Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am Posts: 1116 Location: Denver
Depends on the situation obviously. But whatever gets you there the quickest. One thing I always think about is how far down will you go before stopping and waiting for your party? If its just two of you, will you have to hike back to the slide debris? No good! Always keep that in mind. You could also get into trouble if you don't conduct good beacon sweeps with proper spacing, miss the target and have to hike uphill.
If you are at the top of the slide, snowboard down then bootpack. If the slide debris is hard and huge blocks, skis aren't going to help that much either. Learning how to effectively split-ski is also a great skill to have. If you get slid on the up, you can rip skins and ski down.
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:30 am Posts: 63 Location: Sun Valley, Idaho
I've thought about this quite a bit. I also AT on skis and have done most of my beacon searches on skis. For this reason when splitboarding I usually stay in the safe zone until the person who would remain above me is the person I feel most confident and most able to perform a rescue on me should I get buried.
If I am with a group of people I feel are less experienced I remain in the safe zone with line of sight until they have all skied to the next safe zone so that I can snowboard as close to the last place I saw them above the debris before running a grid on my board. Grids on a snowboard are very hard because you still need to slide downward and you, as mentioned before, don't want to go too far past the victim. Then after a strike is made with the probe you can boot out and start digging around the probe.
I really don't want to have to transition during a rescue, I think that would waste a lot of precious time. Going to ski mode you'd want skins on the be most stable, otherwise you're on a wacky telemark set up that is slippery and awkward.
Please feel free to find holes in my approach or add personal experiences that would educate me.