The Baker SplitFest was so much fun that Tyler and I have decided to check out the Kalifornia Split Party which is being put on by a bunch of California splitters on splitboard.com. Here is a link to the Split Party thread. Neither of us have had the opportunity to ride/tour in the Sierra Nevadas, so this is too great a opportunity to pass up. We’ll be bringing a demo Split30 splitboard system with us for people to try out.
Leading up to the Splitfest Tyler and I were thinking we’d have a nice leisurely week getting ready. But again, true to form we cut it down to the wire. Our new boards for splitting didn’t show up until Thursday night, some stainless parts we were waiting for were finally ready Friday morning, and our new straps arrived in Issaquah at 1:00 pm Friday afternoon. We were mounting t-nuts at 5:00 pm Friday.
At 7:45 pm we were finally ready to go. We got on the road and made it up to Mt. Baker around 11:45. We met a couple of people who were still up and brought a split system in to show them how it all worked. After talking bindings until 1:30 am we finally crashed.
We were up Saturday morning around 7:30 ate some breakfast and found a group to tour with. Our crew, the biggest splitter group I’ve ever seen, headed out to Mazama bowl. John and Fritz served as our local guides showing us the goods.
The tour up hurt a bit from my lack of sleep, but I started to feel better after a few white room turns on the first lap. I barely got my camera out in time to snap this sequence of Tyler slashing his way down the first run.
The second lap had a perfect back drop of Mt. Baker waiting for toe side slash.
Cruising up for the third lap.
The crew from left to right: Fritz, John, Alex, Aaron, Wade, and Tyler
The third lap was by far my favorite. We skinned over what I think was Mazama Peak and encountered a cool little 5-6 ft cornice that most of us attacked in tour mode (photo from Alex).
Tyler, Wade and I went for a nice little chute that we had spotted on our lap. Tyler got the honors of dropping first. He ski-cut the top and released a 6 inch wind slab that washed down the chute and then followed it down. (photo from John Cocci)
This past weekend at Baker was Karakoram’s first public demo of the Split30 Splitboard System. We received a lot of good feedback from those that checked out the system. Thank you to everyone who took the time to tinker with the gear and give us feedback; your input is very important to Karakoram’s success. This was an incredible weekend getting to meet and tour with so many passionate splitboarders. Tyler and I had so much fun we’re planning on attending the Kalifornia Split Party April 16-18.
We woke up around 6:00 am and threw our gear in the car and picked up Aaron by 6:30. We were up in the Alpental parking lot around 7:00 am and it was pissing rain. We almost aborted and went to the Pancake House for breakfast, but decided since we were up we should just go for it. The tour up was interesting because of the low snow pack. The usual route up past the lower cliff band was pretty exposed and icy.
It finally started snowing about 2/3 the way up Mt. Snoqualmie. We made it to the Slot and it looked good. We dropped in one by one working from safe point to safe point.
The snow was a nice wind packed powder with a cream cheesy consistency. At the choke point of the couloir it was a bit icy from our sluffs ripping through and wiping out all the new snow.
I wasn’t able to get back to Seattle for the Vertfest, but Tyler got his first go at it. The race is mainly AT guys, but there were still 10 splitboarders. For those familiar with Alpental, the race went up under Armstrong Express to Chair 2, then up the Fan with a booter section and then up Rollen with another booter section with the up finishing at the entrance to International. The riding portion went down International, Snakedance and finished at the bottom of Sessel. Here is another write up with some pictures of the event: http://www.wildsnow.com/2721/vertfest-2010-race-recap/. This guy only focuses on the AT contingent. I think Tyler could have shaved some time if he used one of their awesome lycra suits. Tyler finished in 4th place and one of our testers Ruaraidh Stenson finished in first.
Snow conditions finally started to stabilize, so I was feeling good about riding some steeper lines with my friend Manuel and some of his friends from Chile. The snow in upper Days Fork was nice on the north facing aspects. Here is Manuel dropping into upper Days.
The weather was perfect, so I skinned up to the Reed and Benson Ridgeline to take some pictures of Cardiac Bowl on my way to Toledo Chute.