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How to excape from a long plain?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

When you reach a long plain during snowboarding and the speed is not enough to escape from the area, what do you do?

Whenever I was under the situation, I envied skiers for their poles.

How about carrying a folding walking stick?

post #2 of 24
Skooch leg.
post #3 of 24
I stick out a thumb at passing skiers.   It seldom fails.

I've seen people carrying a ski pole around but that can get dangerous when doing spinny stuff.
post #4 of 24
I know a guy who carries a small pack and puts some packable poles in there for just this use. Some areas are known for traverses or grades that don't work very  well for snowboarders and a little planning is helpful. Otherwise you have to find a line that will carry you the best you can and not think of that too late to help you.
post #5 of 24
I told my doctor "Doc, it hurts when I put my thumb in my eye." The Doc said "Don't do that!"

Carry as much momentum onto the flats as you can. Ride a flat board if your wax is working, or the smallest edge angle possible if that's faster. When you come to a stop and can't get a tow from a skier, take your back foot out and start pedaling. Sometimes, you might even need to take both feet out and walk.

If you're going to do this on a regular basis, invest in a split board. If you need to build some upper body strength, use ski poles to get across the flats.
post #6 of 24
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks BushwackerinPA for the video clip.
But, I don't want to be worn out in the middle of the flat.
post #8 of 24
Ride where the gravity is stronger.

I ski, and even so, I prefer to anticipate the flats and carry as much momentum as possible into them so I can ride them to the end. Skating is not quite as tiring as skootching, but I'd prefer not to if I don't have to.

I have ended up towing the occasional boarder who ran out of gravity and looked like they were about to give up.

It is kind of amusing watching boarders waddle along like the army men in Toy Story.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
If you're going to do this on a regular basis, invest in a split board. If you need to build some upper body strength, use ski poles to get across the flats.

How will a splitboard help on flat cat tracks or traverses?

Flat cat tracks, or "plains" as the OP put it, at ski resorts aren't anywhere near long enough to warrant getting off, splitting the board, putting on skins, extending poles and then putting it all back together at the end.

Hell, a fair amount of slackcountry doesn't warrant that.

The answer to the question is wax your board, carry some speed, and stay off those edges. If'n you end up slowing to a stop, get off, pick up board, stay to the side and walk to a slope.
post #10 of 24
Well,,,,,, the OP did say "long" plain. I've run across a few that were long enough that skating (without skins) on a split board would have saved enough time over walking to be worth it (e.g. Taos, Whistler, Wolf Creek, Killington, Solitude). Still, I've done all of them on a regular board and only had a few "this really sucks" moments. I've also done a couple backcountry ridge top "traverses" (cough) with skiers where I was on foot with a board and was thinking "this is stupidly not safe". There aren't a lot of places where it makes sense, but there are some.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

The answer to the question is wax your board, carry some speed, and stay off those edges. If'n you end up slowing to a stop, get off, pick up board, stay to the side and walk to a slope.

 
Exactly.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Well,,,,,, the OP did say "long" plain. I've run across a few that were long enough that skating (without skins) on a split board would have saved enough time over walking to be worth it (e.g. Taos, Whistler, Wolf Creek, Killington, Solitude). Still, I've done all of them on a regular board and only had a few "this really sucks" moments. I've also done a couple backcountry ridge top "traverses" (cough) with skiers where I was on foot with a board and was thinking "this is stupidly not safe". There aren't a lot of places where it makes sense, but there are some.
Rusty, I absolutely respect your knowledge, teaching ability, and commitment to helping knuckledraggers.

But really, how much splitboard experience do you have?

There is no place in North America, Whistler, Solitude, Heavenly, anywhere, that splitting a board for the sake of a cat track is practical.  Skating?  On a splitty?  Now there are some folks that are great at technique, and while I'm no slouch, this is rediculous.

Yes, some folks can do some great stuff on a split.  I've seen one or two do some loooow angle tele turns on a split.  But those cotter pins and brackets are not made for that sort of torque.  

Not to mention riding the split all day for the sake of the avoidable, non skate-able cat track.  Yes, I think splits ride not only fine, but well.  I like the way my split rides.  And granted, I have a 2x4 of a split, but the constant torque it takes to bend that board on resort hardpack for 25 runs a day more than outweighs the effort to jump off that board and walk the short, yes short, all cat tracks are relatively short, cat track.  Anyway, more than outweighs the effort to split the board, attach skins, skate the board without skins, or work to buy and order new brackets to replace the ones broken by skating.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
. I've also done a couple backcountry ridge top "traverses" (cough) with skiers where I was on foot with a board and was thinking "this is stupidly not safe". There aren't a lot of places where it makes sense, but there are some.

Ridgetop traverses are better on a split then boots.  Unfortunately the OP was talking about long "plains" and carrying speed.  Ridgetop traverses are rarely "plains" and usually decidedly longer than the cat tracks or "plains" the OP was referring to.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

But really, how much splitboard experience do you have?

 

None!

I'm basing my comments on years of schlepping cat tracks and flats at over 100 resorts. What would it take? A 20 minute hike, maybe a mile? On one trip to Wolf Creek I alternated days skiing and riding the same terrain. I got stuck bad in deep snow on the flats twice while riding my board. Both times I would have gladly spent 20 minutes to change the board to skis and back just to save the effort I spent trying to get out. On skis I was able to get out of the same places without swearing or breaking a sweat.

You are right. Because I've never used a splitter, I don't know whether a split board would actually have been practical in those situations. So help me out here. How long does it take to split a board/put it back together? Can a split board navigate the flats without skins? How much more time does it take to put skins on? How much faster is it to slide on a split split board than walking? I thought I knew the answers, but it's only a theory. So help me out here.

You are right. The reality is that no one in their right mind would get and use a splitter for riding at resorts. But how many people riding at resorts are not in their right mind (and having a good time)?
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
 (e.g. Taos, Whistler, Wolf Creek, Killington, Solitude).
If you are somewhere so flat you can't slide naturally at Taos, You Are Doing It Wrong.
post #16 of 24
Splitter is dead on.  It's too much time doing the change over for what is going to be a few hundred yards at best at a resort.  I have yet to see something at a ski area where I thought, "gee I wish I had my split".  Post holing sucks, but by the time you've split the board you would probably have covered the terrain you needed to get through.  If it's a cat track, certainly, deep snow, it can be close.  The change over is a few minutes.  I think I can change mine over in less than 5 minutes, definitely under 10.
post #17 of 24
There's a tuning issue related to this in addition to wax:  people who aren't running a base bevel and who don't have a mild, "modern" detune often find riding on their base more difficult, so stay on their edges more and lose speed.

Re: splitboards, while preferences vary even for BC use many people find they prefer a regular board and other modes of ascent in "short, steep" areas (e.g., much of LCC/BCC in UT) due to the perceived performance drawbacks of the split.  Longer approaches the splitboards start to win out.  Lift-served, I confess to a couple traverses where snowboard boots did not leave me in my happy place, as Rusty noted, but for myself if I had chosen to repeat them under those conditions I probably would have gone with strap-on crampons or verts rather than a splitboard to manage the traverse.   

Wolf Creek is an area where a splitboard  might make a lot of sense if you already owned one or could easily borrow on a day with lots of fresh snow.  There's one part of Solitude where that's also true, for sure.  Never would have occurred to me if Rusty hadn't mentioned it; nice to file that away as an option. 
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post




None!

I'm basing my comments on years of schlepping cat tracks and flats at over 100 resorts. What would it take? A 20 minute hike, maybe a mile? On one trip to Wolf Creek I alternated days skiing and riding the same terrain. I got stuck bad in deep snow on the flats twice while riding my board. Both times I would have gladly spent 20 minutes to change the board to skis and back just to save the effort I spent trying to get out. On skis I was able to get out of the same places without swearing or breaking a sweat.

You are right. Because I've never used a splitter, I don't know whether a split board would actually have been practical in those situations. So help me out here. How long does it take to split a board/put it back together? Can a split board navigate the flats without skins? How much more time does it take to put skins on? How much faster is it to slide on a split split board than walking? I thought I knew the answers, but it's only a theory. So help me out here.

You are right. The reality is that no one in their right mind would get and use a splitter for riding at resorts. But how many people riding at resorts are not in their right mind (and having a good time)?

I've limited resort experience compared to you.  I'm really familiar with the Sierra resorts, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Solitude, Snowbird, and Crested Butte.

I've yet to find a place with a mile long flat.  Or perhaps I mis-read you.  Are you saying you've been on mile long cat tracks?  Or what would it take to justify a split, a mile-long track?  

In my comparatively limited experience I've never encountered a cat track with deep snow to schlep through.  It seems that would be the opposite of a cat track or traverse.
It doesn't take very long to flip the board.  Killclimbz says 5 minutes, I'd say that's a very average, sometimes generous estimate if you got your flip dialed.  You can skate flats fairly well without skins if you are experienced with your split.  Soft boots and a cotter pin bracket interface just doesn't transfer the energy as well as plastic boots and ski bindings.  Also, your heel is free which could be compared with skate skis.  But splitties are much fatter, heavier, and all around clunkier then skates so skating isn't awesome on them.

Some of the longer flats I've been on are at Heavenly.  And not once has the thought crossed my mind that I should have my split.  The weight hanging off your foot on the lift ride is more energy then jumping off and walking a couple times a day.

I'm not trying to be obstinate.  I just don't think recommending a splitboard for cat tracks is reasonable.  

I know you have a lot of diverse experience.  You also have a reputation for being a good instructor.  You certainly know what you are talking about on this site.  For all I knew, you had lots of experience using a split for the very thing you recommend.  But, it didn't jive with my experience.  Which is pretty much splitting exclusively.  

It probably didn't help that I had worked 9 days in a row to go to a wedding in Gooding, ID with my sick parents and wife who reminded me often that my parents were going to make her sick before she went to a conference this week.  I was also the wedding photog and rather than my aunt and uncle being gracious whatsoever, I worked my ass off, shot 900 photos, was bossed around constantly, and not only wasn't paid, but wasn't thanked.  I didn't eat dinner because I was constantly being told to go take pictures of whatever random, unnecessary pictures they wanted taken.  Not to mention showing up at 8 in the morning to set up the wedding for them.  Which was a pretty crappy wedding anyway.  So, instead, when we got back to our hotel room in Twin Falls, I went to the restaurant across the street and drank my dinner.  Then posted my reply to this thread.

So, I apologize if I was disrespectful.
post #19 of 24
^^^ Was your dinner single malt?  If so, it's all good. 

Get some fishing in there in Idaho & even better.

Re: Solitude, I don't think TR is talking cattrack, though TR can define where he meant.  I think Iknow where he means there.

The cool part about snowboarding is there're lots of choices, gearwise and otherwise.
post #20 of 24
I wouldn't want a splitboard for Wolf Creek.  At least at the ski area.  Just sayin'...
post #21 of 24
just find a skiing friend to give you their poles. it's a lot easier for them to make it with little momentum than it is for you to do it. either that or you could be like shaun white and just get a snowmobile to take you anywhere....... http://www.shaunwhite.com/projectx/?fbid=mfp2DwVU91E#/halfpipe/photo4

(i couldnt figure out how to get it on my computer, but check it out, it's him getting dragged by a snowmobile)
post #22 of 24
No worries Splitter. No disrespect felt. Sorry about the wedding dude. The only one I ever "worked my ass off for", not only did I not get paid, I got slapped when I tried to eat something (long story)!

Under normal conditions, a mile long walk in snow could easily take 20 minutes and could likely be done in 10 minutes sliding with comparable energy expenditure. I've never seen a mile long cat track that was all walking, but there have been plenty 1/4 mile flat spots and some that would be over 1/2 mile of walking if the snow was slow. Almost all of those were "avoidable" (by taking extra lift rides or waiting for a ride). I've seen a few cat tracks that were long enough and if under slow conditions that I personally would choose to take the 10 minutes to split a board/rejoin it if I had that option, even if it took a little more time. My "get a split board comment" was for someone who was intent on doing the "unusually" long/rough run outs on a regular basis. Granted, this is not likely. Your comments were spot on.

At Wolf Creek a good example would be the trek back from the Waterfall run out if you just missed the cat, or one of those fresh powder days if you: a) fell off the traverse into the back area (who would do a stupid thing like that - no names mentioned Rusty) or b) hit one of the main runs that flattens out at the bottom before a track out has been beaten down. At Solitude, the run out of Honeycomb Canyon is more than a mile long, but the ugly part is maybe a quarter mile. When I've done it, it has not been too bad, but if you were coming from the far side of the Canyon and the snow was wet or not packed out at the start - it could get ugly. At Taos, the Rubezahl run out is at least a mile long but not too bad if you're a good rider and the snow is good, but it would not take much to need to walk most of that. You know it's bad when the locals say they "never" do it (there is an alternate route around it that's twice as much time as when the route is "ridable", but a lot more fun). At Mount Snow, the schlep from the condos left of Corinthia base to the main lodge is not necessary, but on skis was preferable to driving, especially if one was drinking in the lodge at the end of the day. Early in the season and before/after hours the lifts in between are not running. At Killington, Great Eastern to Snowshed crossover to the K1 lodge can get tedious and the schlep from K1 to Snowshed could be another candidate if the snow on the learn to ski run is slow. None of these hikes would be worth a split board on a one off basis. Most of the time walking these routes would probably be about the same time as sliding+splitting/joining for an experienced rider and definitely be slower than pedaling. These kinds of runs are few and far between and there are only exceptional times&conditions where splitting would definitely be faster. For almost all of them, you or I would say you'd have to be an idiot to want to do this. But it might make sense for a beginner or intermediate rider whose pedaling really sucks, Which is why I made the comment without explaining it.
post #23 of 24
re: Solitude, one of the reasons for its overall low skier density is it's traverse-heavy nature.  There are a few days a year with fresh snow where that terrain is open but the traverse is a lot of work even for skiers.  A split would be a viable option for laps in that case, on days when most others are going to be somewhere else.

There should be a gear-to-goods payoff ratio here though.  I think Solitude and WOlf Creek would be wins, I'd question whether the ratio would be sufficient for Ktown but my math is always suspect as well.
post #24 of 24
The payoff ratio for Killington (Ktown) is not worth it. Killington is a good example of a hill where there are plenty of alternative routes to get from point a to point b that would not require a rider to navigate long flats, yet there are sometime silly reasons why one would choose the flat route. One good example is when I was in a group of skiers being led by a serious wacko. We were criss crossing the mountain chasing fresh pow,  Quite a few places we hiked up traverses to get to trails that were (cough) technically open from the middle down. My favorite line of the day was when the group was spread out a bit and someone asked if we were going the right way. The response was - "That can't be the right way. It's downhill." On a board, none of our hikes would have been worth splitting. But that day we got a look a few hikes that would have made you think about it.
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