Equipment < knowledge
Truer words can't be spoken.
I have a DIY, but I did not split it though. Remember though that your split generally comes with the slider plates so you don't have to buy Sparks or Karakorams if you don't want to. My main complaint is when I am hauling ass mock 12 down a slope sometimes my backend comes unclipped. It is just annoying more than anything having the back end of your board flapping around like two wet noddles. I would save up though for the real gear. Beacons are expensive. Buy one of those first and practice with it. Get super familiar with it.
There are places around here, SLC, that will split your board for you for a couple hundred bones if you don't feel comfortable or access to a band saw. I am sure they have those in Tahoe. I would though get slowshoes first since you gotta buy: beacon, probe, shovel, saw?, take an avy class, poles, pack if you don't have one, and I would recommend an avalung too.
Getting out in the BC is super expensive, but by far some of the most fun you can have if done safely.