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Bkeller 01-08-2010 04:11 PM

Snow shoes over split board?
So ive never done any back country riding before, its something I would love to experience given that I have just moved out to NM from MI. I plan on taking all the necessary avalanche courses and going out with a guide my first few times.

That being said, while I understand that Split boards give you a major advantage in terms of getting up the mountain faster, they are crazy expensive from what I can see, would it not be far more cost effective to just get a nice pair of snowshoes that can easily strap to my backpack instead? Im under the impression that a splitters main purpose is to keep you on top of the pow and moving quickly? Do people snow shoe instead?

Thanks for helping a mountain noob.

Zee 01-08-2010 04:16 PM

Snowshoes are very tiring... esecially when trying to keep up with people on skis/skins.

killclimbz 01-08-2010 04:37 PM

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Yeah snow shoes suck. They are slow, you still post hole, and you have to carry your board on your back. All major disadvantages. They will get you further out than without them, but you are still going to be limited. I'd say snow shoes are a great way to get your first experiences with bc riding, but if you are at all getting into it, you'll want a splitboard. For bc gear splitboards are cheaper than say getting the same set up for a skier. So it's still a good deal. Or you could always buy a snowmobile, but if you thought a splitboard was crazy expensive...

killclimbz 01-08-2010 04:41 PM

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Also, keep in mind for the price of a good pair of snow shoes you can make a do it youself splitboard with the Voile split kit. A couple of members of this forum have done it. Cifex and stoepstyle I believe.

Bkeller 01-08-2010 05:19 PM

Thanks for the quick responses guys, Im not sure what im gonna do, If I really get into BC, ill prolly save money on lift tickets etc, im about 3 hours from Taos, Santa Fe, Etc. So weekend trips get expensive with gas 100$, lift tickets 50-70$ a day, plus hotels and food. Maybe a splitter would be the way to go down the road.

T.J. 01-08-2010 07:28 PM

snowshoes suuuuuuuuuuuuuck

Zee 01-08-2010 10:55 PM

Splitter is a big investment... I've been meaning to get one for 2 seasons already.

ElChupocabra 01-09-2010 06:11 PM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 233060)
For anything else or in early season pow, they suck ass bad. As Kill said, you will still post hole in pow with them and then when you pull your foot out of the hole, you have several pounds of pow on top of your foot and within a mile or two you are pooped.

ugh! don't get me started on how aweful snowshoes are in powder. If you must, just get the largest available size. Most 'snowshoers' just walk around on cross-country trails and don't need to worry very much about floatation and most snow shoes are marketed accordingly. I had to use snow shoes during my avy class at santa fe and was miserable. Probably worth just saving up for a split and post holing until then. Hopefully splits will drop dramatically in price once stupid voile's stupid patent expires.
My suggestion for you is to take advantage of the $18 two lift pass at santa fe which is sold for the sole purpose of letting people take advantage of their open ropes policy. (both the policy and ticket are kind of a secret)
Taos is definitely worse for backcountry simply because they seem to hire a bunch of conservative fucktards to work on their ski patrol who seem to think backcountry riding (or any development in ski/board culture from the past 15 years) is a personal insult. (the rest of the administration there is perfectly fine.)
For more info on NM BC check out my post on the avy class:

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stoepstyle 01-11-2010 06:31 PM

Ive bootpacked and snowshoed and once you get going on skins it is so fast. Its ridiculous how fast it is compared to snowshoeing. Get the kit I built my own split and it works like a charm. If you end up building your own talk to me I can give you some pointers

linvillegorge 11-02-2010 01:35 AM

Just bumping this thread to confirm that snowshoes do in fact SUCK ASS!

I went out Sunday and was the only one in the group snowshoeing it. By the time we got to the top I was already pretty spent and I'm in pretty decent hiking shape - I just climbed Longs Peak again a little over a month ago. By the time we got to doing our third run, I was struggling to simply stay upright on my board I was so spent from the hiking, much less do any real riding of any kind.

It really sinks in to you (literally) when you're watching the guys in front of you skinning while sinking in maybe 6" or so while you follow along behind them in their tracks and you're sinking knee deep and just plain killin' yourself.

Needless to say, I am currently in the market for a splitboard. I'll probably pick up a cheap pair of snowshoes on CL to use in the meantime, but I have definitely learned first hand that snowshoes are NOT the way to go longterm. It's expensive to get into backcountry riding. You've already invested in a beacon, shovel, probe, pack, etc. You might as well go ahead and make the leap to pick up a split to make the experience far more enjoyable.

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