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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I digress.. barrows you are correct. i should not be harshing his mellow, clearly he possesess high altitude experience, but at the same time, there are just so many variables (avy, crevasses).
OP, i assume this is not a solo ascent? if so, are u comfortable with and trusting of your partner with your life? its you guys and mother nature out there. the epitome of self-reliance.

However, the rhetoric you used (i.e. the word conquering) sort of led me to think that your judgment and motivations may be somewhat narrow and one-sided.. not the kind of attitude a ski mountaineer would benefit from.
Don't want to bring you down man, just make sure you know exactly what youre doing well before its done. If youre getting a vibe, my apologies, I guess sitting around with a broken leg from an avalanche will make you cynical

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:23 pm 
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barrows wrote:
The intracacies of crevasse rescue techniques are too broad of a topic to go into here. Learn the techniques from books first (the classic: Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills) and then perhaps take a class as well. Make sure you practice rope ascending with the same gear you will use (I like tiblocs for lightweight ascenders) before you leave on an expedition, and get your techniques down: hanging 30 feet down in an Alaskan crevasse is no place to learn how to use your gear.
Yes, I recommend leashes for anyone splitboarding in terrain where crevasse falls are likely, and make sure the leashes are designed so they are easy to clip into your harness as well.
BTW, on the normal routes on Denali you do need to be prepared for crevasse falls, as they are possible-but the route is travelled so much, that crevasse falls are very unlikely. Now if you plan on heading through the valley of death to the base of the Cassin or South Face, that is another story.


Some good info from Barrows. I would disagree on the recommendation of FOTH for crevasse rescue info, I find that text to be inadequate with respect to crevasse rescue techniques. I opt for either:

Selters Glacier Travel (preferred)
or
Glaciers! from Falcon Guide

While the main trail (WButt route) is indeed well traveled I would not consider the possibility of a crevasse fall unlikely, especially on the lower glacier. I punched through to my mid thigh with slowshoes on descent while traveling at night no-less. Granted skis/split skis would have likely reduced the possibility of such event, one has to prepare to expect a fall at all times until you have chosen your camp site, probed said area for any crevasses, and marked the boundaries of the probed/cleared area.

In addition to learning how to deal with your split gear in the event of a crevasse fall you also need to be prepared to deal with the additional hassle of a sled/gear attached to your harness and rope.

Denali was where I saw my first splitboard, and it has long been a goal of mine to return with a split. But you need to be confident in your riding skills in all types of terrain/conditions, and know when to pull the plug and climb back out if needed. We meet some ski patrollers from Bozeman in 2006 who had skied the rescue gully one day, returned the next day to find the route unskiable and had to transition back to crampons after descending a couple hundred feet. They indicated it was the sketchiest change over they had ever performed, serious pucker factor.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:57 pm 
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The intracacies of crevasse rescue techniques are too broad of a topic to go into here. Learn the techniques from books first (the classic: Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills) and then perhaps take a class as well.


FYI: I have taken such courses and climbed the Mendenhall Glacier the when I lived in Juneau, AK (circa 1983). BTW: The Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau IceField is a great place to explore and mountaineer (practice), without the epic of High Altitude Mountaineering.

What I have not tried is mountaineering with a splitboard. I was hoping someone (who splitboard mountaineering) could address the intricacies of splitboarding (including gear selection) in glacier / crevasse terrain.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Well, I'll bite. First thanks to Chris to the more recent references on glacier travel.

The only differences with a splitboard vs skis is deciding what type of boot and binding system to go with. Certainly for splitboard mountaineering I prefer a good hardboot set up with dynafit toe pieces, and for AK type cold, I use a supergaiter as well, and use Intuition liners, and make sure my boot fit is perfect (not too tight, room to wiggle the toes, and no circulation cut off in the boots).
Testing the system extensively, including overnite winter trips should be a prerequisite, making sure the system is bomber, even in temperatures far below 0 degrees. Ski crampons are a good idea, but if conditions get totally icy, you are going to be walking in your boots with crampons, so ski crampons are not essential.
A leash system which retains the split in ski mode is essential, and an easy way to clip in the skis (in fact, all your gear should be easy to clip in).

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:57 am 
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Hi guys,


Thanks for the replies and concerns. Denali is a tough mountain, and as I have stated, I do posses high altitude experience. The only problem is that I dont have any splitboard experience.

I have skied many years, and snowboarded even more. I am not delusional in any way, thats the reason I want to prepare my expedition one year prior to departure.

Also, this is not a solo winter descent, I will be guided by two ski guides, so they can assist me whenever needed.

Back on topic: from what I understand is that ATB's are compusary if you want to hold on to your toes. But regarding which board, I dont really have a clear view yet.

I live in holland, and the option regarding splitboards are quite limited. I can easily get my hands on a jones solution, or k2 panoramic. So which one would be the best you guys think?

Thanks a bunch.


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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:43 am 
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It is a global economy these days. I would suggest that you choose a splitboard based on what will work really well in the crappy snow conditions one is likely to encounter in high altitude splitboard mountaineering, and not on what is easy to get your hands on in Holland.
There are two parameters which are critical for a board for this use: stiffness and sidecut depth. You need a stiff board both to support the extra weight you will be riding with, and to provide solid, predictable, edge hold in variable conditions. Additionally, a long radius sidecut will also allow better edge hold, be easier to control, and is safer (not as hooky, easier to ride with sliding turns) when dealing with crappy snow (windboard, sastrugi, breakable crusts, ice, etc).
Additionally, I would be more comfortable with a board which has high quality construction when I am flying halfway around the world and spending loads of cash to make a mountaineering trip.
Chimera (the Mace) and Winterstick (the Tom Burt, and Severe Terrain) both make very high quality boards which are stiff, with longer radius sidecuts, and that are very well suited to the variety of snow conditions one is likely to encounter during high altitude mountaineering descents. Both companies are also willing to make slight custom adjustments to the board for your intended purpose (flex adjustments for instance), and for a price, Winterstick (aka Wagner custom) can do full customs.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:50 pm 
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http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/17/us/alaska ... ?hpt=hp_t2

third (?) fatal incident of the season

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:15 pm 
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I'm stoked that this guy has high aspirations. Tom Burt and Lucas DeBari are the only two dudes that I know of that have shredded that thing so more power to him. Karma is the best tool you can take with you into the mountains and hating on another person for having lofty aspirations is probably the worst.

As far as boards are concerned, our preferences are super subjective to our riding style and terrain selection. Granted there will probably be multiple qualities of snow found up there, but when it comes down to it, you can only really ride the board your are the most comfortable on. Sure something stiff may be best in this situation, but your size and riding style are the most pivotal points here. Your not going to want to be on a skate banana or anything, but dude T-Rice shreds harder than all of us and he rides a board with quite a bit of pop.

Dude, I wish you well, skin to win like crazy in all conditions this coming winter and apply that experience to your goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:21 am 
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hoglord wrote:
Tom Burt and Lucas DeBari are the only two dudes that I know of that have shredded that thing

Stephen Koch too.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:53 am 
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nickstayner wrote:
hoglord wrote:
Tom Burt and Lucas DeBari are the only two dudes that I know of that have shredded that thing

Stephen Koch too.


Yes, and, of course, Jim Zellers. There are a handful of other folks which no one has heard of as well.

Denali could be considered a "classic" snowboard mountaineering objective. There are certainly more challenging snowboard mountaineering descents in AK: Foraker, The South Face of University Peak (7000' of continuous 45-50 plus degrees!), and, of course, Mt. St. Elias. None of these have had a snowboard descent to my knowledge, despite an attempt on Saint Elias by the very experienced John Griber, during which two of his partners fell to their deaths while attempting to ski down.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:01 am 
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http://www.wagnerskis.com/blog/2008/successful-denali-snowboard-descent/

Jim Zellers was with TB on the first Descent of the Orient in 91
Koch did the first snowboard descent of Messner in 96
AJ Linnell rode the Messner in 2008
John Griber snowboard descent in 2004


Im sure there are many more......

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:21 pm 
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hell yeah, foraker would be the craziest snowboard descent ever! i feel like that would be AKs technical equivalent to K2 as it lies on the 14ers list.. dont think anyones ever ridden k2 haha. i believe Koch has logged descents on the 7 continent high points. pretty friggin rad if u ask me.

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 Post subject: Re: Denali splitboard ascent/descent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Indeed, Stephen Koch has completed descents on six of the "Seven Summits". IMO, the only reason he has not snowboarded Everest is because of his non-compromising approach on that mountain. All of his snowboard attempts on Everest have been purist, no oxygen, alpine style attempts, on the best line (for snowboarding that is) the direct North Face (Hornbein to Japanese Couloir) of the mountain. If he had been willing to compromise his alpine style ideal, it is very likely he would have completed his "Seven Summits" quest.
Kudos to him for not compromising on his approach to climbing and descending Everest.

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