Mountainwatch | Amine Yasmine
The 2018 Let’s Split TRIP 2 was an incredible day for everyone who attended. Not only did it see the largest group of Splitboarders that any of us had gone touring with to date, but we were also lucky enough to have our first skier join us. Now … even though we are a “Splitboard Group”, we have open policy to skiers provided they are a plus-one to someone who has attended a Let’s Split event previously. It was great to see the group diversity increase with our new friend, and awesome to see how welcoming everyone was to each other. Our name may be “Lets Split”, but our ethos is to stick together out there no matter what! And that we did.
The group of 18 people met at Guthega car park at 8am – all eager to see how well the snow conditions had ‘recovered’ since a brutal snap freeze a few days before, which saw some resorts even put their chair lifts on an “ICE HOLD” earlier in the week! And as we did our safety briefing down at the Guthega Dam wall, it was clear that the increasing temperatures would be on our side today and would soften the snow cover nicely.
The group skinned up next to Guthega River, and crossed the footbridge at about 9am. From there we headed up East Tate. We stopped at the mid-point saddle to commence the transition into our first run, which would be on some of the lower elevation faces leading down back toward Guthega River and, surprisingly, we were treated to spring-like Aussie “Hot Pow”. For a few of our attendees, this was not only their first time Splitboarding, but also officially their first backcountry run in Australia. Needless to say, group stoke was sky high at the bottom of this run.
That same stoke then fuelled our tour back up to the summit of East Tate, which was at an ‘invigorated pace’ as everyone was eager for more turns. But as we approached the summit, the all too familiar wind factor crept in. When we got to our second transition point, all gloves and neck warmers were back in full use, and everyone was focussed on a quick transition to ride down and escape the strong winds.
Starting at the East Tate summit, the group was then treated to a much longer second run, which started up high as a firm (and smooth) ‘rippable’ face, and then dropped down into some nice slushy spring turns toward the creek. Based on snowpack stability, a Party Wave was called on the upper aspects, and the group ripped turns together all the way down to the saddle. Nothing beats the feeling of a Party Wave with your crew when conditions allow for it!
At the bottom of our long second run, we stopped for lunch, recharged the batteries, and refilled the water bottles in the Guthega River. Once rested, we crossed back over the footbridge, and started our tour up Guthega Trig for our final run home. When you get to the top of the Trig, the Guthega Dam (and your car park) comes back into sight. While this may lower the remoteness of the location, it was a very welcome sight for some of the tired legs in the group. So, we all descended down the Trig, stopping at the Damn wall to transition back into tour mode and start the last climb back up to the parked cars.
Now there is no doubt that anyone’s first day Splitboarding is somewhat of a ‘shock to the system’. You can have had numerous resort days under your belt, and yet your first day splitboarding each season just seems to require a different type of fitness. Considering that we had two first-timers in the TRIP 2 group (both of which were on rental gear), it was very clear that Let’s Split thrives on accommodating riders of different fitness levels and splitboard experience. So, a very warm thanks to everyone who made this event such a fun day for everyone involved, and a great success for the splitboard Australian community. I am looking forward to touring with you all again very soon!
Whether you’re a pro, or a first-timer splitboarder, Lets Split welcomes anyone who wants to get out there and enjoy a day well spent. All bookings and enquiries can be made though http://slidepath.com.au/lets-split/ or firstname.lastname@example.org. So, … LETS SPLIT!