You will need snowshoes or a splitboard. You are definitely not going to boot pack it all over the backcountry. Well you could, but your group will be back and drinking beers for hours while they wait for you to catch up.
If you rent snowshoes, you'll have to carry your board on your back. If you rent a splitboard, you won't have to do that, but you will be on skis. Expect some low angle short down hill sections. Overall a splitboard takes less energy and is easier to get around on than snowshoes. There are also drawbacks, such as assembly time, taking care of your climbing skins, and such. It's still way better than carrying a board on your back and stomping around with slowshoes on.