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Old 02-04-2009, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Solitude - guided b/c tours?

has anyone done one of these tours?

they get you for close to 200 bucks and wanted to know if it's worth it. I'm not familiar with out of bounds territory and don't want to risk being caught in a slide or somewhere I have to walk out of.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well you are going into the backcountry. Avalanches are always a danger, no getting around it. Even the best guides and most experienced backcountry users get caught sometimes. Luckily it doesn't happen often and there is usually a lesson to be learned so that the mistake isn't repeated. So these guys should be able to keep you off of dangerous terrain easily enough. As long as you listen to them and ride where they tell you. Changing your line by a few feet from where you are told to go can have deadly consequences. So listen and do what they say.

As far as the terrain goes, it's killer. I just got done with a 4 day trip to Utah and one of the days was spent splitboarding in Little Cottonwood Canyon. There is a ridge that splits Little and Big (where Solitude is) Cottonwood Canyons. Tons of terrain in there. Mount Superior and other options. Great tree runs and absolutely huge steep lines if the conditions are safe enough to venture onto them. A word of warning though, a 2000 vertical hike is pretty much a short tour. I would guess that since they are taking a paying group out, they are going to shoot for at least a 6,000 vertical foot day down. You may not have climb all that but expect to climb around 4,000 vertical at least. I very much recommend renting a splitboard if you are going to do this. There is definitely tree line hiking and having a board on your back in the trees can be a real pita. Not too mention if there is recent snow activity you'll be punching down into the snow much deeper than if you were on ski's. Being able to drag your feet skinning vs picking them up snowshoeing saves a huge amount of energy. If you're physically up to it, this is not a bad way to cut your teeth into backcountry riding.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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from what i see on their page, they provide climbing skins and snow shoes, however i can imagine it must be easier hiking with a split board. I'll look into it.

thanks for the detailed response.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There has got to be shops that rent splitboards. Voile operates out of Utah. I would give Voile a call and ask them about retailers in the area that demo/rent their splitboards. Make sure you can get 3 section collapsible poles too. Black Diamond Expedition poles are the best, but any 3 section model will do for your trip.
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