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Author Topic: Good snowboarding routes + resources???  (Read 1761 times)
ultragrrl
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Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« on: 02/16/03, 01:33 PM »

'allo...

So, I just completed my second day in the wild at Yodelin (our first trek was Bullion Basin) which had great snow and a few good short runs but I found alot of segments to be just a little too flat for a single planker.  It was still a totally enjoyable day though.  Fresh powder + snow in the morning and a gorgeous sunny afternoon.

I have a couple of guide books and I've been getting most of my information from there along with then googling for the route and I've also been reading the trip reports posted here since about January (when I was gearing up for my avy safety course and  my first trek into the wild to follow).

But, I was curious if anyone knew (first hand) or could point me at resources on tours that are especially good for boarding?    I've noticed that a few of the tours in some of the books are noted as not good for snowboarders...etc.  

I am personally an intermediate boarder and my boyfriend and backcountry companion is advanced.  

Thanks in advance.

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Darin_Offpister
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Re: Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« Reply #1 on: 02/16/03, 05:32 PM »

Ultragrrl,
 Good to hear you go with partner(s). Is one of the books you have the Snowboarding Backcoutry book for the Cascades? What do you use for uphill travel -ie; snowshoes, split board, walking in your boots etc? Always visit your nearest USGS and Green Trails map seller and definitively explore your routes in's and out's in some detail for ease of travel -uphill and down. Look for the flats and the ugly thick forests -Buy the map of the area you'll be in if funds$ allow. County libraries also have many of the maps. Of course bare in mind the prevailing snow conditions (crusty ridge vs a hard windpacked ridge, deep snow vs firm snow) ==and give yourself extra time. Some conditions are hard to predict. But you'll find some generalities if you do some home work and know how the weather has been recently. Once you've done enough hikes in various conditions and at varying routes you'll soon have a descent guage of your speed. I strongly suggest keeping a days journal for your outings. Be as detailed about time, locations, elevations and weather and snow conditions.
By the way, did you get my question... Are you at all hooked up or know folks w/Ultra Nectar Clothing? Or is your name just coincidental? Oh, are you from Quebec? -'Allo?
Good Turns, Darin
« Last Edit: 02/16/03, 05:43 PM by Darin_Offpister » Logged
Darin_Offpister
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Re: Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« Reply #2 on: 02/17/03, 01:57 PM »

It's better to gain the ridge if possible. That is poor advice on going up the face of your intended route unless you are professed in the art of snow stability tests(and you have no other route choice) or the snow is clearly frozen or consolidated. The only time you should gain the face directly is if you have no other choice in gaining to your descent postion. ONLY in the case that your ability allows for you to expose yourself to to dangerous terrain such as when you persue steep couloirs or headwalls for an intended route down that particular face THEN you should directly appraoch your ascent to check for variables like frozen ice bulges hidden by loose snow cover etc.
Good Turns, Darin
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ultragrrl
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Re: Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« Reply #3 on: 02/17/03, 02:05 PM »

Thanks for the infoz. Smiley

Ascent: by snowshoe.
Books:  100 Backcountry Ski + snowboarding routes
Ski Washington! Routes for free heelers & snowboarders.
The username: is really a reference to that great giant-monster attacking tv oldie from japan...ultraman!


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Darin_Offpister
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Re: Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« Reply #4 on: 02/17/03, 04:07 PM »

ULTRA-GIRL!

   Right-on! Ultraman never fought Godzilla did he? Snowshoes work good, the lighter and more compact you can get away with the better. Those are all good books. By the way, you may want to visit www.ultranectar.com when you get the chance... Very cool stuff and very cool people!
Good Turns be safe, Darin    www.camp-usa.com


   
« Last Edit: 02/17/03, 04:14 PM by Darin_Offpister » Logged
MW88888888
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Re: Good snowboarding routes + resources???
« Reply #5 on: 04/06/03, 04:38 AM »

Hi Ultragrrl,

Darin gave great advice, I thought I would include my own (a little late from your post date, but I'm bored - no skiing today boo hoo, and if you're an addict the season is just beggining) - for what it is worth.

For a snowboard descent I judge by three things:

1.  The route: A great descent on a snowboard is what the old timers call a "Down Mountain ski".  That is, you put snowshoes on in the parking lot and start to climb immediately and don't stop until you're at a summit.  Look for descents that involve climbing all the way.  Avoid traverses or flats like the plague...unless, as Darin suggests, conditions are favorable, ie hardpack.  A good corn day can make a flat spot or a traverse a breeze...but I'll get to that.  My personal favorites for down mountain skis are Volcanoes - they almost always have consistent descents with lots of vertical.  And, if the route has a lot of vertical more than likely you will encounter lots of different snow conditions.  This is great, b/c you're on a snowboard and I've found they are superior to skis in more difficult snow conditons.  Nothing like swinging turns on top of a breakable crust while skis are punching through.

Again, choose a route with lots of consistent elevation gain, the descent will be top to bottom and clicking in on the summit and dismounting in the parking lot is what it is all about.

2.  Snow conditons: like I said, a snowboard is a great tool for multiple snow conditions 'cause you can stay on top for the manky stuff and also have good control for the harrowing sustrugi and windboard and other fun stuff you'll encounter in the BC.  But, some snow conditons are more difficult on a snowboard, mostly because of the mode of uphill travel.  Namely, deep powder days and wallowing unconsolidated wet snow.  Uphill travel in these conditions on snowshoes can be a humbling affair.  Skiers will stay on top, but you'll be post holing.  Better to find a good (SAFE!) yo-yo hill on these days and ski the hell out of a patch of snow where you've created a good uphill track - no use grinding your way up big verticals, more than likely the avy danger will be high anyway, so a safe short descent is the ticket to ensure you see many more days out in the wilds.

Some snow conditions make tours easier, like hardpack or corn, in which case you can choose those routes with traverses or flats you've been waiting to ski.  All in all, choose the right tour by the prevailing snow conditons, sometimes that means short and sweet sometimes that means big and mean.  You'll get the hang of it.

Oh, and NEVER forget your snowshoes on BC tours, even when you think it'll be hardpack all the way and won't need them.  I once skied Matterhorn Peak in Colorado with my wife and we thought we were going to have a breeze in the spring corn.  It was frozen in the morning so we thought it would be ok for my wife to follow along (she doesn't ski but came along for the scenery) without snowshoes.  Needless to say, by the time the sun warmed the frozen snow on the surface, we had a grueling post holing hike back out (I gave her my snowshoes and I endured the bottomless unconsolidated underneath for hours).   Better to err on the weight side than endanger your life by finding yourself in the BC "without a paddle".  You make that mistake once - you've been warned!

3.  Partners - generally, I tailor my choice of tool by the partners I keep, which in turn influences the routes we choose.  I have many friends who only ski or only snowboard so depending on who I'm with I try and go along with what they have.  This makes your choices of routes easier because you can then just worry about #1 and #2 above and plan accordingly.  The only exception is if the snow is really bad.  I'm a nice guy who goes along with the party but I'm no masochist.  If the snow looks like breakable crust or manky, I'm bringing my board - skiers be damned!  Choose your partners accordingly, your days in the BC will be fun and exciting but only with the right partners.  A partner with a doom and gloom attitude will make your day more like work...and a bad day skiing is better than any day at work.

So, what is a good snowboard descent?  To summorize:  A big vertical with boot up on the top and boot out in the parking lot, the right snow conditions to make any flats or traverses easy, and good partners.  Go forth and conquer, Ultragrrl, and maybe we'll see you out there....        
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