After ISPO Split-Together, Splitboard Fun with Jones and Karakoram
After the hard ISPO days, we went directly to the Split Together with Jeremy Jones and friends. Our base for the next two days is the Lizumer hut, 2019m high up in the midst of a military training area near Innsbruck.
The night has long fallen as we reach the barrier for Wattener Lizum. Fortunately, Franz appears with his mountain taxi to save us from the dark and the two hours long uphill. On the steep (up to 30%), deeply snow-covered military road he drives us slowly but savely up to Lizumer hut. It is confidence-building that he travels this route accident free since 31 years.
Straight on arrival we are warmly welcomed by Jeremy and Chad. Check-in at the hosts Anton and Lee - stuff into the room and then we find ourselves in the cozy lodge of Lizumer hut. Having goulash with bread dumplings and a wheat beer, the tour plannings for the next day will be discussed. The weather doesn't promise beautiful sunshine, but regarding the plenty fresh snow which fell in the days before, we hope to have at least a bit of clear view and reasonably safe conditions. Something always goes. Bibi and Mitch, Jones teamriders and Jeremy's partners in the movie "Further", as well as Klaus our guide are all in good mood looking forward to the next day.
As the taxi driver announced, the last guests arrived shortly after 22.00 clock. Who? None other than the younger two Nidecker brothers Xavier and Cedric, in the industry known as "Zuckerbergs" of the snowboard industry. Of course, the Karakoram Brothers are at this first split-together, too.
With a number of "white beer" and some "alpine tequila", the nearly 30 splitboard enthusiasts discuss until late into the night about the latest material, the development of this "mind-changing" sports and the joy that we all have beeing here at the first unofficial "after ISPO Split-together". At this point, a big thank you from us. "Thanks to everyone who helped to make this unique event possible."
Good Morning, Guten Morgen, Dobré jitro oder Buongiorno are the first, quite sleepy words of the day. After a hearty breakfast and the check of the avalanche bulletin we are ready and quickly the last preparations are made, test boards mounted, equipment checked and finally skinned up.
Since this morning some more splitboard friends arrived, Jeremy welcomes the troops again and announces the current tour schedule. The weather is not ideal, but the snow is fantastic and so all are hot to ride untracked powder. After the obligatory beacon check, we first climb the nearby Rosskopf. After a short "summit" break and the change-over from split to ride-mode, the weather rewards us with a couple of sunny moments. And yes, we were about 30 people and yet there was unspoilt Powder feeling for everbody. POW-WOW-Madness.
Beeing so stoked, we climb the Rosskopf again and... the whole splitboard gang enjoyed the next run in untouched powder.
Switch-over and on to the next hike. This time, into the woods, as this promised better views. Skinning, Skinning, Skinning, ... Switch-over and downhill with a super fine variety of features. Drops, Wave-style cornices, pillows and of course fat untracked POW were the reward. Jeremy waited on the group at suitable collection points and motivated us with his comments on the selected lines.
Depending on mood or fitness we splitted and powdered almost till sunset. In the evening we are all exhausted and stoked back in the hut, enjoy the 3-course menu and again philosophize about splitboard topics, mountain adventures and like on the hikes, the fun is always in the foreground.
Also the second day presents itself with boombastic snow conditions. In glorious sunshine we head on to discover further untracked runs. After a short time, the weather turned unstable again, but our mood was still sunny and there were even again some rays of sunshine today, many funny lines and exciting treeruns.
Few of us had ever mounted skins on and of and switched board modes that often like on these two days. A material test par excellence for the adhesive properties of the skins but definitely great fun for all and a more than successful event that will be long remembered.
Thanks to Chad, Jeremy, Mitch, Bibi, Klaus and all the other nice people we met there!
Of course we have also taken the opportunity to try the new
Jones Ultracraft Splitboard
Here is our First Impression in powder, powder and powder. On the uphill we had to deal with a challenging ascent track in the woods (steep and hard).
With 156cm, the Jones Ultracraft seems very short for someone who usually rides boards over 165cm. However, the performance has totally convinced me. Massive floatation, incredibly agile and good grip on the edge while riding or ascending. The weight is verly low compared to other boards, but the Ultracraft keeps stable even at high speeds. Regarding the riding characteristics under different conditions, it behaves similar to the Hovercraft splitboard. Here you can read our First Impression of the Hovercraft.
With the Ultracraft, Jones Snowboards goes a big step "further" and sets the bar fairly high!