Matt Stouder : Cascade Range, Oregon
Neil Provo : Wasatch Range, Utah
Chad Klein : Bridger Range, Montana
Yossi Jagger : Craigieburn Range, South Island, New Zealand
Wade Galloway : Waterton, Alberta
Dan Mingori : Eastern Sierra, California
Adam Reinier : Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Joey Vosburgh : Selkirk Range, British Columbia
Sky Rosveld : Cascade Range, Washington
Forrest Thorniley : Front Range, Colorado
Nikolai Samson : Monashee Range, British Columbia
Dusty Green : Chugach Range, Alaska
Tyler Wilkes : Costal Range, British Columbia
Paul Holding : Jotunheimen Range, Norway
Scott McAllister : Cascade Range, Washington
Nick Verhaaren : Mt Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand
Jaime Van Lanen : Interior Alaska
Ian Miller : Northern Alps, Japan
Barrows Worm de Geldern : Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Federico Ghione : Western Alps, Italy
Jeramie Prine : Teton Range, Wyoming
Enrico Raccanelli : Western Alps, Italy
Mark Hartley : Columbia Mountains, British Columbia
For the next interview we stop by the Oregon Cascades and talk with Matt Stouder. A Willamette Pass ski patroller by day and avid backcountry snowboarder by night. In this piece Matt talks about his love for a area covered with high alpine peaks and ancient Cascadian volcanoes.
His stomping grounds are a place near and dear to my heart and I can honestly say that he is living in a relatively undiscovered gem.
Name: Matt Stouder
Primary Location: Willamette Valley
Home Range: Oregon Cascades
Primary Solid Board: Burton Custom X 160
Primary Split Board: Voile Mojo 161 (soon to be a Jones Solution 164)
Preferred Binding System: Spark R & D
Boot: Burton Driver X
How Many Years have you been Snowboarding Professionally? I wouldn’t exactly call it semi-professional, but I’ve been snowboarding for 15 years.
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 5 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? I got tired of the mob scene at the resorts and started venturing into the backcountry to explore Oregon’s volcanoes. I hooked up with my backcountry ski partner who teles and it was difficult keeping up with him on snowshoes. As we started accessing the bigger peaks with longer approaches, I needed a different tool for the job and wanted to get my board off my back. I bought my first split and haven’t looked back since.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: The Fryingpan Glacier on Mt Rainier in July 2009. My buddy and I camped overnight at Summerland and rode the glacier early the next day. Conditions were epic corn and the views were excellent. 3000 vertical feet later, we rode by 35 mountain goats on the lower parts of the snowfield. Mt. Rainier is gorgeous and I really need to get back there. A close second would have to be the Eliot Glacier on Mt. Hood’s north side (Oregon’s largest glacier).
Where has Split Boarding taken you? Most of the splitboarding I’ve done has been in Oregon (there’s so much terrain to explore here between the Cascades and the Wallowas). It’s also taken me to Washington & British Columbia.
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Most approaches in Oregon can be done in a day. I guess doing the South Sister (of the Three Sisters) via the Green Lakes approach would be one of the more extensive. That approach requires about 4-5 miles of skinning and 1000 vertical to get to camp, and then another 4000 feet to the top.
Ideal Backcountry Day: I had a few last season. Temps in the low teens, several inches of fresh on top of a nice stable pack, sunshine and blue skies, 1500 foot runs in the alpine, a few people to share it with, and then a short skin back to the yurt, followed by micro brews, a sauna, and some night time photography. The trip I’m describing was to Tam McArthur Rim with the yurts operated by Three Sisters Backcountry Access. A TR can be found here:
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? I’ve got too many objectives to list and they keep changing. I’ve been eyeing a few lines on Steens Mountain in desert of SE Oregon. Very few people have ever ridden down there, access is difficult and they are miles from nowhere. However,3000 – 4000 foot lines are possible and the possibilities are endless.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: It’s pretty pathetic really, but I could live on Mountain House freeze dried Sweet & Sour Pork.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): Voile Mini-Tele Pro Shovel – use it to dig a pit, dig a place to sleep and hopefully not to dig out your friend.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled: The Alps – Southern Germany specifically. I did some snowboarding there while in college (not splitboarding). The scenery and terrain is amazing, the people were awesome, and the culture of snow sports there is unbelievable. That, and the beer and food is excellent too! I actually briefly considered moving there.
Sponsors: None really – Berg’s Ski & Snowboard Shop has given me a few things here and there.
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Protecting and preserving wild lands, habitat and the backcountry.
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): Willamette Pass Ski Patrol. I also enjoy my family, dabbling with photography, rock climbing and backcountry bowhunting.
There is no question that Neil Provo has made a name for himself within the Wasatch Range of Utah. Mixing freeride terrain with a freestyle element, his style and grace has received the attention of companies and media alike. In this installment Neil talks about what got him into splitboarding and what gets him stoked when riding in the backcountry.
Name: Neil Provo
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: Wasatch/Uintas, Utah
Primary Solid Board: Rossignol Experience
Primary Split Board: Rossignol Experience with split kit
Preferred Binding System: Spark R&D
Boot: Burton Serow
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding?: 15 years
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 5 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? Trying to keep up with my brother and his skier buddies on snow shoes wasn’t working out for me! When i learned about splitboarding i was hooked. A whole new window of opportunity opened up…
Where has Split Boarding taken you? Mainly, splitboarding has taken me farther away from the mass heards of people at the resorts!
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Oh only about a 5 hour hike, luckily things are pretty stacked in Utah and you don’t have to go far to find the goods. I am stoked to get into multi day tours and things like that, cover more ground.
Ideal Backcountry Day: Fresh deep stable powder, a good crew of friends, Cold and bluebird, a nice lunch with good snacks, and an epic zone to ride with no humans in sight!
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? Thats a tough one, riding in Alaska has always been one of my lifetime goals. Doesn’t get much better then AK!
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Superfood enhanced Pb&j, candy of some sort, some hot tea, and a good smoke to finish it off.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): Splitboard, for it brings me the most joy in life
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): British columbia, it is the land of pillows
Sponsors: Backcountry.com, Rossignol, Smith Optics, The Levitation Project, dakine
Print/ Movie Appearances: A few photos here and there in Snowboard, Transworld, and Snowboarder magazines. Filmed with F.o.d.t. from 2000-2007, Red bull Massive in 2008, and TGR in 2009-2010
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Legalizing cannabis…
Other Stuff You Do: Fly fishing, skateboarding, mountain biking, backpacking
Our latest interviewee is based in out of the Big Sky country and has shreded lines all over the PNW and as of recently Alaska. In this interview I talk with Chad about what got him into splitboarding and why he stuck with snowboarding when the majority of his touring partners are skiers.
Name: Chad Klein
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: Bridger Range and Big Sky,
Primary Solid Board: Venture Zephyr Rocker
Primary Split Board: Venture Zephyr Split Rocker
Preferred Binding System: Karakoram Split30
Boot: Burton DriverX
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding Semi-Professionally?: Not sure I’m ready to claim Semi-Pro yet. For the past few years people have been giving me free shit, so call it what you like.
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding?: 2 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding?: It became to difficult to get to the places I wanted to get without skins. I played with an AT ski setup for a while, but then I realized I didn’t really like skiing and would rather snowboard. I was not really into splitboarding back in the day because you had to sacrifice so much performance by cutting a snowboard in half and adding a bunch of heavy hardware, but splitting has come a long way recently. I caved a couple years ago and bought myself a split setup
and now I’ll never go back.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: I spent a month this past May in the Fairweather Range in Southeast Alaska this spring with 5 of my closest friends and it was epic. It was 21 days, and every day all I was concerned about was eating, and where I was going to ride that day, that’s it. Can’t wait to do it again.
Where has Split Boarding taken you?: I’ve explored numerous areas in the PNW, from the Cascades, to my old stomping grounds in Idaho, to Alaska, and all over Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: We skied this line in AK this spring named after one of our expedition members’ mom, Judy Krueger. It was a pretty narrow, 1500 vertical 45+ degree chute with a decent sized bergschrund at the bottom. It was one of the roughest and steepest roped up ascents I’ve ever done through some
pretty sketchy spots strait up the gut of the chute. It was a sick run, and I’m sure I would have really liked it if I hadn’t tomahawked down it!
Ideal Backcountry Day: Waking up in my tent, late because the snow doesn’t soften up until after noon. Cook some rad breakfast, dig up all the gear buried by the fresh pow, and go shred some lines. Come back to camp when the snow starts to get hard, cook a rad meal, do some reading, and snuggle up in my sleeping bag ready to do it all over again the next day.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip?: I’ve recently set my sights on a Japan trip sometime, but haven’t really nailed down the specifics or goals. I just want face shots of
Okanagan Champaign Pow.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Breakfast burritos with powdered eggs, cheese, dried hash browns, summer sausage, and El Pato hot sauce.
Favorite Piece of Gear: My Marmot CWM -40 sleeping bag. After a long day it feels so good to snuggle up in that thing, warm up, and fall asleep. I even love it after having 21 days of shower free funk in it. The stench feels like home.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): Southeast Alaska. The mountains there are so huge and drop straight down into the ocean. It is a super unique place with nobody around. Don’t tell anyone though, I don’t like crowds.
Sponsors: Again, I don’t want to claim pro, but these people have been known
to give me free stuff – Smith, Venture, Karakoram, Mountain Khaki, Hilleberg, Mystery Ranch, Helly Hansen, and Pacific Outdoor Equipment
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Big Sky Youth Empowerment Program and Protect Our Winters
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): I’m currently finishing up my undergraduate degree in Snow Science at Montana State University. It’s a real major, I swear.
Our next interviewee is a Australian who lives in New Zealand year round to travel the Southern Islands legendary Southern Alps. Known for its massive stronghold of glaciers and even harsher weather this region has a endless supply of mountains. In this interview Yossi talks about making the transformation from snowshoeing to splitboarding to feed his backcountry obsession.
Name: Yossi Jagger
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: Craigieburn Range, South Island, New Zealand
Primary Solid Board: 168cm Illuminati rock board
Primary Split Board: 165 Prior Backcountry
Preferred Binding System: currently using the Voile system with my Burton strap bindings. I’ll run this until it dies or I get sick of it, then I’ll get the Sparks.
Boot: Salomon Malamutes
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding ? 12 years
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 1 year
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? I was pretty happy with my snowshoes for a time. Last year I spent half the winter in Las Lenas in Argentina, doing lots of snowshoe touring. There was a crew of splitboarders there and I saw how easy it was for them and how much further out they were touring. I hadn’t really been up close to any splitters, so I grilled this Skylar dude about it all and from then on my mind was pretty much made up. It seemed like the logical progression. Less overall weight, less gear, more efficient uphill and obviously, way cooler.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: Haven’t done that much on a snowboard, but I had a great trip a few years ago up to Mt Brewster in Mt Aspiring NP in NZ and rode across the Brewster Glacier from Topheavy-Brewster Ridge. There is heaps of scope for more glacier touring in Mt Cook NP here on the South Island and I want to get up there next year. Most memorable when not on a board would be negotiating the Quarterdeck in summer near Mt Aspiring, and having to do a short pitch down into a crevasse and up the other side. I’m still a pretty junior mountaineer though.
Where has Split Boarding taken you? Not very far just yet -but I feel like I’ve joined a path that will take me on some cool journeys with like-minded people. Choice!
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Haven’t done any real hectic ones yet. Usually just multi-hour as opposed to multi-day. A couple of ones that stick out for me: Up the avy run-out to get to the actual Goats Eye near Sunshine Mtn , Banff Canadia; up to El Soldado near Las Lenas last year; and a couple of attempts on this chute in the Buchanan Range above Lake Wanaka in NZ – a couple of aborted attempts, one camping trip in which the whole place was icy and out of condition and finally a solo day mission, starting early, going fast and nailing the line that I had been looking at for about 2 years.
Ideal Backcountry Day: A spring day with some about 10cms of new snow. Stable snowpack , the sun is shining, the company is good. There is no rush, so we get up late, eat a massive breakfast and head out. The wind stays away and we are moving easily, with no arguments about aspects and lines and approaches. We pick our lines and get a steep chute each with a bit of extra windblown. Regroup at the bottom for some lunch, do another lap or two then head back down for beers in the sun.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? There are a couple of special lines that I’m frothing at. There is a couloir over the back of Mt Murchison ( which is the highest point in Arthurs Pass NP) that I have only seen on a photo. It would be a day and a half approach and I think you’d have to ride it and exit down a different valley system and end up friggin miles away. I want to ride Mt Sibbald from the Godley Valley also here in the South Island. One of my other lifetime objectives is to sail from my hometown in South Australia to Japan, and get better at surfing along the way. I’d end up in Kagoshima and meet some monkeys in the forest.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Cheese and Salami Sandwich with a whole tomato on the side, followed by dark chocolate. Lots of fat and protein!
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): I just bought a Snowpulse airbag backpack this spring( thanks to a fat Australian tax return) and that has got me pretty stoked. I’ve struggled to find the partners this year and it means I feel way more comfortable heading out by myself when the conditions are right.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): I couldn’t pick just one. I love Japan and its temples and back streets and trains and street food and deep, deep pow. I love Argentina for its cheap vino, the decrepit glamour, the gorgeous women and the sick terrain and mountains. I love West Coast North America ( I love you both US and Canada!) for the people, the forests , the gas station coffee flavours and the amazing mountains. And I love NZ so much I’m staying!
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Save the Waimakariri River. We need to protect our rivers more and stop greedy corporate interests from overusing water resources .
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): B&W film photography, apprenticeship theory homework, rockclimbing, mountaineering.
Here is a late season Trip Report
On our next stop we head to some of the most rugged mountains within all of Canada. Someone who has his touring system dialed from what he eats to how much distance he skins in a day. His website treepilot.ca has become a resource for like minded ski mountaineers all over the Canadian Rockies and Selkirk Mountains. In this interview we talk about Wades progression from lift riding only twice a year to over 70 days almost exclusively Splitboarding in a season.
Name: Wade Galloway
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: I try to travel quite a bit, but most of the time is spent close to home in Waterton
Primary Solid Board: I don’t ride sold boards anymore although with a young son starting to snowboard, I might have to stop boycotting chairlifts. I had 70+ days last winter and only rode a chair once (with him). Everything else was on the splitboard.
Primary Split Board: Prior Khyber 160 for soft boot, Prior Spearhead 166 for hard boot.
Preferred Binding System: I’m torn since getting into hard boots last season, but at the moment, it’s Dynafit or Spark Fuses.
Boot: Garmont Helium or Burton Driver X
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding Semi-Professionally? I wouldn’t call it semi-professional, but I’ve been sliding sideways for 20 years and on snow since I was 2 or 3 years old
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 5 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? There was a dark period of my life when I didn’t snowboard much, maybe only once or twice a year for several years. Part of this was due to living in the flats, but another contributing factor was the direction of the sport. The soul of the sport had died. It seemed almost everyone snowboarded, but most didn’t know why. The early days of snowboarding provided a camaraderie that came with doing something new and unique.
In the winter of 05/06 I moved closer to the mountains and attempted to make up for lost time. I bought lift tickets to various resorts but found the experience lacking. Try as I might, “packed powder” or corduroy or worse didn’t get me stoked. I tried mechanized including sled, helicopter and snow cat access. The spark was reignited (how can you not love riding powder?), but I was left feeling frustrated by compromises that this form of access provided.
I discovered splitboarding in the winter of 06/07 and couldn’t be happier. I’ve always enjoyed exploring and my splitboard has enabled me to combine this love of new things with my passion of snowboarding. I feel reinvigorated and I’ve learned new things about myself. Backcountry touring is as much about exploring mountains as it is about exploring your own limits – endurance, focus, fear, stamina,
strength, will, courage, etc.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: I’ve not spent a ton of time on glaciers, so the most memorable was probably this July. A boat ride to another country, long hike through scree and shrubs, then scratching and clawing our way up to the glacier. Just as we neared it, the chill was refreshing as the cool air poured off it. Check it out here.
Where has Split Boarding taken you? To my happy place in the mountains. Currently that includes 3 countries (Canada, USA, Japan), 2 provinces (Alberta and BC) and 4 states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington)
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: I’ve had bigger and longer days, but the first time to the Galloway Bowl (coined by a Warden in the park) is memorable to me. Freak late season storm, long walk, quasi-legal international border crossing, first tracks ever from what we can tell in a remote north facing bowl. 15 miles and 6,500 feet.
Ideal Backcountry Day: -5C, great stability, 1-3 friends, 30cm fresh over night, partly sunny, slight breeze, 40-45 degree trees.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip?
I’d like to live right in the mountains some day so I could wake up and skin from my house. Near term, there’s some stuff 1-2 days walk from the trail head in Canada that’s deep in Glacier National Park (USA) I’d love to put some tracks on. I got a good look state side this winter on a clear day from a ridge very close to the border. It’s been stuck in my head ever since. I’d also like to get back to Japan in a good snow year and have a very strong desire to shred out east, particularly the Chic Chocs.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Pepsi and gummy bears. Quick sugar and easy to eat. When you’re pushing your body doesn’t have time to digest real food anyway.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): Tough choice, but I’d have to go with the splitboard itself. Without it, all the other gear wouldn’t be quite as much fun.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): I have fond memories of lots of places, but the Kootenays are always right up there. Lots of great friends old and new coupled with some amazing tree riding.
Print/ Movie Appearances : With more than 50% of the days being solo and often focusing on bagging as much vertical as we can when I’m not solo, cameras are often nothing more than a point and shoot. I did get lucky in Japan though and wound up with this spread.
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: I’ve donated a ton of time this off season to helping the local skateboard association secure new parks.
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): Fitness is important for the winter, I lift weights and have run a few marathons to stay in shape. I try to use the off season to spend as much time with the family as possible. It’s hard being away in the winter for extended periods.
Our next stop is to a place where the local ski hill has been known to stay open 9 months in a single season, this place happens to be in Southern California. Dan Mingori has explored these vast high alpine slopes for so many years that he decided to write a guide book filled with numerous gems in the Eastern Sierras. In this interview Dan takes about what its like solely riding a splitboard, long approaches and first turns of the season.
photo by Joe Stewart
Name: Dan Mingori
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: Eastern Sierra, CA
Primary Solid Board: Haven’t been on a one-piece in almost 5 years.
Preferred Binding System: I alternate between Spark’s and a pair of homemade bindings I crafted a few years ago. Both have their advantages/disadvantages, but I find myself using the Sparks more often now.
Boot: I’m still waiting on a manufacturer to produce a splitboard-specific boot, but in the meantime I’ve been scoring old Koflach Oxygen and Superpipe boots on eBay for the last few years. They are a soft-boot upper with a hard mountaineering sole, and are infinitely more durable than modern snowboard boots. But they were only produced for about 2 years back in the mid 90’s, so finding them isn’t too easy.
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding? My memory is starting to fade in my old age, but I think it’s been about 25 years.
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 9 years
Photo by Chris Gallardo
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? I flailed around on snowshoes for a few seasons, and quickly figured out that I needed to find a better way. The skin tracks always seemed to be going waaaaaay far out to the places where I wanted to be. At the same time I was growing tired of the resort. Mammoth Mountain is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t have anything in the way of steep terrain. So I realized that the only way to get that was to either move to Europe or head into the backcountry. The latter seemed like the more reasonable of the two options. I’ve always enjoyed hiking and climbing, so combining that with snowboarding just came together naturally. I’d never even seen a splitboard, only heard about them from a skier friend. So I decided I would be a guinea pig and buy a split kit.
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Mt Lyell. A few years ago I decided to extend the season one more day by heading out there at the end of May. It’s about 13 miles to the base, which really isn’t too bad, but I expected to find a lot more snow. That is, I figured I would have been able to skin (and ride) a lot more of it. Instead, I ended up carrying my board and boots for the round trip of 26 miles, and only skinned a little bit on the glacier. I made a few turns that day, but basically ended up taking my snowboard on a really long walk. Going in wasn’t too bad, but coming out that afternoon (and into the evening) was kinda brutal, after only riding a short distance. The trail is pretty popular among backpackers, and I kept running into groups of people who would give me the funniest looks, and ask the obvious question: “Did you go snowboarding today?!?!?”. So the comedy of having to explain myself over and over is what kept me going for the long hike out. And of course I kept telling everyone that the day was awesome and totally worth the hike.
photo by Chris Gallardo
Ideal Backcountry Day: Glorious summits, steep narrow couloirs, and perfect powder followed by some nice trees back to the car. Basically, the stuff dreams are made of! Lately I’ve been going more for the mountaineering aspect of the sport. So an ideal day would be spent on a peak that I’ve never climbed before, with a little bit of rock scrambling and exposure mixed in. But I do also like riding steep trees on storm days. I grew up on the east coast, so I feel at home in the trees.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? Oh, geez. Too many to name. I always have this running “tick list” in my head of all the things I want to do. And every time I tick something off the list, I end up getting views of 5 more peaks that then get added to my list. It never ends! We have to contend with a lot of wind around here. So there are a lot of lines that rarely fill in, just because they get hit so hard from the winds at the end of each storm. So I have this “once in a lifetime” list going right now: Middle Palisade, Seven Gables, the NE Couloir on Split Mountain, Picture Peak, and so on…
Favorite Backcountry Meal: I’ve been known to carry fast food and slices of pizza in to a basecamp. Once I started lugging around a bunch of camera equipment, “light and fast” got thrown out the window, and got replaced by “heavy and comfortable”.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): My rock board. I only use it one day a year, but that’s usually my favorite day of the season. It gets taken out after the very first storm of the season, when there’s just barely enough snow to slide on. And the first day of every season is always the most memorable. After a long summer of no snowboarding, those first few turns are always a treat.
Where has Split Boarding taken you? For starters, it got me away from the shitshow at the resort!
Being out in the mountains renewed my interest in photography, which is now what I’ve been focusing on more and more recently. It also led to writing a backcountry guidebook for the area, which was something I never imagined I would do. I guess you could say it turned my love of snowboarding into something more than a silly hobby.
Tell us about your book, what prompted you to write it: The main reason was that there was a need for updated information on the skiing of the Eastern Sierra. That’s what kicked it off, but as we started working on it I found other sources of motivation. I remember reading a quote from a climbing guidebook author that said “putting together a guidebook is a labor of love”. And as I got more into it, I realized what that meant. It’s a lot of work, for not a much money. But I love helping people out, and I really wanted to get new information out there, and get people excited and motivated to ski. Guidebooks do a lot more than just point people in the right direction. I always loved flipping through my climbing guidebooks, forming plans in anticipation of the upcoming weekends. So as the hundreds of hours of work started adding up, I just imagined all the people flipping through my book, getting excited to ski something new.
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): I do enjoy taking pictures of mountains. So I’ve been slowly working on findings ways to possibly do that professionally. Most recently I’ve been doing local art shows, and learning more about printing and framing.
In this installment we head back to the Rocky Mountains while the snow is dry and the options are endless. Adam Reiner has made a name for himself riding isolated lines throughout the massive state of Colorado. In this installment Adam talks about what its like riding in an area littered with 14ers.
photo by Barrows Worm
Name: Adam Reiner
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: Denver, CO. My favorite peak is Torrey’s Peak, which has many quality big-mountain lines on every aspect. Most of my riding is done in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Primary Solid Board: Venture Zephyr 161
Primary Split Board: Voile Split Decision Freeride 173
Preferred Binding System: Strap bindings (currently using Spark Ignition I)
Boot: Salomon Malamute
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding Semi-Professionally? 16 years
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 4 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? When I moved to Colorado from Illinois, I was already an established snowboarder and found myself approaching the upper barrier of ‘expert’ terrain at areas like Vail and Steamboat. My old college friend was already a year into backcountry skiing and he showed me all of his avalanche gear, randonee bindings, climbing skins, and other gear which I quickly became interested in. My first snowboard-mountaineering adventure was a climb of Quandary Peak in May 2006. I watched as skiers skinned past me while I was struggling with snowshoes. I decided right there to buy a splitboard, and never looked back.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: Definitely the Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier, May 2009 (my only glacier travel). My friend had the crazy idea to ascend this route instead of the usual route to Camp Muir. From Paradise, it looks like no big deal. However, down in the belly of the beast, I was very intimidated by the huge crevasses and towering ice walls and seracs.
Where has Split Boarding taken you? This should be ‘where has my truck taken me’, because I have driven all over the state of Colorado to splitboard. The vast quantity of mountains and ranges in this state cannot be beat in the lower 48. I have really enjoyed going on road trips with fellow riders to mountains near Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Silverton, Monarch Pass, Berthoud Pass, Steamboat, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Durango. I have also made one trip to the Cascades, where I splitboarded Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Saint Helens.
photo by Barrows Worm
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: On July 1, 2007 I made a solo trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to ride the Taylor Glacier headwall. It involved about 5 miles of bootpacking on dry trail up to the glacial lake. The looks and comments I got from tourists on the rail was a trip (It was July, after all). No one thought I’d actually find snow. I made it to the base of the glacier and bivuoced right there on the snow. The next morning, I climbed straight up the headwall and rode it.
Ideal Backcountry Day: While an alpine start to a spring 14er ascent cannot be rivaled, I tend to enjoy the powder-filled mid-winter days. These are days where I can wake up in my comfy bed in Denver, and enjoy a cup of coffee with some friends while we drive to the trailhead. Once there, we break trail through the fresh powder, while meandering through lush forests, taking in the scenery. Instead of climbing up to a specified peak (like in spring), winter touring involves exploring the terrain to find hidden pockets of open terrain to ride within the avy-safe trees. We can cover a lot of ground and transition from riding to touring many times during the day. It is the adventure without a destination or deadline that I enjoy most.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? The East Face of Castle Peak, near Aspen, springs to mind. I have attempted it once, but conditions are rarely ever good for riding it. First, it has to hold a consistent base through winter to fill in the line. Then it has to be matured enough into spring that it is avalanche safe, but it cannot be too mature because it gets covered with runnels. Lastly, It needs a solid overnight spring freeze, and because it faces east, it has like a 30 minute window to ride it before it turns to mashed potatos. On top of that, it is a consistent 45 degree line! Someday it will happen. As far as ‘Dream Trip’: ALASKA…no question!
Favorite Backcountry Meal: I make a dense, calorie-fill concoction of yogurt, protein, and Kashi cereal to fuel me up before hitting the trail. During the tour, I like Clif Bars, but still haven’t figured out a way to keep them from freezing.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): I value both of my DaKine backpacks. Their pockets are efficient but simple. They have a quick-release ice-axe feature, which is useful in hairy situations to grab my axe without having to take the pack off. I also love the ‘cross-carry’ feature which allows me to pack my board quickly in ski-mode much more efficient than an A-frame.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): Castle Peak, near Aspen holds a place in my heart. There are so many great features in that zone, and the possibilities are endless. 14ers, 13ers, and great tree riding. It is also home to many huts for rent, and the scenery is superb.
Sponsors: My parents have definetly contributed a little bit here and there to my safety gear. I used to work for a construction company that sponsored me with gas and a 4WD truck to get to the trailheads, although they never knew it!
Print/ Movie Appearances: I’ve been in a couple YouTube videos!
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Anything that improves access to the vast quantity of mountains we have in Colorado. Our population is growing and our sport is becoming more popular. Unless access opens up to more than ‘the usual’ backcountry spots, someone is going to get hurt. Doing so would not impact wilderness terrain or wildlife habitats, just simply plowing a few more extra roads that already exist and lead to typical summer trailheads.
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): I volunteer with Big Brother and Big Sisters of Colorado. We teach kids sports and take them to sporting events. Hopefully I will get to teach a little one how to snowboard this winter. I spend most of my summer by mountain biking, and do an annual elk hunting trip in the fall. I’ve got a KLR650 motorcycle and I’m active with the local adventure riding community.
Check out one of Adams splitboard expeditions.
Welcome back to the Canadian Selkirks where the lines are steep and the snow is deep. Our next piece in the series is with a Rogers Pass local who frequents one the largest ski resort in the world, located in a once small railroad town called Revelstoke. Joey has the perfect balance between riding resort and the backcountry in what could easily be called the North American freeride mecca. In this interview I was able to talk to Joey about what it’s like touring in the Yukon and what his upcoming plans for this season are.
Name: Joey Vosburgh
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: I live in Revelstoke which lies between the Selkirks and the Monashees. There is a pretty fun ski hill here as well.
Primary Solid Board: I ride anything around 164. Last year I broke a board at the Masters and ended up on a ski shop demo board. I think it was a Battaleon triple base tech… funny… but fun.
Primary Split Board: S-series 165
Preferred Binding System: Dyna-split
Boot: Scarpa F3 with forward leaning mods… its da shit!
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding Semi-Professionally? I have been snowboarding for 18 years. I wouldn’t call it that. I just love to go out with friends who may be photog/ filmers and just have fun, bag shit and shred pow!
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? Made my first split 5 years ago
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? Like everyone else I realized that snowshoes wer not cutting it and that Voile was onto something.
Most Memorable Glacier Travel: Abyss Glacier in the Northern Selkirks hands down. Super complicated slots and a killer keyhole that we found to gain access to Bridgeland Peak (10 000′ )
Where has Split Boarding taken you? Its taken me to a place of freedom. from the lift lines and the crowds to the peace of the backcountry.
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Mt. Steele, Yukon. all I can say is the Yukon is a warp… things are decieving up there. 30 hours drive, 2 days wait, 1 hour flight, 2 days acclimatizing ( need more), 4 days shuttling gear closer,1 slip into a crevasse, 17 hours to summit and 3 more days hunkered down in the fog!
Ideal Backcountry Day: They’re all so unique, but any day with good friends and good stability
A Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? All my friends, base camp style somehwere wicked… say Alaska or anywhere with large mountains. There is also a line off Tilley ( S.Monashees) Ive been looking at for a 3 years… maybe this will be the year.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Anything that tastes good and didnt weigh a ton… it a bit of an art.
Favorite Piece of Gear: I love the Anorak Jacket from North Face. its 159 grams and packs down to nothing.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled: I love Vancouver Island. Not for the mountains but more for the ocean. Something about the coast soothes me.
Sponsors: The North Face Canada
Print/ Movie Appearances: Snowboard Canada, Snowboard,Snowboarder, Frequency, Transworld (in 1999)… seems like a shot every year or two.
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Avalanche awarness. Not just the bulletin but call your friends and find out what they saw… actual observations are much more valuable than a bulletin put together from an office.
Other Stuff You Do: I love to work in my small wood shop.
Check out Joeys wild trip out to the Yukon here
Our next interviewee is somewhat of a hometown hero. From the snow heavy flanks of Mt Baker to the high alpine riding of Crystal Mountain, Sky has been making a name for himself one giant leap at a time. I had the chance to talk to Sky when he made it out to Seattle for the Deeper Primer and talk to him about what lines is he Jonesing for this upcoming season.
copyright Colin Wiseman
Name: Orion Sky Rosveld
Primary Location, Home Mountain, or Home Range: The Heart of Cascadia, Crystal Mountain, The Cascades.
Primary Solid Board: Gnu Billy Goat by Temple Cummins and the Lib Tech Dark Series
Primary Split Board: Lib Tech T-Rice split.
Preferred Binding System: Karakoram Split30
Boot: Salomon F22
How Long Have You Been Snowboarding Semi-Professionally? Since I placed 11th in Pro at the Banked Slalom in 2008.
How Long Have You Been Splitboarding? 2 years
What Compelled You to Begin Splitboarding? I love being in the backcountry, and splitboarding is like having a magic carpet.
Gnarliest or most Extensive Approach for a Single Line: Up steep shallow snow with ice underneath to get to a chute to valley run on the Volcán Villarica, just outside of Pucón, Chile.
Ideal Backcountry Day: Super far out back at Crystal Mountain, 20 degrees, sunny, stable snowpack, 2 friends and we are getting epic footage. Anywhere in the Cascades on day like this.
Lifetime Goal or Objective, a Line You’ve Been Eyeing for a While, or What Would Be your Dream Trip? Japan eternal levitation to the top and bird play flight on the way down. There are so many lines I’ve been eyeing. Some on Shuksan…we’ll see. Far South at Crystal.
Favorite Backcountry Meal: Rainier Organic Bakery Sasquatch Sprouted bread (3 slices) with 2 layers of peanut butter or almond butter, raisins, cheese, and an apple. It’s the double-decker.
Favorite Piece of Gear (and Why): Merino base layers, because I can wear them for 4 days and they’ll still smell alright.
Favorite Place You’ve Travelled (and Why): Chile, the culture is rich, the food is excellent, the people are friendly, and the mountains majestic
Sponsors: Mervin Mfg, Smith, Crystal Mountain Resort, evogear.com, INNATE, and One Ball Jay wax. Mike Martini hooks it up with Patagonia outerwear.
Print/ Movie Appearances: Photos in frequency, SnowStyle Japan, Bomb Snow, the Bellingham Herald! And random internet movies with Funner and Forrest Burki. This season I’ll be filming with Sam Tuor and the Robinson brothers (Aaron and Jason) for “Of Life and Love.” and with Sam Giffin “Y”
Local Causes You’re Passionate About: Lummi Nation Flow Skate & Snow. Connecting with first nation peoples at parks and mountains.
Other Stuff You Do (music, volunteerism, art, school, etc.): I paint, write songs, and practice qi gong.
Website/Blog: ranaboats.com rana = frog in Spanish