a crapload of fun.... (splitty is a board that breaks in 2 skis and you apply skins to - take a few changeovers to learn to do the process faster) - skinned a hiking trail yesterday and dropped in above the highest operating lift - super fun!
When in the backcountry it can be very difficult to get around. If you don't have access to a snowmobile. The snow can easily be waist high or more. Each step means you sink. Instead there are two options (for us snowboarders), split boarding, or snow shoes.
Split board is a snowboard that detaches into two skis. The skins that are applied provide friction in one direction and smooth in the other. This helps you walk through the snow. The larger surface area compared to a boot means you don't constantly sink.
I personally prefer snow shoes, I find it nicer in the steep sections where even with a split board you have to boot hike.
Like the name says, these boards are split in the middle, with additional iron edge in the middle. To hike up, you have your bindings longitudionally attached, only at the toes on each half of the split, and use them like skies. Transition means, you put both halfs together and fix the bingings at normal stances and you've got a board again. Very cool. Big advantage is that you dont have to carry your board attatched on a bagpack up the mtn. Can get heavy on longer hikes and if its windy youve got a huge sail on your back.