October Splitboarding in Tahoe

Story by Allison Lightcap, Photos By Seth Lightcap

Have you ever had the feeling that Old Man Winter was going to come early? I started to get
this feeling in Tahoe a few weeks ago when I saw the squirrels rushing around collecting food.
They knew what was up. Then I got this subconscious urge to clean out the garage and find all
my winter stuff. I never like to clean the garage. Something was seriously screwy. But then all of
a sudden it made perfect sense. Tahoe got dumped on last week of October!

Seth and I don’t look at the first winter weather forecasts for the season until we’re forced to
maintain local conversation. When the snow comes, it comes. But after a couple dozen people
asked us about the pending storm, we broke down and checked out NOAA. Our eyes definitely
liked what they saw! The forecast for Tahoe starting October 22 called for multiple feet of snow.

Pretty amazing what Mother Nature will deliver within a disguise of wind and clouds. It’s easy to
forget over a sunny Cali summer. In three days, nearly four feet of snow fell on the Sierra Crest.
We started our season with five glorious pow days riding our splitboards.


When I grabbed my split for the first day of shredding it was still caked in summer dirt from
riding in July. What’s the use in cleaning your board if you’re only putting it away for three
months? Stoked to take such little time off from the skin track this year.


Earning your turns is the only way to start the season. First turns of the winter are so much
richer when you hike for them and skinning feels incredible after a few months of rock climbing
and biking.


I am still amazed with how light my split set-up feels since I started riding the Karakoram SL’s.
First day back and my board felt just as featherweight as when i’d put it down in July. That’s a
good sign!


The base depth just below the crest in North Tahoe was unbelievable for only one storm. We
stayed up high and lapped the deepest lines to make the most of it. Riding quick laps also gave
us the perfect opportunity to dial in our transitions and think about what gear needed replacing
as we skinned up for another run.

I had a strange feeling winter would come early but I could have never guessed coverage would
be this good after just one storm.