Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:31 am Posts: 119 Location: Fairbanks, AK
This was my first real time using the splitboard for what it was meant for and wow it was amazing! I had only skinned a few times on Mount Hood just for a little practice but not very much. There were still times when I would catch myself having bad skinning technique and my legs would start to get a little tired. I would correct it and everything was smooth and fast again. Still need to practice but I now see why everyone says it's is much faster than boot packin or snowshoes. Not that I didn't believe it, I just actually finally experience it =)
Jed on ski's and myself with my splitty started at Marble Mountain for the standard worm flows winter route at 3:15am. The first mile was patches of snow here and there so it was boot packin during that period. Finally we reached sustained snow so we put the skins on and away we went.
As it started to get lighter out visibility was still pretty poor. It would come and go but it was anywhere from 50 feet to maybe 200 feet. I was hoping as the day went on the sun would burn through so we could get a good ride down.
About 3/4 the way up it got to icy and various steep sections for skinning to we put them away and put the crampons on. The last mile to the summit took a little longer than expected. Between starting to get tired and random pockets of powder we would sink into it was probably 15 steps, rest, 10 steps, rest, etc etc... it would clear up for 10 seconds at a time or so on the way up and definitely started to clear up pretty well on the descent.
But, nonetheless, we finally made it to the Summit! visibility was still poor and it got pretty windy at the summit. We stayed a safe distance from the edge of the crater rim so we weren't standing on top of the cornice. we
My legs are pretty tired at this point and I'm wondering how the descent will be, but at the same time I'm friggin stoked!!!!! We relax for a few minutes, had a quick snack and got our ski's/board ready.
I go first. The first few turns from the summit... were simply amazing and I was having the time of my life and best of all, my legs felt great! I thought it would have been really hard with my legs being so tired on the way up but they were great. I dunno if it's a slightly different muscle? or just the type of movement? but they didn't bother me at all on the way down.
We had a little bit of everything on the way down from ice to a little bit of pow to snow that looked like it came out of the slurpee machine at 7-eleven (without the color of course).
Probably the last half was pretty slushy and my board would drag pretty good. On steeper sections I would just point the board straight down and my speed would stay pretty constant lol. So that kind of sucked, but still much better than the alternative methods of descent.
All in all, it was the most fun I've had in a long time and I can't wait to do more. it's unfortunate I finally get out and now it's summer.
Thanks for everyone's help here answering any question I had and hope to have more stories/pics in the future.
Oh, I guess the one bad thing about the trip was my GoPro didn't really work. I started and stopped it twice on the descent assuming it was working but when I got home all I had was 2, 5 second clips. I was really excited to see the footage too. oh well I guess, I can always do it again. btw, my malamutes turned out to be pretty comfy boots, I'd never done much walking in them before until this.