Forums Trip Reports 1st Siberian Splitfest: Tearing Down the Wall
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #818236
    31 Posts

    Hello! This is me – Dmitriy Metelya.

    And this is my buddy Alexander Kadochnikov.

    We live in the city in the middle of boundless Siberian forest called “taiga”. Several years ago we tried splitboarding and founded – the first and the only Russian splitboarding website. My life changed dramatically and I virtually spent 3 seasons without any mechanized means of getting the goods. That was pure freedom of connecting with the mountains and with things that you need in the mountains: skins rustling underfoot, the best snow, friends and untouched nature.

    Time went by and one day I became a lead guide in SnowlabPRI – a catskiing operation here in Siberia. Being a commander of a huge snowcat gives you an opportunity to ride up to 300 km vertical a season – that’s a dream and many would say that this is more than enough to be the happiest snowboarder in the world.

    Nevertheless I felt that I missed something important splitboarding had given me. I had rare chance to skin and a plan of participating in Mt. Baker Splitfest which was my #1 goal. For three years I was trying to save some money for it and to find an opportunity to leave my home mountains during the season. It should have been Mt. Baker Splitfest 2018 and things were going well while I was handling the visa issue. But 5 days before the interview I got a letter stating that the government was closing all U. S. consulates in the country and diplomatic staff was leaving Russia. I was really upset. While politicians played their games they forgot about mine. A dream of splitboarding in the mountains where Craig Kelly used to ride dissipated in a moment. I couldn’t believe that someone can build a border that you can’t overcome. For what purpose? For me not having a good time or what?

    The splitboarding season was passing me by when Alexander called and explained his idea of organizing a splitfest in Kuznetsk Alatau mountains where I work. That was a turning point of the story. I realized that while I didn’t have an opportunity to get to the splitfest, a splitfest had many chances to take place in the mountains I love but hadn’t discovered yet father than our snowcats can reach. That’s another authorities: powder is my law, Avalanche Handbook is my constitution and head guide is my president. This was going to be the first splitboarding party in Siberia, this was going to be fun, this was going to be adventure, and this was going to be SPLITFEST.

    And here we are, standing on a windy ridge top after a snowcat-assisted approach.

    A machine can go far but not that far. So we were already out of bounds of habitual area, our adventure had already started and the feeling of unknown excited everyone to go further.

    The plan was to discover new slope, steep, lone and never ridden.

    The slope looked nice and welcoming but I knew that there was crust under several centimeters of fresh. Spring in Siberia is spring indeed.

    Checking upper layers and we’re ready to ride!

    The crust was there and we kept our speed under control during the run.

    Anyway that was good!! New valley, new emotions, first run ever and a new name on the map. Let’s see where the fall line will bring us. It’s time to discover… The creek leaded us to another valley from which we reached another mountain with great snow conditions. The deeper we went the better it was.

    Approaching by south-facing bottom of the valley caused some buildup – you’d better use skin wax, Alexander.

    An hour later we reached the crest and just reward was already there. An unexpected beauty of the unknown – that’s what you get after so many wanderings and that’s why we do that. The moment of peace which finally made my day.

    Mountain weather is like our life in whole. After a couple of runs (no one hit upon taking a photo, huh) on our way home sun disappeared and we got rain and strong wind which turned into snow storm later. Tired, soaked, but happy we got back to the hotel. Delicious dinner, friendly chat and a lecture on splitboarding basics – nice end of the day.

    Testing my snow saw. Works great.

    The next day was a powder day. No sun, no sky, only white magic around!

    Fresh pow rustling under the board…


    …and fun!

    So, what am I going to do after the party? Of course some day I’ll visit all the places and events I want, but first of all I’m going to get prepared for the 2nd Siberian Splitfest with more splitboarders, new friends, new routes and new ideas. If there’s a wall, there must be doors.

    Thanks to:
    Voile for their invention and for best straps in the world, personally Michale Brunker for supporting the Splitfest,
    SnowlabPRI for making it happen.

    624 Posts

    Great post Dmitriy! a few good friends, wide open areas to explore . . . you aren’t missing a thing over here in N. America.

    31 Posts

    Thanks!! I’m really happy to get back into splitboarding and to share this with you ))

    351 Posts

    Nicely done!!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.