How to Splitboard Transition in Steep Terrain
This article gives you a quick rundown on some key points to keep in mind when you’re doing a splitboard transition in steep terrain.
As you know, you're not always on a nice flat bench. So the key thing you're trying to achieve here is to not have your snowboard go downhill without you, right?
In powder it's relatively easy because you know the snow has a ton of friction, so it does most of the work for you. This is what to do when you don’t have a flat bench in steep terrain, especially with difficult snow conditions.
Making a Platform and Using Poles as a Barrier
The first thing we want to do is make sure we have a pretty solid platform for both our feet. Get yourself sorted and make sure your poles are on the downhill side just in case, as a backstop if some of your gear starts sliding down.
Unbuckling the Splitboard Skis
I'll take the top ski off first. Make sure that it's standing vertical and it's not going anywhere. Now, I can focus and concentrate on the bottom ski, which has less to stop from sliding downhill, but I've easily got both hands,
All your stuff is sorted, nothing's sitting flat. What we see sometimes is people will put their skis upside down. But if you do this, the bindings typically ball-up with snow. So it becomes a bit of a pain when it comes to putting the board back together.
Securing Your Splitboard Pack in Steep Terrain
You're probably gonna take your pack off. Some people don't. At times, I'll just put my skins in there.
But if you just put your pack down, it could go for a ride, right? So you wanna make sure that you have somewhere that's kind of out of the way and relatively stable so that it's not gonna go anywhere and it's not getting in your way.
Removing Your Splitboard Bindings in Steep Terrain
Take the binding off first and put it upside down. WIth all of the different binding brands, putting 'em upside down's better because you just get less snowballing in the bottom of them.
Here in the Rockies, we get away with it cause it's so dry. But especially in the coast and with wetter snowpack, you really want to try and keep as little snow on the bottom of the bindings as possible. So just get those bad boys out of the way. Upside down, not going anywhere.
Removing Your Splitboard Skins in Steep Terrain
Put the nose down vertically, then start peeling the skin off. When you’re about halfway, flip it over and then very easily pull the second part off.
Put them straight in your backpack so there's no risk of them going sliding down. Then do the same with your other ski. Now seal your backpack up again.
Assembling the Splitboard and Riding
Make sure you get a good firm grip on the board and go through your whole process of putting the board together, exactly the same as in mellow terrain.
Take a little bit more care and attention to make sure that it's well and truly fastened into the snow so it doesn’t take off on us.
Make sure the buckles are on the outside, same as when you're skinning. Again, just making sure everything's solid – the outcome here is to get your board together without losing any of your gear.
So that's it. Everything's secure, everything's stable. Now use your bench here to actually get onto the splitboard. Make sure you do your boots up as well. We often see people forget to tighten their boots after touring and the first turn is just a floppy mess.
Do your boots up as you would at the resort and make sure that they're all ready to go so that you're ready to perform in the good snow that you've worked so hard to get to.
Being someone who rides hardboots a lot, that's one I'll often forget until my first turn. Put your front foot in first and now you’re worry-free because you're strapped in and the rest of it's gravy. Get your pack on and everything's close by and simple.
Then, enjoy the ride!
Splitboard Transitions in Steep Terrain Summary
And those are some key points on how to splitboard transition in steep terrain without losing any of your gear!
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