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Is powder the greatest part of boarding?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just come back from Val d'Isere and I have to say that as far as pistes go, they totally pale in comparison to off-piste and powder - I think I've found my calling.

I've only ever dipped into off-piste between runs before and usually ended up sinking or face-planting. This time though, with the help of two seriously nutty skiers in my chalet, I did just about three days of solid off piste, much of it in totally untracked fresh powder.

My board wasn't set up for powder (or long enough at 158cm) but I made the most of the situation and by the end of the week, leaning back over the tail was like second nature - I even started doing it on the piste for those big carves and it felt amazing kicking up those big cliuds of snow behind me - how cool!!!! Smile

I did some tree boarding at le Fornet but the trees were a little tight (and I was a little freaked) for any serious turning, but I still managed to link a few here and there inbetween barn-dooring it through the narrower spots.

The wide powder fields up on the glacier, above the snowpark in Tignes and around Col De Fresse were something else and even when tracked out, were soooo much easier to ride than the regular pistes.

I was really unsure on whether I should go off-piste and I know i was silly doing it without proper avalanche gear and by following previous tracks that could have still been unsafe, but I took the chance and enjoyed it soooo much. I think the next trip will see me booking a proper off-piste day with a guide to do the seriously mad sections of the mountain.

I now know what snowboards were REALLY made for Smile

**EDITED TO ADD IMAGES**

Col D Fresse, heading to Tignes - Totally tracked out but enjoyable nontheless


Le Fornet alongside the Foret black run


Le Fornet


Apologies for the dodgy framing - this was all shot with a Sony Cybershot that had a smashed LCD after I smashed into a tree!! So glad I didn't take my Nikon d200 out that day!Smile


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 15-12-08 15:10; edited 5 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Specialman, sounds amazing. but as usual THIS THREAD IS USELESS WITHOUT PICTURES!!! Laughing

am heading to tignes at the end of jan and hoping to get some off-piste/powder runs. with the way it's puking now, that may just be possible!

btw, the snow clouds being kicked up behind you as you carve are called "rooster tails"... NehNeh
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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?
Specialman, In one word YES.....

Get yourself on a Backcountry Course with soneone like Mcnab Snowboarding in Chamonix. It will open up whole new world of powder, glaciers, beauty and a lack of moguls Cool
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Yep its as good as it gets when the powder is champagne and fresh. Sounds like you had a great time. V Jealous.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes your right, powder is the best thing on a snowboard (apart from wearing enormously baggy clothes).

Watch out going off piste on glaciers though, even cutting between runs is dangerous because they fill in the crevaces under the piste but outside the markers they don't. Don't just follow people, make sure you know what your doing or get a guide to show you. In my experence everyone is an "expert" so be careful of who you follow!
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Specialman, given the avalanche risk at the moment, you are a total moron. Other people are required to risk their own lives looking for fools like you, you know.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Can't speak about boarding (apologies from this skier gatecrashing your thread), but I get as much pleasure from skiing well on piste as I do from skiing off-piste. Different kinds of experiences, and pleasureable for different reasons, but equally enjoyable. I'll accept that drifting around on piste without pushing hard can get a bit dull, so perhaps it's skiing close to the limit of my abilities that is pleasureable regardless of on or off piste?


Specialman, glad you had a great time. Photos please... Wink
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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!
rob@rar, those runs up on the glacier were nearly as good as the powder, they were that well prepared. I've never been so fast on a board without ever feeling that I'd hit some rough ground. It was pure corduroy and a credit to the piste staff.

Bored@work, that inherent risk was always on my mind. Just the little taster I've had is enough for me to warrant getting fully briefed and kitted out to tackle those really wild off-piste areas away from the crowds. Saw guys coming down off the Signal run in Val and they were rocking it down the slope with that leisurely swagger you get going over fresh powder.

Lizzard, a lot of people think I'm a moron and that's without them seeing me go down a mountain on a wooden tea tray. I'm back in one piece and a lot wiser for my experience. As I've said, I'll not be taking the risk next time without proper safety measures but for now, can you cut the moralising from your ivory tower and just let me relish the memory of doing something I loved for the first time? rolling eyes
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Specialman, Well said..... you are now on path of no return to powder heaven Razz Razz
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Specialman wrote:
rob@rar, those runs up on the glacier were nearly as good as the powder,

Which I think supports my point that the most enjoyment is to be found when you push yourself close to the limits of your ability. That might be surviving in the complexity of powder runs through the trees; skiing/boarding very fast on a well prepared piste; keeping to the racing line through gates; extremely steep 'no-fall' situations, keeping to the fall line in chest high bumps, etc. I think it is possible to have as much fun on piste as off, but you do have to work hard to earn that enjoyment Smile Just drifting around and not pushing yourself will eventually lead to boredom.
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rob@rar, Interesting point of view. Looking at it from my point of view (as a boarder predominantly) I spent as little time on the piste as possible and prefer to spend my day hiking in the backcountry etc to find the best quality snow, learning about the mountain enviroment, spotting wildlife etc.

Although i am partial to some high speed early morning cordroy on the way to said backcountry wink

I think if you are interested in riding the park then thats where you would really progress on a snowboard.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
norris wrote:
Although i am partial to some high speed early morning cordroy on the way to said backcountry wink

Which I think also supports my point Smile It's only in this thread that I've begun to think about this, but my new mantra will be "For enjoyment, challenge yourself. It matters not where you do this"!
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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
rob@rar, you had better update your signature!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
norris wrote:
rob@rar, you had better update your signature!

A little bit of everything to be found in Les Arcs, so I'm happy there and thereabouts Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
rob@rar, the enjoyment was definitely there all week (apart from Tuesday when my board just lost all its edges and became totoally pants) and it was a great to be in a new resort with new runs and that whole thing of exploring and finding your little corner. The powder in the trees iss a definite must for anyone wanting to totally remove themselves from piste riding but the thick, open fields of off-iste are definitely something that floats my boat so to speak, and i really can see that playing the biggest part in my resort boarding from now on.

Mind you, as someone's mentioned, park riding is a thing that really pushes your skill, precision and bottle and with snowdome's not really offering anything else, that's what I'll be doing in between resort trips.

I'm already looking at how may body parts I can sell to afford a January trip!! Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I like to take the park theme into the powder with the jumps and jibs, try frontside 180s to a backwards nose wheelie then pop switch backside 180 out to riding forwards, so much fun in the powder when they go right.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stab wrote:
I like to take the park theme into the powder with the jumps and jibs, try frontside 180s to a backwards nose wheelie then pop switch backside 180 out to riding forwards, so much fun in the powder when they go right.



And it doesn't hurt much when they go wrong (for me), although you can end up with a lot of snow down your jacket. Laughing
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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?
stab, found a couple of little kickers in the off-piste near the Tichot lift in Tignes and has a blast. It still feels pretty stupid, trying to launch yourself off this big hump in the snow but once I'd done it a few times it was just plain fun. Mind you, it's not the landings I worry about, it's the climbing back up the hill that kills me.
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Specialman, not been near a park, but like you i saw the light last year at tignes. hope to be going back this year. just have to wait for the right forecast/deal combo in jan. wherever i end up though i'm going to be hopping off piste whenever i can justify it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Specialman, bril pics dude. sooooo want me some of that!!!
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sherlock235, cheers. Couldn't believe I smashed up my camera but on the other hand, I can't believe it was still working after the crash, albeit without the screen. Thank god for the world's tiniest viewfinder - not easy though with gogs on!! Smile

By the way, how do i get it to show the images bigger than the linked thumbnails?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Specialman, um.... er.... no idea? Embarassed i'll leave that q to the experts on here...
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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!
Spesh - go to Apres and there is a thread at the top that expains how to add a size 'in code'

Instead of saying [img].....[/img]

Use [img=x,y]......[/img]

Where x and y are the horizontal and vertical number of pixels (eg, [img=600,400])
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rayscoops, or when you have the photo in snowmediazone click on the photo button next to the thumbnail link, then copy the medium sized image link.

Powder is the daddy but the snowpack is really really unstable atm please take care and make sure you know what you're doing, at the very least go on a course and read a book (in that order) and remember that most people going off piste don't know what they're doing. I'd take another 30+ years of riding and missing a few fresh tracks over another 20 days.

It's good though isn't it snowHead
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Specialman, YES Powder is what a board was made for, forget the tricks in the park. get in the back country and ride the untracked powder. There is no other feeling like it!! Sorry skiers. I know doing it on skis is fun as well, but until you have tried a high power turn in deep powder on a board you have not lived and I love it on skis as well. BUT!!!
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