Introduction to Backcountry Splitboarding
Splitboards have revolutionised the snowboard industry in recent years. Now with use of a splitboard, snowboarders can easily reach places that just a few years ago were only been accessible to skiers, without the added hassle of carrying snowshoes.
During this course you will learn all of the essential splitboarding skills and techniques to turn you into a backcountry powder hound. Along with expert guidance from our local splitboard guides, you will also learn about avalanche safety and general backcountry safety awareness and skills.
Each day you will use your splitboards to explore a different area of the epic, never ending Chamonix backcountry with our fun, knowledgeable and skilled guides.
SET WINTER 2018 DATES:
Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability
- Guides expenses
- Guiding fees
- In resort transport
- Chamonix accommodation
What's not included
- Transport to/from Chamonix
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Uplifts according to itinerary
Who is this for?
This course is for snowboarders looking to dive into the epic world of splitboarding for the first time. You must have some previous snowboarding experience in order to make the most of the week. We will teach splitboarding right from the very first steps and within a few days you’ll be pros!
Accommodation and huts
You will be based in our central Chalet Pele. The chalet has a fun atmosphere, there are often other like minded people staying in the chalets who are on various other courses. Chamonix town centre is a short 2 minutes walk away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes and après ski hang outs.
Arrive in Chamonix and settle in to the chalet. Meet with your Guide(s) to discuss the plan for the week ahead.
Warm up day – Get your snowboard legs in shape. We let you take this opportunity to get familiar with snowboarding again and enjoy the epic runs in the Chamonix valley. Regular snowboard is suitable for today, splitboard not required. Take the day to warm up your legs and prepare for the next 5 days of splitboarding.
Intro to the kit – Learn how the boards and bindings move between a board and skis. Learn how to attach and detach skins, and learn about avalanche safety and rescue – learn how to use transceivers, probe and shovel.
By the end of today you should feel well informed on the use of your splitboard as well as your avalanche kit.
Into the backcountry – Loaded with your new found knowledge and skills it’s off into the backcountry for some technique lessons and skills. You will get to practice some more of the vital skills needed to tour including the technique of kick turns which are required for steeper ground.
Day 4 – 6:
Progression and enjoyment – Day 4 to 6 you will use your splitboard to explore various area of the amazing Chamonix backcountry. One of the highlights may be Col du Passon – a 2.5 hour uphill trek, involving some mountaineering towards the end followed by an epic 3000m descent!
We may have to change this itinerary according to the prevailing weather and conditions (and we like to take into account your ambitions too)
Good fitness will make it more fun and you’ll get more out of your week! Although we will tailor the course to your ability, we definitely recommend getting as fit as possible before you start. The process of training for your goal will help you focus on your goal – and having a goal will help you focus on your training. So all in all training is good!
Back country skiing and ski mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for several hours, and your training should reflect this. Probably the best training is cycling as this targets similar muscle groups and prepares the mind (exercising for long periods in poor weather requires mental strength!). However not everyone has the opportunity to do this and so alternatives such as jogging and gym workouts are also good.
The focus should be on training Cardiovascular Endurance as well as Strength for long days in the mountains – for cardio cycling/running/rowing machines are much better than weight training. Try and exercise for up to a couple of hours at a time at least twice a week. Try yoga, swimming, pilates etc too to help with core stability and balance. Squats and cycling are a good way to strengthen your legs. Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.
Try and choose an activity that you enjoy and keep a note of what you do and your times – this really helps with keeping the motivation up. If you are not used to training then your local gym will be able to advise you on a plan and schedule to help you achieve your goals. Training does not work overnight! The fittest athletes train as part of their lifestyles and have been doing it for years. Consider training for a good couple of months before coming out to the Alps.
It is possible to rent most hardware items in Chamonix including a full splitboarding set up.
1. Splitboard with splitboard bindings.
2. Splitboarding poles(foldable)
3. Skins and board crampons
4. Splitboard boots and boot crampons – these must fit and be comfortable as we will spend time ascending throughout the week.
5. Snowboard Helmet
6. Rucksack – 30-40l. with ski straps
7. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner
8. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
9. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
10. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
11. Insulating layers.
12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
14. Water bottle (minimum 1l)
Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent most of the above from our partners in Chamonix – Legend’CHX.
To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +33 (0)845 527 58 12.
We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 6 weeks before the course start date.
We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.
Make sure that it covers glaciated mountaineering and backcountry splitboarding. We recommend the Dogtag (www.dogtag.co.uk) – they have comprehensive policies and a good reputation.
Getting to Chamonix
Easyjet offer good value flights to Geneva from all over the UK. Swiss Air and British Airways also offer convenient flights from London to Geneva.
Booking a place on a minibus airport transfer service is by far the best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix (it takes about an hour or so, is cost effective and is a door to door service). There are many companies to choose from such as Transport Grant and Easybus.
There are several cash points in Chamonix and Maestro/visa/mastercard are all readily accepted.
How big will the group be?
Our ski courses will be no more than 6 people per guide. If the group is larger than 6, there will be a second guide and we will have the ability to split the group if necessary.
Is it possible to book individually rather than a group?
Yes. We run our courses with a minimum of 4 people. You can either book individually into a group or you can book as a group and fill the spaces yourself.
What equipment will I need?
Please read the kit list above.
When is the best time?
Good backcountry conditions are generally from January until early April in the Alps. In January and February we tend to have more frequent snow falls and March and April provide excellent spring skiing conditions.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need to take out a comprehensive backcountry splitboarding package to cover yourself for your trip.
What’s the weather like?
The weather in the Alps is always changeable, but generally we are confident to say that January and February will be snow-filled and cold with temperatures hitting -15 on occasion. Fast forward to March and April and the weather is generally sunnier and we experience warmer temperatures around the 0 mark.
How do you match up people on the course?
It is very important for you to let us know your previous experience and snowboard ability level before booking with us. Then we are able to match you up to suitable groups with similar abilities to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
Chamonix is perfectly situated on the border between France and Italy, with Switzerland within reaching distance too. This gives us ultimate flexibility to find the best conditions in the area. If needs be we will drive to Italy or Switzerland or other nearby French resorts like Les Contamines or St. Gervais in search of better conditions.
Why choose Adventure Base?
3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.
1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients in the backcountry for over 8 years with a very high safety rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in assessing the current snow conditions, and educating our clients on mountain safety.
2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Splitboarding in the backcountry can be a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, knowledge, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.
3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.
“Ski touring is the best way to access the best of the Backcountry here – I’m still discovering hidden areas after years of exploring. My highlight of the week is Col du Passon – an epic 2000m+ descent and some fun ski mountaineering to reach the top of the Col”