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 Post subject: Experience Europe
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:19 am 
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Location: Switzerland
bcd wrote:
Once you get good at it, the difference between being on a splitboard vs. skis is insignificant.


Quoting Carl - "I have to laugh." I know this is a splitboard forum, but let's be realistic - skiis are narrower and thus more of the downward force is realized on the edge than a wider board (I got an A in physics, rarely get to us it :-)

[quote="bcd"]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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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:22 am 
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mtnrider wrote:
He's talking about being a goon and snowshoeing in the skin track... :roll:


That must be USA - the skiers in Europe (there's loads of them), generally are really friendly to snowshoers as it really doesn't do any damage to the track it looks less pretty but what's the real damage?

Tolerance can be learned :idea:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:24 am 
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Location: deepest darkest devon - thats england to you lot
Excellent - thanks very much for all the advice - we are from the UK and ride in both Canada and Europe - we had hoped that splits would have allowed us to "surf" randonee from hut to hut - it would seem they will, but probably only on a forecast, not on whatever the snow god has laid down or left!

We were a bit surpised re the comment on crampons and soft boots - we had no problems at all - grivel 9 point on a UK 6 ( US 7) and grivel 10 point on a UK 8 (Eur 42) just to keep you all guessing and mixing units! Front pointed a 45 degree couloir at La Grave - the boot seems to be so wide so that even if there is a bit of flex the crampon does not fall off unlike a walking boot - we also tried riding in our plastic mountaineering boots - no problems skinning up and clambering around was a dream but.......... the ride down was so painful - the padding is in all the wrong places and your shins were battered

Many thanks again - also thanks for writing in English not "dude...." having been riding for 18 years it is a little difficult to understand as we are now so old and boring - wish I had discovered this site before

Cheers

Bruce and Alison


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:34 am 
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
This is a fun discussion and all, but it still comes down to the right tool for the right job. My favorite quote is "When the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails..." In a way I think it applies to a lot of the opinions we've seen here. And once again, they are opinions is most cases. Nothing wrong with that.

The only fact here is that people will prefer different tools for backcountry travel in different conditions, based on what they have access to or have personaly experienced.

When I hear of an icy skin track on a steep slope, that you can't even kick steps into, I'm thinking crampons and ice axe, if at all. What I'm actually thinking is "I don't belong in these conditions". But that's me, based on my experience.

So in order to answer the original question, you have to state your experience (conditions, tools, etc) then your opinion. One needs to know the frame of reference before they can put any value to your opinion.

And yah, don't even start on the skintrack/snowwhoe/bootpack debate...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:40 am 
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I have to disagree about snowshoes not damaging the skin track. In some conditions, if someone snowshoes over the skin track, it then becomes extremely difficult or impossible for skinning.

Mixed groups of skinners and snowshoers are not very efficient. In soft conditions, a group of skinners will move much faster than a group of snowshoers, all else being equal. Furthermore a mixed group with both kinds of equipment has a good chance of being slower than either homogenous group. In firm icy conditions a climber in mountaineering boots and crampons has a good chance of smoking any of the groups due to ease of movement and weight savings, especially if the grade is steep.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:03 pm 
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I was originally going to say that there are no limits with the splitboard. Then I was going to say that there are limits, like at high altitude. Then I starting thinking about a splitboarder I know going to Denali this spring who has decided not to take his splitboard. He says the added weight is too much to carry at the higher elevation and it will limit his chances of success (summiting). To me, this sounds more like a limitation of the user's fitness, not the splitboard itself. So I guess I'm back in the mindset that there really aren't too many limits with the splitboard.

As bias as I am, I won't try to argue that a splitboard works better than skis for traversing firm, icy slopes. It's doesn't and it's no secret that narrower skis work better for this.

However for me personally, skis are not an option. I am a snowboarder and the turns I aspire to make can not be achieved on skis. That's not to say that you can't make nice turns on skis…it's just a different type of turn. I like to surf the earth in a way that is unique to a snowboard. You either relate to this or you don't. (and its ok if you don't! :) )

If I wanted the most efficient way to get into the mountains, I would choose a sweet AT set up. But again…downhill skiing is just not an option for me. I am true to the snowboard.

A splitboard has proved time and time again to be my best option for accessing the mountains in winters for my snowboarding goals. I've used snowshoes long enough to know that those will truly limit my experience and endeavors into the mountains. As adamant as I am about this, I can still have an open mind to realize that the exact opposite may be the case in a different region with a different user. If the Euros say that splitboards suck and snowshoes rule over there then I'll believe them until I can decide for myself. Same goes for them. Rather than argue with us they should just believe us that splitboards work better over here than snowshoes.

In Bruce's example above, I would say that lots of splitboard skinning experience and the use of splitboard crampons might have changed his results. From his post I'm not able to gather if he had either. As bcd indicated skinning experience should not be overlooked. The more days I skin (in various conditions), the more I'm able to close the gap in the skinning advantage my skiing friends have over me due to the natural characteristics of their narrower skis. For me personally I remember being new to skinning and struggling with it on many occasions. I'd bang my feet together, slip, fall, swear, etc. It wasn't until I broke 100+ days skinning until I really started to feel like I was a proficient skinner. (and yes this includes skinning and traversing firm slopes above 11,500ft)

Some questions I have for the Euro Snowshoe's are:

Do you ever break your own trail?

Over here we do a lot of our own trail breaking (a good thing because it means our mountains aren't overcrowded) and as CP said, nothing breaks trail like a splitboard. Snowshoes will leave you wallowing.

How much vert and distance do you typically do in a normal day?

Over here 5000-6000ft days are not uncommon and long distances might be covered as well. It's definitely not impossible to achieve this while using snowshoes and with your board on your back…but it's just not something I'm interested in doing. I like to glide…not tromp. :)

As for the hardboot vs softboot debate…its kinda like the splitboard vs snowshoe debate. The discussion is fun and informative but let's not forget that the gear we use or do not use is only part of the equation. Personal ability can often make up for any gear inadequacies just like gear can sometimes make up for personal ability inadequacies. Knowing how you use your ability and tools of choice is the most important thing to remember.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Location: socal
Just being Euro explains a lot :lol:

All kidding aside...if efficiency matters that much than quit splitboarding if you don't think its the best approach method. I think most of us ride the splitboard because we would rather snowboard on the decent than ski. I think its more about what you're willing to sacrifice. I'm willing to struggle a bit on a traverse, rather than have to ski down the hill...I'm failry proficient at skiing just don't find it as much fun.

Psychomac...I'd love to see you try to keep up w/ BCD on your snowshoes!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:37 pm 
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Location: PNW
Sometimes, if the conditions are right (walkable), I go super light using lightweight mountaineering boots (Tecnica Altitude Plus) with my little 153 cm solid board and strap bindings. Sure it's not plush comfort, but the weight and mobility advantages are huge.

Denali with a splitboard- I'd only do it if I was part of a group of exclusively skinners, and I expected postholing conditions. Otherwise, see above.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Location: Vail, CO
bcrider,
I totally agree with you. I've personally been on Denali with my Burton Split w/strap bindings and climbing boots(was 4years ago, and if I would do now, I would go with plate/light PMB setups), and have successfully ascended to the top with an added weight of spiltboard on my back(West Butt and Ribs) and have descended on Messner Coulior(19K@Football Field to 14K), Rescue Gully(17K to 14K) and others(below 14K) with a huge backpack on. Like you said, there is no limits for splitboarding for me to achieve my snowboarding goals. That entirely depends upon personal fitness level. I've also been on Himalayan 7,000m-peaks with my splitboard and felt like more tiring hiking up or traversing just because of its high alititude, not because of spiltborad's limitation. When I for the first time tried to split up on the mountains, I thought splitting sucked. Just practice is the only way to be comfy with splitboarding, in my opinion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:10 pm 
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Location: deepest darkest devon - thats england to you lot
wow - what did I do?

We do have board crampons - like others we found that we had to put put them much earlier than skiers - like the comment on the width of the voile skins v the Burton skins, and the concensus that a tool is a tool, and choose the correct one for the day - guess we all ride rather than ski for a reason - whether it is the turns - the lack of damage to knees or just becasue it feels good

In terms of ups - a typical euro up is 1400m / day - really fit people could do 2000m we did 1600m up on last trip - booted ( see old dogs can learn new words ) most of it - took 6 hours and we were dead - but that is what happens when you are fat and grey.

Bruce and Alison


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 Post subject: Troll?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Mt Shasta
Snowshoes are better for an icy traverse? Thats not what I recall when I ditched the shoes for a splitter. Pointing the shoes uphill to traverse across? Sounds like torture.

It all sounds like a troll to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 pm 
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Location: California
Quote:
For me personally I remember being new to skinning and struggling with it on many occasions. I'd bang my feet together, slip, fall, swear, etc. It wasn't until I broke 100+ days skinning until I really started to feel like I was a proficient skinner.


Man, that makes me feel better. I consider myself pretty fit yet every time I've been out (a total of 5 tours) my partners have pretty much left me in the dust. :twisted: And I know I was more fit than most of them.

Skinning up from Warren Lake at the Splitfest was pretty humbleing. Most of the switchbacks resulted in much floundering/downhill sliding. I'm by no means a bad ass but on a mountain bike I'm usually at the front of the pack on the climbs.

Quote:
most of us ride the splitboard because we would rather snowboard on the decent than ski


Exactly :!:

Quote:
...have successfully ascended to the top with an added weight of spiltboard on my back(West Butt and Ribs) and have descended on Messner Coulior(19K@Football Field to 14K), Rescue Gully(17K to 14K) and others(below 14K) with a huge backpack on.


STUD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 69
Location: idaho
WOW, I thought "dude" was a timeless classic. old school mid 80's boarding start, dude was the most common word and tnuts.
beyond my shallow vocabulary, BCR and AK4life make very good points. this is my first year splitting, but i have a lot of time skinning on approach skis and the 100 BC days is very true. not that the exact number is of any siginificance, but a lot of time skinning is. i am a snowboarder all the way through, i can ski fairly well, but i choose the board because of the magic. the split board is not limiting, but it is different. time will tell, i started splitting around the the begining of Feb. and it blows my mind how much more i can do. i would not have said this after the first week of splitting or even the second. today, day 43 splitting, i will never go back to anything else. i struggled, at first, with board performance but i still would not put my approach skis or snowshoes back on. i am lying! if all my shit broke, i would f*&^$#ng bootpack, but not likely to happen. i just want some really high end performers now!
bruce, i wish you would have had a better time splitting, but don't hang it up. i think you will be very pleased eventually.


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