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Home Forums Splitboard Talk Forum How fast uphill are you?

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    I am new here and i have searched for this thread…it must exist but i cannot find it.
    What uphill speeds do you use for planning a day of fun&games?.
    Most google results give a rather conservative 1000feet/hour that rando guides use with clients…and then i get skimo racer hits with cosmic speeds like Kilian Jornet’s 1400m(4200ft)/hour.
    I understand snow conditions&terrain make for wild variations in vertical speeds but i’m curious as to how fast/slow other splitboarders are.
    On my last two outings i did 1500feet/hour on very easy conditions and 3 hour climbs…but i have only gone out three times this season,and i’m 44 and (insert lame excuses…etc) so i suspect this is on the slowish side.
    The reason i wanna know is to set realistic goals and to fit in with other splitters without slowing everybody down.


    1500 ft / hr is about what I can do in easy conditions. I am new and not very good at skinning, so add in switchbacks / kick turns and my speed drops off a ton. At the start of the season, I was doing laps up Great Western at Brighton a few times a week to get in shape. From bottom of Brighton to top of Great Western is 1600 feet and it would usually take me 50 min to an hour depending on how hard I was pushing it. The really fast skimo people would blow by me like I was standing still. Some of them can do this same skin track in less than 30 minutes which blows my mind.


    I like this question. In short, I don’t think you are slow. Time really depends on the track, terrain, elevation to say for sure. But in general here is how I plan with my average partners.

    1) When we are breaking trail, its around 1000-1200ft/hr. This takes into account 1 break in an hour, and assessing avalanche terrain, and general BS of route finding. If its real deep, its probably on the slower end.
    2) When I’m not breaking trail, that gets anywhere around 1400hr plus or minus 200ft depending on track.
    3) For transitions, I plan 15 minutes per. This isn’t actual transition time of the system, but from the top to actually riding or skinning (layers, food, etc).
    4) For approaches (if flat), I plan around 2 miles per hour.
    5) Riding – If with multiple partners, I plan around 5-10 minutes per 1000ft of riding. That depends on the group, size, ability, etc.

    So if I am planning a day, I would expect something as follows for the following tour stats. 4.5K (all trail breaking), 2 mile approach on road, 2 riding lines. I would say 4.5 hours for climbing, 1 hour for road approach, 1 hour for transitions (4), 20ish minutes for riding, so total around 7 hours or so.

    I don’t think we move too fast (I don’t care to be rando), but I try to be consistently paced. In a good day would be around a 7 hour day at 4-5K. I don’t think we are drastically slow for San Juan standards, but we aren’t burning it up. This is also at elevation (normally between 10K-13K), and I wouldn’t call the San Juans “easy” for skin tracks, and route finding. When I’ve gone to BC or lower elevations, I feel normally it is a bit quicker, but don’t have stats for those. I’ve also heard too that places like the Wasatch can be easier to tour in, at lower elevation.

    I certainly know some faster dudes out there, that break trail faster than I can follow, and some slower. If I am taking out people who are relatively new to the sport, I’d plan for around 20% less speed (and around 3K). And a strong group, I could probably do 20% faster, and around 5-6K.

    And my advice if you are cutting a track put it in mellower (don’t break with your high risers) and your group will be able to do more vert at the end of the day. If you put in a thigh burner and put in a pace of 1500/hr, most people will fade out. I find splitboarding a marathon, not a sprint. My general rule is the person breaking may not be having a conversation, but the people behind should be able to, and then you switch when someone gets a bit tired (I shoot for 30 minutes on average).


    You know you are on a splitboard. To some degree by definition you should be inclined to measure more by quality and style over speed. We could all speed up on rando gear, lightweight one piece xc suits and empty packs, but we never will. Some of my best memories form this year were one shot, ~3300 foot runs.

    That said 4500 feet in three hours or so is plenty fast. Tour with folks who don’t care, you’ll get to the top eventually and maybe they get an extra lap on you, but maybe they get their picture taken. Some of the guys who go the longest in a day around here go pretty slow all day and they are measurably beyond 44.

    oh and also, your downhill speed in your video you posted was spot on and stylish, made me want to get out and have a good day


    One of the dudes in the San Juans getting after it is over 50. He regularly does 7-8K days. He’s a monster. And I know other guys in their 40s who are doing 6-7K days no issue. My thought is if you do it, you will get faster.

    But Scooby nailed it. Get out with people who are of similar mindset, and have fun, first and foremost. My favorite story is one of my good touring partners who got out one day with a tele dude. They get to the top, dude rips off his skins (skis on), and looks at him and says “you ready to go bro”. And my buddy looks at him, clear as day, no hesitation and says “dude, I haven’t even smoked my bowl yet”. Needless to say they didn’t tour together again.


    You know you are on a splitboard. To some degree by definition you should be inclined to measure more by quality and style over speed.

    x2 I really like this…

    As a big dude, I’m typically not the fastest guy in the skin track but I can grind it out all day when necessary. Slow and steady wins the race…then again I seem to be developing a reputation to torturing my friends when it comes to acts of physical excursion or mental toughness


    I think the key to being fast is just getting out a lot. Your body will start its muscle memory process and its on from there! Just keep marching and become a slave to the grind. I find myself enjoying the uphill sometimes as much as the down hill. It is obviously better when you are fast and can keep solid pace all day because you will ride and see more terrain. But that doesn’t happen over night. With time transitions will be buttery smooth and second nature. When everything “comes together” you doing more and more laps in a faster time frame and its just as easy. Making the standard 25 min skin in 12-15. 5-10 laps instead of 2-3. Two more coulies instead of one big lap. Thats the goal for me anyways! MORE more more FUN !

    i love apples while touring!

    Kahti Ryan

    The only time I’ve measured something like this was at the Derby at Upbattle festival this year. The route is around 530m (1740ft) in vertical gain but not straight up so around 3.8km (2.4 miles) in distance. My winning time was 60 mins exactly, with around 50 mins of this being the up, 7 mins for transition and 3 mins down (it was so cloudy you could only see in front of your face so a slower descent than normal)

    I guess that gives me a speed of around 635m(2083ft)/hr. I reckon I could do it slightly faster but not by much, and that’s me killing myself, not an average day out. 1400m an hour would be insane!

    On a regular day I never even think about it, and so many different factors come into play, I’m probably twice the speed on 15-20 degree corn than I am switchbacking 40 degree powder!

    A good long touring day for me would involve around 20km (12 miles) total distance, about 1600m (5000ft) in ascent and 3 runs between 150-600m, with the last one hopefully taking me almost right the way back to the car! To go at a fun pace leaving plenty of time for taking photos and eating lunch at least twice, I would give myself 8-11 hours for this, conditions dependent.

    If you find yourself faster than your partners, then take a camera, and you can be the guy that gets all the cool photos of everyone slogging up hill while you wait for them. If you’re slower, then make sure you partner has a camera and you’ll get loads of photos of yourself looking badass! Win/win!


    If you find yourself faster than your partners, then take a camera, and you can be the guy that gets all the cool photos of everyone slogging up hill while you wait for them. If you’re slower, then make sure you partner has a camera and you’ll get loads of photos of yourself looking badass! Win/win!

    ^ This! x2

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    I’m usually the slowest in my group with the most snacks and the most extra gear (spare parts, light 2-person bivy sack, extra straps, etc) and for a normal day tour 1000’/hour is about the average pace. That’s not the climbing pace but the average for a roundtrip. A good example is a tour that had 3 climbs, 3 descents, about 6 miles total distance and about 5000′ of gain/loss. It was a 5 hour tour car-to-car.

    For longer objectives that average drops considerably. A 7000′ day for me turns into 12 hours but that usually includes glacier travel, more complicated/steeper terrain, and a heavier pack.

    I think the fastest that I’ve done is about 1000 feet of climbing in 20 minutes but I really cranked up the steepest skin track I could set in forgiving spring snow with a specific goal right in front of me.


    Im slow. Some days Some days I do pretty good. Some days people complain Im going up to steep. Some days I bitch inside because I feel like Im swimming in cement

    Relax. Throw away your stopwatch Just pick a target and a turn around time. Find like minded touring partners and enjoy


    …normally I can skin in deep pow about 600m/h and even boot up steep coloirs up to 600m/h. On pist its no problem to skin 1000m/h but doesnt make any fun. Depending on conditions a trip with 2 descents one 600m and one about 1200m needs about 3,5h to 4,5h but thats always different, the fun is always the same and doesnt depend on ascending times.

    In my opinion the only reason to be fast is that if one does gnarly lines its less dangerous to be fast through dangerous zones or if it gets warm or weather changes etc. and one doesnt have to concentrate for a too long time.


    Wow Mansi,at those speeds you are perilously close to Fullbody Lycra territory…slow down!! 🙂

    Thx to everybody who answered,not knowing other splitboarders yet i wanted to know what the usual climbing speeds were .I think i’m doing Ok.
    Hope to get some good spring corn days next week…unless it keeps snowing.Powder>Corn but it is making everything crazy unstable.

    Last days of resort riding,i’m learning so much every day,little terrain features that i would have ignored on skis are a blast on the snowboard :).


    I was slow getting to this thread and I’m even slower on the skin track. Slower than that if I’m breaking trail. Put me above 10k feet and you get snails pace. Did I mention that I’m slow? That being said, I live near sea level and only get to split a few times a year. As long as the views and the turns are good and we make it home safe, it’s a good day.

    Go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

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    yeah blow some life into this forum powhound! Seems the worse the snow is somewhere, the more people are inclined to measure their uphill performance over the adventure and quality of the experience. What else are you going to do I suppose.


    im terribly slow lol…but i get there!! I have a very short stride and if I try to push too hard too fast I start to cramp up and my hip flexors hate me. So ya I am usually the last one up…but hey it is the journey not the destination right JJ??

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