Splitboarding the Haute Route – question?

Hey Neil,

hope all is good.

A couple of friends of mine (skiers) are heading over to do the haute route this season, I was thinking about going with them and I’ve just begun to research the pros and cons and possibilities of doing it on a Splitboard. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it would involve, but I thought it would be worth checking with you, in case you’ve got any particular advice on pros/cons of travelling with skiers on the haute route, or if there are areas to avoid etc. Just off the top of your head. Thanks!

Hope things are shaping up for a good winter… looks like you’ve got some awesome courses planned!

Cheers,
Tom

Hi Tom,

There’s lots of traversing on the Haute route (its basically a traverse of the Alps between Chamonix and Zermatt) and the skiers will blast across it whilst on a Splitboard, you probably won’t. There’s also lots of changing from Split to ride mode and back again, but you should be pretty efficient at that by now.

I always change the route and go more fall line as I’d rather ride things than traverse across them, but then any height you loose, you’ll need to regain so this often leads to more hiking as well as more riding. Skiers and Splitboarders take very different lines both up and down. For me the riding is the most important and there’s some great terrain in-between Chamonix and Zermatt so its worth the extra effort.

Most skit tourers tend to be out there for the touring and use light weight skis that they can’t really ski on anyway, so for them the priority is getting places. On a Snowboard we tend to be out there for the riding, so we can have different priorities in between getting from hut to hut.

As long as your skier friends are aware and up for this then it can work.

There are also different routes that are more Snowboard friendly, but some of it is just traversing whether on Ski’s or a Splitboard and there are days were you’ll hardly put your board together and if its firm or icy under foot it can be quite hard work.

One other problem with the Haute Route is that your journey is planned around getting from place to place rather than heading out to ride the best conditions. If the snow conditions are bad, icy or dangerous you’re still out there trying to follow the schedule, where as normaly you might choose your itinerary to suit the conditions and to get a good ride. It’s quite rare to get good conditions from A to B so be ready to change and adapt.

At the end of the day its a great journey through an amazing landscape and any riding you get is going to be fantastic.

I’ll probably run a Splitboarders Haute Route next season.

Go for it!

Neil.