With the rapid escalation of splitboarding’s popularity, combined with technological advances in the winter sports industry, the selection process that goes into building a backcountry snowboarding setup is more tedious than ever. Boards are lighter. New bindings and touring hardware increase the speed of transitions from tour mode to ride mode, and vice versa. The backcountry… Wait a minute. What am I doing? It’s day one of board test week and I do not have time to get all Hemmingway about this. I just counted over 50 splitboards in the test inventory and there are still about a dozen boxes yet to be unpacked.
Truckloads of boxes. Enough boards, bindings, boots, skins and hardware to keep three-dozen riders busy all month, let alone all week. It’s a good thing the testers are willing to bust their asses to get the job done.
I should be doing something more like this…
Will Shoemaker of Gunnison, Colo. dropped into the south face of Ruby Peak in the Crested Butte bc yesterday at 12:29 p.m. The corn harvest was timed impeccably. “Buttery but not quite sloppy. Just right,” was the group consensus.
However, most of the morning was spent here in the board shop at Peak Sports.
Testers have been signing their lives away and assembling, disassembling and reassembling boards all day. The shop is located at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, so it’s perfect for quick in’s and out’s when trying to maximize ride time. That’s what the chair lifts do too, by the way: they help expedite testing, which is why splitboards are tested at the resort.
I’m dreaming of skinning with friends…
But while I work away inside, the photographer is out getting shots of other people doing cool things. And it’s a bluebird day. And there’s this fresh new board staring at me from across the room. Plus all the gear UPS just dropped off that still needs to be counted before I can crack a beer and jump in the hot tub with the crew. What’s that? I should quit my bitchin’ and just do my job? All right, fine. I’ll go snowboarding. The sun’s still up another two hours, anyway.
With a splitboard, you can go whenever, wherever. This view looks north from inbounds, afterhours at CBMR. Stay tuned for more from the board test. The test team will touch base shortly. For now, there’s a lot of work to do.