Got the opportunity to spend part of the day with one of the most influential people in backcountry snowboarding to date. Turned out to be a super fun day with good pow and good company. So I thought I would post a full TR. Snow is marginal so you have to put a little more thought into your tour. My summer hobbie is finding slopes with a forgiving bottom, but most the really good ones away from the crowds include a low elevation or s. facing exits which isn't happening right now. Decided on a bowl with multiple aspects E to N facing which would allow me to stay out of the sun/heat which was a concern for today and had a good exit. Poking around the snow on the way up theres an obvious thick crust from old freeze thaw cycle from before the storm. Dug a little hand pit before commiting the higher slopes. Results prompted bringing out the shovel to play around some more.
The first line was butta, no rocks.
So it was up for one more on this aspect. Noticed some splitters behind me one was wearing a cowboy hat.
Second lap was just as good, felt good to lay the hand down and get that feeling of bottomless in Oct.
Signs of wet activity and it was time to move to another aspect just coming out of the shade. I watched the two splitters take their lines and saw the big swallow and made the connection it's Cowboy. Splitboard visionary and creator.
Another hasty pit revealed similar conditions with a little graupel mixed in.
Lap 3, then it was to the N Facing where Cowboy and his partner Trent had put a new track up.
As I neared the top I could see Cowboy was digging a pit, so I nearly puked myself charging up to get in the mix and learn something new. Cowboy is also one of the main forcasters for the Utah Avalanche Center with a lot of days on his splittie. It was fun to compare his results to mine and watch him beautifully demonstrate an extended column test. He was more than willing to talk and teach and kind enough to invite me to finish the day.
Results from the pit prompted more pits on higher elevation slopes with some different aspects. Heres Cowboy and Trent in the mix.
On this spot we found a little pocket and got a collapse and some shooting cracks but no movement beyond that.
Then it was off to the exit line, a popular pre-season chute. Which rode well.
Cowboy's riding a big swallow and he moves it well.
On top of giving us the splitboard and being a huge contributor to the local backcountry community Brett is involved in the science of snow. Here he is grabbing data for a new study.
Spend most my time by myself so it was a real treat to get out with such a legend still representing splitboarders.
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm Posts: 1381 Location: UT
Great TR Utah! Thanks for sharing your good fortune, and props to Cowboy for all his efforts in boarding and avi observation. It's also good to know there are folks out there committed to Swallowtails to the point of riding them early season.
Russman this was a TR from the beginning of the year (October). I'll post something a little more detailed when I get the chance but tell me this when you read a TR of mine does it come off as more of an advertisement or does more relate my passion for snow, riding and history. ??????????????