I gave away an avalanche airbag today. And the winner deserved it. She worked hard all week. They all did. My splitboarding gear testers kick ass. I only wish I had more airbag packs to give away….
Fortunately, conditions were stellar in Crested Butte this past week, stoking the crew for long, productive days of riding and reviewing. The West Elk Mountains were sun baked on most aspects when we arrived seven days ago, and the more popular skintracks in the Upper Gunnison Valley were slick and technical. So we really got to put boards to the test on the uphill, and found how the slightest differences in camber underfoot affect skinning performance.
Then we got hit. Big days followed [Insert hoots and hollers here], and we tested wide-nosed boards and deeply rockered profiles. Some managed to impress in every department…but not many.
As we drive across the Utah desert, the box full of board review forms sitting shotgun is staring at me like I’m its last meal on Death Row. I can hear it whispering:
“Really good for powder days. Wouldn’t want it as my one-board quiver!”
“Very stable, could point and charge through chunder and bumps.”
“All-mountain backcountry machine. Slay some pow, ride some corn, hit a couloir; she does it all.”
When we left One Track Mind at the base of Crested Butte this morning, stacks upon stacks of splitboards and backcountry gear sat used and abused, awaiting some unlucky FedEx driver. Thank you Mr. FedEx driver. And thank you to all the rippin’ snowboarders who helped with another successful Board & Gear Test. You kept thanking me for letting you ride all week, but really it is I who is most grateful for your contributions.
Thanks also to Crested Butte Mountain Resort for letting us steal your freshies all week, SKA Brewing for hooking up euphoric libations, and Point 6 socks for the plush, blister-free cushioning underfoot.
Photos by Matt Berglund, itsaberglund.com