Writer Brent Rose ventured out into the backcountry with Weston Snowboards and Irwin Guides to create a splitboarding 101 how-to article for Mens Journal.
Photo: Siri Raitto
Writer Brent Rose ventured out this season for his first day in the backcountry to create a splitboarding 101 how-to article: Everything you need to know to get into splitboarding for Men's Journal. This is a great piece that lays out the gear, and necessary education in terms that will be understandable to somebody who is brand new to the backcountry. Weston Snowboards and Irwin Guides of Crested Butte set him up so he could learn under professional guidance. Here's what he had to say about his splitboarding 101 experience with his BCA gear.
You're going to be carrying a lot more gear than you're used to, with a lot of avalanche safety stuff that isn't small, and you want a backpack specifically designed to keep it organized so you can access it quickly in case of an emergency. You're also going to want it to be big enough to stash extra layers, food, water, and everything else you might need. Because of this, it's recommended that your pack be at least 30 liters. I always like a pack to be hydration compatible, and I think that's especially important when skinning. I went with the BCA Float 32. It has everything I mentioned above, plus a lot of pockets, external helmet carry, and a newly refined airbag system. If you actually get caught in a slide, the airbag increases your surface area and should help keep you from getting buried.
For the beacon, make sure it has three antennae, and make sure you know how to use it. I went with the BCA Tracker S because its super simple to use. Its basically designed for people who are new to this, or for those who don't get tons of practice in and might be prone to forgetting. For the probe and shovel, go with aluminum (for strength) and something compact. Id recommends BCAs Avalanche Rescue Package, which includes the Tracker S as well as a nice shovel and probe.
While the beacon, shovel, and probe are absolutely mandatory, guides these days are also recommending you carry a two-way radio. This lets members of your group alert each other for hazards, find each other if they get separated, and quickly communicate with rescue workers should the situation require it. I went with the BC Link 2.0 which has a lot of power (2 watts for longer range), is easy to use, and is about as snow-proof as it gets.
We particularly loved his line about it not being a sponsored post, he just went with what the guides recommended.
Read the full Men's Journal story and see more photos and videos of Brents Splitboarding 101 adventure here.
Photo: Carly Finke