes and most everything else can be rented at REI, EMS or at a slew of mom and pops in mst mountain towns, including clothing a fair amount of the time.

I like the idea of splitting your own board, but if you rip it in half and hate earning your turns, your'll be forced to sell off your now useless to you you split conversion when you used to have a fav stick. If I wasn't totally set I'd rather rent a board for $60 then split my $300-$600 ride. That said, I think you could do both, so even folks renting could see how easy it is to split if they decide to do it later on, and it would be a great hands on way of getting farmilier with not only split specific components, but how and why boards are made the way they are.

PS- Never have been on a split yet, so this thread is pretty appealing so far. DJ, Jive, etc- any ideas for classes on the front :wink: :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
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Location: California
I stumbled across a similar course that NOLS currently offers in the Snake River Range of Wyoming. :)
http://www.nols.edu/courses/skills/snowboarding.shtml

Check out the course description and equipment list PDF files…they're very detailed and specify that splitboards are the mode of travel. 8)
(available for rent)
http://www.nols.edu/courses/pdf/tetonvalley/sno_cd.pdf
http://www.nols.edu/courses/pdf/tetonva ... ter_el.pdf

This course goes above and beyond what I envisioned but it definitely looks fun and very educational.

Here is a cool article on the course written by: By Cameron Martindell
http://www.mountainzone.com/travel/2004 ... ols_2.html

You can also find a different version of the story and the pictures from the trip on his site www.offyonder.com (scroll down a little)

Here are a few of my favorite pictures. Thanks Cameron for letting us share your story!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 476
Location: Meyers, CA
jimw wrote:
One thing I didn't really realize was the amount of certifcation you have to go through. I think all their guides (at least full-time) are level 3 avy certified, and wilderness first responder (or higher). That's a lot of stuff to get under your belt. I guess when you're out on your own or showing your friends around, that's one thing, but when people are paying you and it's a business... it's a whole different ball game.



Yo Jim, That's a pretty thoughtful post and I appreciated how you compared and contrasted the different guided trips. I totally agree that guiding is a lot of work with very challenging financial rewards. (All the guide jokes reinforce this, Q: What's the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and a guide? A: A pizza can feed a family. Q: What do you call a guide without a girlfriend? A: Homeless. Q: What do you call a guide in a suit? A: Defendent)

Anyway my original point was that the level 3 aiare avi cert and WFR are not that hard to get. And I think they are a super good idea for anyone doing serious backcountry even just on a personal level. The WFR course I took was probably the best educational experience of my life. Totally useful information presented perfectly.


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