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Ski touring or Splitboarding?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, I guess this is a long debate and a subjective issue... I have tried downhill skiing (up to red slopes), that felt immediately comfortable and I was carving from the first time! I tried classic cross-country ski that I liked and I was learning snowboard last winter (up to black slopes but more comfortable on red ones). So, I'm a beginner on everything and I'm wondering where I should focus in order to serve my needs better. At least, I know what I want to do on the mountains:

I want:
off-piste
more powder but packed snow too
flat, mild or a little bit steep slopes
just to enjoy the landscape!

I don't want:
groomed runs on-piste
speed
tricks, jumps etc.
ridiculously steep ascents or descents

A lot of my needs would be covered even by snowshoes, since I just want to tour the remote parts of the mountains and enjoy the scenery. Taking a snow-covered dirt road to explore the forest is perfect for me! However, I wouldn't like to miss the joy of sliding downhill. I like the smoothness of the snowboard and I've read that it's more safe on your legs, as long as you don't push over your limits. So, safety is important, as well as the cost of the equipment. Ideally, I would like to pay up to 500 or 600 euros for skies/board, bindings, boots and skins. Of course, I'm talking more about second-hand stuff and I would be happy to cut my own splitboard, if I have to.

I like the idea of getting a splitboard to use it as skies on almost flat terrain (I guess I don't need the skins there, do I?), while being able to snowboard downhill. It's also important for me to be able to ski downhill on short parts of low inclination without having to mess with the transition from hiking to downhill mode all the time. What makes me have a second thought is that since a splitboard is shorter than backcountry touring skies, it wouldn't float as well as skies in deep powder on almost flat terrain (splitted, of course), would it?

I hope that's not too confusing Confused So, what would you suggest for that kind of touring?

Thanks for your answer and enjoy the winter!
Elias
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Try off-piste on skis/board first if you have no experience of that. Also get to know how to use transceiver/shovel/probe and some backcountry/off piste knowledge and skills. Do you have any kit already?

Since you mention snowshoes, a cheaper alternative to splitboarding would be to have a normal board strapped to your backpack whilst you snowshoe up (especially as you say you're not too keen on steeps), then strap the snowshoes to your backpack whilst you snowboard down.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yeah, I tried both off-piste and I like them both. What I like most is being off-piste, actually. I would say I prefer snowboard but if backcountry touring skis got important advantages, I would enjoy using them instead of a splitboard. I don't have the safety kit yet (I haven't bought even boots yet) but of course, I'll buy it and join a course.

I haven't thought about the snowshoes-snowboard solution! Well, it's an option wink

Thanks for your answer!
Elias
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Are you equally good on a snowboard and on skis?

If so I do not see any advantages to split boarding particularly? And that is coming from a committed snowboarder and splitboarder!

You can't really 'ski' with a split board unless your super awesome at telemark because your heel isn't fixed so I don't think you'll find it that useful for skiing out over flat sections. I generally put the skins on even if it's just to walk a flatish section.

Why don't you book onto a ski touring week and see how you like it before commuting to buy the gear?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
kat.ryb wrote:
Are you equally good on a snowboard and on skis?

If so I do not see any advantages to split boarding particularly? And that is coming from a committed snowboarder and splitboarder!

You can't really 'ski' with a split board unless your super awesome at telemark because your heel isn't fixed so I don't think you'll find it that useful for skiing out over flat sections. I generally put the skins on even if it's just to walk a flatish section.

Why don't you book onto a ski touring week and see how you like it before commuting to buy the gear?


I would say I'm on an equal (low) level on both skis and snowboard... Your comment is very important, especially coming from a committed splitboarder! The thing about the skins on a flatish section is something that I didn't imagine. Good to know! Anyway, if I'll go that way, I'm thinking to buy what I need to lock the heel. This year even Voile made a heel locker, which is reasonably priced (http://www.voile.com/splitboard-dual-climbging-heels-with-heel-lockdown.html). Sure, I'm in the process of trying out different things to see where I will end up.

Thanks for your answer!
Elias
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
If you could see yourself getting into more technical ground/ mountaineering then skis are a much better tool than a splitboard , splitboard bindings and boots tend to be soft which can be an issue in icy traverses, and even the best gear seems heavier and less efficient.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...

http://youtube.com/v/4b2H8-IJUpE

Love some of the comments Toofy Grin

These bindings let you ski as well.

I've been there seen it done it with snow board touring - from snowshoes to mini approach skis, soft boots to hard boots for some of the reasons mentioned above.

I switched to skiing about seven years ago as snow board touring was such a PITA along with quite a few of our old gang.

Now only have one mate (who was never a skier) and the grief he goes through compared to us - not helped last year when his skins kept icing up and lost all adhesion (G3) was really weird.

And just came across this http://www.mtnapproach.com/index.php which sort of confirms what I was inferring about SplitBoards and inherent hassle, and that's before you try putting the feckin thing back together in a howling gale at 3,000ms
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I might be wrong but it sounds like you might be better off treating xc sking and downhill as two separate past times, at least until you've improved your sking/snowboarding.

combining the two as a beginner sounds a bit like a disaster waiting to happen :/
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I think there's some sound advice here - I'd take time to absorb the detailed points. It's not "don't do it", just "be aware of the limitations".

I have been surprised by the amount of marketing for split boards compared with the number you actually see out there. I guess if all your mates have them then that will help, but otherwise I think a mixed group may not work very well.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'd say you need to be a much more technically accomplished splitboarder to access the same terrain as a ski tourer. As soon as you get into steep skintracks, flat runouts or long traverses ski touring kit makes life easier
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Happy new year and thanks for all your answers! It's much more clear now that skiing suits my needs better. So, I'll go that way!

Enjoy the snow and be safe!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I suspect you're right.

However I remembered this thread just now whilst editing some images (not my images, and not of me), and stumbled across this one. Dave is a cat-ski tail guide who rides a split so he can get back uphill if needed.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
what @arno says +1
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Arno wrote:
I'd say you need to be a much more technically accomplished splitboarder to access the same terrain as a ski tourer. As soon as you get into steep skintracks, flat runouts or long traverses ski touring kit makes life easier


Definitely true, but you probably also have to be a more accomplished skier to descend the same terrain on touring kit compared to snowboarding...
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