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Does a Split Board Climb Better Than Skis?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
This forum needs a topic. So I want to know - Does a split board climb better than skis?

My personal experience is that the local split board crew sets the steepest damn skin track I've ever seen. Once its set, its almost impossible to climb without crampons on the skis. So I presume its me, but I figured I'd give Killclimbz reasonable opportunity to gloat; could it be that split boards actually climb better?

And while we're at it, do backcountry boarders sit in the middle of the couloirl?
post #2 of 17
this is soooo argumentative!
I spent a season wtih a tent in the bc wtih a snowboarding buddy. (four days a week for 10 weeks, touring/camping every friday-monday) He used the K2 clicker set up with the short ascent skis/skins. I used first generation Rossi XXX's/fritche. I usually set the skin track in deep snow and he never had any problems keeping up. But when it got steep, like really steep and deep, I would wallow, while he could climb. Somehow, shorter worked better.
I'm quite certain the amount of flack we gave each other made those tedius climbs more fun. If he had been a skier, we would have had less to say and more time to dwell on the climb.

now him "skiing" down the very lower parts of the trail (as it was too up-and-down and too much of a pain in the butt to keep switching modes) at the end of four days, with dirt and rocks around, well... that was my opportunity to gouge him. A big 40lb. pack, his board sticking up and his snowboard boots on short skis was quite the site. He wouldn't take the skins off because the skis would go too fast on the downhills. ha ha ha. HIlarious.

Nonetheless, there was NOTHING my skis could climb that his minis couldn't.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
This forum needs a topic. So I want to know - Does a split board climb better than skis?

My personal experience is that the local split board crew sets the steepest damn skin track I've ever seen. Once its set, its almost impossible to climb without crampons on the skis. So I presume its me, but I figured I'd give Killclimbz reasonable opportunity to gloat; could it be that split boards actually climb better?
You can set a skintrack awfully steep with a splitboard. I set one once that my friend on AT gear couldn't do. For the most part though I don't see that huge of an advantage anymore. The main reason being is most people I know in the bc are skiing on fat skis that are close to the width of the splitboard. They may climb a little better on the steeps but it's not a huge difference that I have seen. Technique is probably a bigger factor. I also find it a serious pain in the arse on steep icy traverses with a split. I am bustin' out the crampons where my ski buds just traverse across without them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
And while we're at it, do backcountry boarders sit in the middle of the couloirl?
LMAO! Gaaaawddd, I sure hope not...
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
I also find it a serious pain in the arse on steep icy traverses with a split. I am bustin' out the crampons where my ski buds just traverse across without them.
About half the people I'm in the BC with are splitboarders. They seem to have a little more trouble with steeper traverses overall, not just icy ones. They blow out the track by sliding downhill. Don't know if it's their technique or the technology. And they take longer in the transition.
post #5 of 17
The steep track blowouts make sense when you think about it; there is no metal edge on one of the splits (on the few that I've seen), causing the climber to washout. Same happens with poorly trimmed skins. Can't comment on the uphill speed, although I've always asserted that it's the motor, not the set up
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
The steep track blowouts make sense when you think about it; there is no metal edge on one of the splits (on the few that I've seen), causing the climber to washout. Same happens with poorly trimmed skins. Can't comment on the uphill speed, although I've always asserted that it's the motor, not the set up
Ain't that the truth.

All but one of these guys wear their board on what would look to be opposite feet... in other words, edges inside, the cut side outside. Couldn't tell you why, although the guy who wears his board the other way seems to have the same problem.
post #7 of 17
Ummm, I use production splits. Full wrap around metal edges on each ski. You guys must be hanging around with DIY splitters. I find the real problem with skin track blowout is that the track has been set by you skinny ski types (anything less than 120mm underfoot. So I am saying relative to a splitboarder here ) and the fat skis of a split board wash out the downhill track. If the track was set by a splitter no problem.

With a traverse, I'll just typically use my downhill ski in the uphill ski track and set a new one with my uphill ski. Does that make sense? Problem is typically solved and then there is a nice big highway paved for future travelers to use.
post #8 of 17
I wish some of the wanna be bc snowboarders around here would invest in split boards. The odd ones use snowshoes, but for the most part they post hole the snot out of the skin tracks : These are the same types who trudge a couple hours into the back country and build a big kicker in an avalanche chute and play around there all day :

Back to the topic, I agree with killclimbz. More has to do with technique than what you got under foot. I've seen 2 guys with very comparable AT gear, one climbs the skintrack fine and the other struggles. Crossing steeper side hills sometimes ppl find it hard to get off of your uphill edges and flatten the ski for maximum snow/skin contact.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferniefreeheels View Post
Crossing steeper side hills sometimes ppl find it hard to get off of your uphill edges and flatten the ski for maximum snow/skin contact.
Ok I can identify with that. For me its usually at an uphill kick turn. That can be awkward. :
post #10 of 17
I'm a real anti-kick turn guy. We always try to read the terrain and switch back on the natural terrain features. But the times when I've got to kick turn, I prefer to stomp out a bit of a platform and do a downhill kick turn. Seems when I try an uphill kick I hook a ski and end up flailing or falling over
post #11 of 17
Ugh...kick turns. I am with Fernie. I try to negiotiate the terrain using natural features.

Nowthen Fernie when you talk of a "downhill kickturn" are you speaking of the patroller turn? I am like a wet fish trying to do those. Thankfully, when I have to do one of those the slope we are going up is freakin' steep. I can usually lean into the slope when I do the turn. Not much style, but hey I am not much of a skier either...
post #12 of 17
I've never heard of it called a patroller turn. What you do is start with your downhill ski and step it around 180°, quickly following around with your other ski. You got to commit and do it quickly in one motion without pausing. I find it easier to use gravity to bring me around than fighting gravity to step around with the uphill ski first.

But truthfully I hate both. If I can avoid a kick turn by lengthening my traverses by 100 feet or so I do.

We went up one of our favorite haunts a couple weeks ago. People had been in there the day before and set a skin track up on to the ridge. They put in 18 kick turn switchbacks...uggghh. If it's our group setting the track we do it in about 4 and usually their nice gentle step around casually type turns.

The ability to read the terrain is probably more important than ones skinning technique itself. There are many times when you can ascend a slope by going a little further and less steep, with minimal switchbacks and spend considerably less energy and maybe even less time.
post #13 of 17
Yeah, the 180 degree turn is a "patroller turn" as I learned it.

I hear you about the reading terrrain part. It's amazing how terrain choice can make an ascent of the same ridge very easy or very hard. I agree that going with gentle angles is the way to do it.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
The consequences of a steep split board track after re-freezing:



This is kind of my speed right here



Until it turns straight up the hill (camera angle actually flattens this out see trees for vertical reference)



I don't always like the track others may set, but it sure beats setting your own.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I don't always like the track others may set, but it sure beats setting your own.
Amen!
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Amen!
x3

The uphill is supposed to be fun too, you know...
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaingirl1961 View Post
x3

The uphill is supposed to be fun too, you know...
I really like breaking trail. When I was a kid and would go hiking, I wanted to design the trails to go places that I wanted to see. When setting the skin track you can do this.

I like winding through trees and just making an enjoyable tour for everyone to follow, including me the next time.

Now, on to not being able to follow the skin track on skis.

Um, sounds eerily similar to snowshoeing the skin track.

Hey skiers, don't mess up the skin track
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