In our quest for podcast show equality, we have been trying to bolster our splitboard representation. We’ve sprayed endless gear talk about the tiny nuances of a 40-year-old tech binding, but have continuously swept snowboard evolution under the rug. In this latest Totally Deep Podcast episode, that all changes.
When I turn my attention to splitboarding, it is tough to think of anyone more evangelical about the sport than Angus Morrison. He has been earning his turns in the Colorado backcountry for over 20 years and has watched the sport of splitboarding since its beginning. We also brought former snowboarder Randy Young back as host after his brief hiatus in Michigan.
Before the full gear nerding begins, we recant the story of a spicy day that Angus and I had in the backcountry last winter. Angus is not that guy cutting grams with the newest and coolest hard boot splitboard setup in order to shave precious seconds off his ascents. Instead, on that rare winter day when I ratcheted into my own snowboard bindings, I settled in for a walk in the woods with stories and avalanche observations, which he is absolutely fanatical about. As we started uphill, taking turns trail breaking, the skin track turned into a trench behind us. Their were signs of rapid warming as trees jettisoned their heavy loads from the night before, snow clumps falling like mortars around us. We took out the slope meter and confirmed that the ridge-line down the middle of the bowl we were about to ride went at about 28 degrees. I transitioned to downhill mode and made my first backcountry turns of the season.
I posted up in a safe zone to watch Angus fly down the ridge after me. As his board impacted the snow off a slight cliff drop, he remotely triggered a small slide in a terrain trap in a steeper adjacent gulley. We watched safely from our ridge as a powder cloud snaked its way down the valley. Even from our vantage point, watching snow on the move is always sobering. We continued uphill, did a quick pit analysis of the crown and continued back down the summer trail. Another lesson was learned that day to take a further step back from that fine line of risk.
This event behind us, it was time to talk gear. In this episode, we cover two major players in the splitboard game. Both Jones and Weston don’t just have their token splitboards, but rather entire quivers of boards for every type of condition. On a daily basis, Angus rocks his Jones Mind Expander Split, a fully directional powder board, while I am moving to the Weston Backwoods Carbon board for this season. When you look at the last few years of the sport, bindings have come a long way. The Spark R&D bindings paved the way for easier transitions as well as less weight and moving parts. If you have a question, or want to see more splitboard coverage on Totally Deep or WildSnow leave a comment and we will aim to get it in there.
This episode was a blast to record and I want to thank our Australian snowboard friends for listening and demanding more coverage.
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Doug Stenclik is an avid skimo racer and ski mountaineer who lives for sharing the amazing sports of ski touring and splitboarding. Since his first time on skins he was hooked and the obsession has taken him all over the United States and the world pursuing the human powered ski turn. He founded Cripple Creek Backcountry in 2012 and took over the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Race Cup in 2014 to spread knowledge and the love of the sport. In 2019 he took a step back from the ski shop and race promoter life to become a publishing partner with WildSnow.