As we see from time to time splitboarders handling the most beautiful climbs with their tongue hanging out, we want to give you some tips for saving energy while skinning.
So you have checked your material the day before, the backpack is packed and we are ready to enjoy the freedom of splitboarding.
In the morning we read the current avalanche and weather reports, we check if the planned route meets our security standards and start going.
Tip 1 - skinning straight: Splitboarding is not comparable to snowshoeing . During the ascent we don`t lift the feet but pull the board halves step by step. The skins have always snow contact. Thus, the requiered force ascending is reduced a lot, because our muscles are not lifting the weight of the material but the sliding properties of the skins and splitboards are used .
Tip 2 - chosing the best route to ascend: We choose our ascent route , adapted to our level and terrain. So we keep away from possible catchment areas of avalanches, here we use when possible ridges or keep enough distance to danger zones. Our track runs accordingly, that we move forward comfortable and energy saving. We always make sure not ascending to steep and use the natural course of the route.
Tip 3 - better hold: It is steeper or the snow surface has changed that we slip back. First, we check whether it is possible climbing less steep. If not - we place more weight on the heel, while keeping our overall weight, centered on the board. It feels a bit weird but it works.
Tip 4 - traverses: Steep crossings, we slide in parallel to the track. We should have gone a bit more foresighted to mount the crampons in time. We assemble the crampons now. It is only a short distance and the mounting of the crampons is too much hassle at this moment. We check if the crossing is dangerous, if not, we can use the pole as an additional stabilizer, penetrating the snow next to the binding. Thus, the lower ski is supported by the pole and you get better hold.
Tip 5 - gliding turns: If we make a change of direction we take this as long as it allows the track, step by step and change the direction as when we are going in town or on walks, remember - the board halves should remain contact with the snow.
Tip 6 - kickturns: We are moving in relatively steep terrain and have to change our direction doing switchback or kickturns. We charge the lower ski with our weight. If we stand comfortable, we lift the upper ski and move it in the desired direction. Now the upper ski becomes the lower ski and if we have firm footing here, we take the weight of the "former" upper ski . We make a sweeping motion back (hence the switchback is also called kickturn ) to get the ski tip up and initiate the rotation. The poles assist us in motion and give additional support.
I hope we could give you one or the other useful tip and you can transfer the theory into practice during your splitboard adventures.
If you still have more tips on stock, the description is unclear or you have questions , you can ask. We look forward to your activities .