At 09:27 AM 1/29/02 -0500, redraobwons wrote:
>The subject line should make it pretty obvious what I'm about to ask.
>Anybody have any good ideas for how a snowboarder looking to earn some
>turns should get uphill?  I'm thinking of doing things like teardrop,
>steeple, or camel's hump (those are all I know of for now anyway).
>I'm looking for something to get me through the flats and uphills.
>Downhill performance is not important.
>However I finally choose to do this, I honestly do want to follow the
>rules and have as minimal an impact on my way uphill as possible.  If
>there are some "rules of the trail" I should know, or anyone who wants
>to guide me so I learn the right way to do things, please speak up.  I
>currently have all the downhill gear I'll need, and a pack for carrying
>the board (and some supplies) uphill.  Beyond that, I need help.

One of my snowboarding friends is going through the same problem.
Researching the solution was our pre-season project.  He hasn't made a
final decision yet (I'll explain why below), but here is just about
everything that we've seen.

>Here's what I know so far:
>snowshoes - I can use them with my snowboard boots which is a plus.
>They're slow which is a minus.  The "rules" are stay out of the skin
>track and stay out of the prime downhill terrain (right?).  Does that
>leave enough room for me to head up on snowshoes without having to carry
>a swiss army knife to protect myself from grumpy telemarkers and AT-ers?  :)

Snowshoes suck.

>verts snowshoes - <> I've heard that there's no
>faster way up steep terrain.  Are the ascents I'd be looking at steep

>enough to want/need these?  Do they suck on the flat approaches?
>firn skis - I've seen them mentioned, but have yet to see any pictures
>of them or prices.  What sort of bindings do they have?  A big bonus
>will go to something that won't require changing out of my snowboard boots.
>ski/snowshoe hybrids (like the karhu meta / sweeper) - too much of a
>compromise to be good at anything?  perfect for what I want?

A second friend already has been touring with a approach ski set up from
K2.  It's basically a ~100cm mid-fat snowblade with a freeheel Clicker
binding.  During the one tour that I was on while they were used, they
seemed to work alright for wide open, low angle, direct accents.  In
traverses it was a bit cumbersome and didn't really have the edge length to
hold the slope well in soft snow, even in the skin track.  The binding had
no heel lifter.

Rossignol is selling a similar setup this season also.  It's called the
Free Venture and can be used with any snowboard boot.

And here's the approach ski paradox:  That Karhu seems a bit long for the
decent.  I believe that the Meta is like 130cm, which I can believe would
be a bit cumbersome while strapped to your pack.  Especially while ripping
through a tight glades where I wouldn't want the things sticking up above
my head.

>split snowboard - I haven't heard much about how this approach affects
>downhill performance.  The price seems prohibitive.

I've seen two possibilities that look usable.

We saw the new Burton split in a shop.  It look rather rugged but not too
extremely heavy.  The shop guy showed us the binding mechanism and it
seemed usable, even with gloves/mittens.  I'm sorry I don't remember what
it was called but I'm sure you can ask Burton.  Price was outrageous at
around US$1000, skins sold separately.  IIRC.

Here's possibly the best choice, IMHO.

Telemark Pyrenees (Disregard the shame of buying from a sissy froggy skier
shop) will sell you all the hardware from the Voile Split Decision which
will allow you too build your own split board!   The kit cast about $125,
the skins are another $125, +shipping, +your old board that was already
missing a 3" section of edge.  And that seems cheep to me.

We even found this link which shows a step-by-step installation:

My friend who has been investigating this has decided to rent the Burton
board for a test and then make a decision after that.

>burning the snowboard to attone for my sins and switching to telemark /

I do believe that they will allow the use of AT gear at MRG.  ;-)  And by
the way, my friend with the K2 clicker approach skis bought real skis, AT
boots, and bindings this season.  <;-))))


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