Two words to sum up this last weekend: Freakin’ Amazing!
Bryce and I really didn’t know what to expect going down to the Kalifornia Split Party, except that it was going to be an adventure. We decided last minute we were going and scrambled to get plane tickets. Keeping with tradition… the night before was another long one. Finishing up parts and packing by 1:30am and crawling out of bed at 4:30am, I sleepily flew to Reno where Bryce and I met up and began our road trip to Convict Lake.
Taking in the epic views of the Eastern Sierra,
we anxiously anticipated the backcountry adventures that lay ahead. Stopping along the way we snapped a few photos of Mono Lake.
Arriving at Convict Lake around 5pm,
we met up with the California splitboard.com crew at the Mt Morrison Cabin.
It was nice to see a few familiar faces (The Tahoe crew: Aaron, Kelly, Denny) from the Baker Splitfest. We grabbed some grub and and spent the night talking of the days adventures (an epic tour to Mt Tom, slushy fun on hippy chutes, the road trips in) and of course gear!
A few last minute preps
and it was off to bed.
The next morning we awoke to the blue bird singing, another beautiful day in the Eastern Sierra! Crews were headed all over for the day; we cruised over to a nearby ridge line for some laps with Mike, Denny, JimW, Greg, Chris, and the whole Sentury Snowboards crew.
Lap 1- At the bottom we thought it’d be ~1600ft to the top. After a steep switch backing skin track up the ridgeline to the top it ended up being close to 2700ft per JimW’s altimeter.
The group split up with Mike, Denny and crew hitting up the skiers left trees and drainage while Bryce, Jim, and I ventured over to a steep rocky spine for a helping of some little narrow shoots.
Me (Tyler) popping out of a turn
Lap 2- we switched our system onto JimW’s board for a side to side comparison
and then headed up to the lookers left bowl. I dragged myself up the 1900-2000ft ascent, feeling it the entire way.
Greg, JimW, Bryce, I pinned it to the bottom down the bowl.
Surprisingly good snow at the top, which quickly changed to board stopping slop.
A few rock hops to the bottom and we were spent.
A picture of our lines down the second run.
After a quick trek back to the cabin
for a well earned frosty beverage we relived the day with the others and start plotting the next days adventures.
After a quick chats with a few others in the group including Jbaysurfer and JimW. our sights were set on the Power House Shoots off the Dana Plateau (near Tioga Pass) with JimW.
The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn, packed the car, said our goodbyes, and headed for a quick breakfast with JimW. and Larry. Larry kindly lent us an ice ax and we were on our way.
No warming up for this tour. It’s right into the icy steep stuff from the car!
don’t want to fall here or it’s all the way back to the road
The stiffness of the the Split30 tour mode became very apparent on the up, allowing us to easily skin up the steep crispy slope without using ski crampons.
Again I found myself dragging up the hill, but the goods were now in sight with our first glimpse of the basin and the Power House Shoots!
We skinned up to the base of the main couloir, put the boards on the pack, and cramponed up.
Jim getting ready to boot pack up the chute
The snow in the couloir showed no signs of instability, but we were a little concerned with warming of the looming cornices above. After a quick discussion, we decided to boot up one at a time to minimize exposure to the cornices from above.
Me (Tyler) just about topping out. Again I would like to thank Larry for the crampons and ice ax
The views from the top of the Dana Plateau are unbelievable; definitely a classic tour.
After a quick bite, we were on our way down before the sun could heat the snow anymore.
Me, Bryce and Jim ready to rip up the Power House Chute on our Split30 Splitboard Systems (Mt. Dana in the background).
The main couloir offered a little bit of everything perfect corn at the top, wind blown pow, to compacted hard pack chunder, and finally opening up to the mellow apron below.
Jim dropped in first with Bryce snapping photos from the opposite side of chute. All I can say is EPIC! This was Jim’s second day on the Karakoram Split30s. We’ll let you decide if he was confident in the gear…
I dropped in next
After a few high fives we were on our way for the remaining 2000+ ft down to the car.
A few more open bowls to slash
Jim ripping to the bottom.
and Bryce slaying the exit shoot
and finally the car! Definitely a tour to remember!
We capped off the Eastern Sierra experience kicking it in a local hot springs reminiscing about the days adventure and talking gear with JimW. An awesome end to an awesome weekend!
Many thanks to Josh and Mike for putting this on. Truly an amazing event. We will definitely be coming next year hopefully with a few more folks from the PNW. Special thanks to JimW. for showing us the goods and for putting our bindings through the ringer. It was definitely cool to see a fellow ripper shredding his home turf on our new binding system! Schwalbster- Thanks for the feedback on the bindings, bummed we didn’t get to ride together on the plateau, we’ll have to hit it up next year followed by some surfing! To everyone that gave us feedback on our system, thanks! Your feedback is what will help us bring the best possible product to market!
It was great meeting everyone, too many to name, you all rock! Definitely a solid crew. This trip was definitely the first of many more to come!