Freeride World Tour Champion 2010 Aline Bock about Splitboard Touring and Safety. Learn from the pros how they reduce their risk and still ride impressive lines in the backcountry. Reflect your own skills and safety strategies.
Aline Bock: I have been snowboarding for over 17 years and in this time it has grown from my hobby to my passion and my job. I rode halfpipe contests at first and then moved on to riding slopestyle contests and finally to the big mountain freeride competitions. It has always been fun for me to travel to different places, to be out in the mountains and meet other riders with the same passion, to compete, take photos or film and nowadays to be out in the backcountry with my splitboard avoiding the crowds. I have a very large lust for life and I am always on the lookout for a new and exciting adventure.
What would you prefer if you put yourself in the position of a "normal" snowboarder, some good splitboard routes or some beautiful freeriding days in the skiresort?
Most of the time my riding choice depends on the weather and snow situation. If it’s dumping really hard with bad visibility, I just love to ride in a resort with loads of good tree runs. You can get so much riding in, as there will always be some fresh powder pillows around. Splitboarding for me has something to do with training, being in the nature on my own, becoming fit or even to overcome my weaker. And at the end there is nothing better than a cool hike in the sun, completed with a stunning mountain view knowing that my decent will be completely untracked.
Beeing a snowboardpro, what do you prefer a day of heliboarding or splitboarding and why?
I think you cannot really compare it that way. It’s a different way of riding. When you are filming, it´s just so much easier to jump in a helicopter, get dropped off, and 15 min later you are ready to go. You sometimes have to choose your line in order how it would look best for the camera. It’s very hectic and fast and I am always super nervous but also excited.
Splitboarding for me has nothing to do with being fast. I take my time for the hike. I am enjoying the nature and silence – hoping that there is no storm coming in ;) I study my way up and also down for a longer time and take my time for a good lunch or chocolate break on the top!
If you enter unknown areas (you just know it from the map), how do you manage keeping the risk as low as possible e.g. traversing a summit from south to north?
You need to inform yourself about conditions, snow layers, wind, weather predictions before you choose where to go. Check the internet and also local guides. Never just go and risk anything. It’s not worth it!
What is your strategy to reduce your risk to the maximum in general and still beeing able to ride impressive (amazing) lines.
I think I know where my boundaries are. I am checking exit lines or trying to be aware of my slough management. I am not taking any risks, if I am not sure that I can do it or not. Last but not least I am listening to my stomach. Most of the time it tells me when to pull back and choose a different line. But when I know, that I can do it…I charge and ride fast…It’s the most fun ☺
Do you have any suggestions for splitboard beginners or advanced riders regarding the ascent and the descent?
I would suggest to just start with easy lines and easy hikes at good weather conditions. Nothing is more depressing when you loose energy and motivation on a long exhausting hike up or difficult decent. It should always be fun and enjoyable. Also a very important advice would be: always take your splitboard crampons with you. So in any case you are save and secure.
What board profile do you normally ride, Rocker , Camber or Hybrid?
Rocker…on powderdays!!! Camber if snow conditions are poor!
How would you describe a splitboarding day with your friends in one sentence?
There is nothing better than a fun day with friends out in the backcountry enjoying nature. Spending a cool day in the mountains can be magical! Just never forget : Safety first!!!
Thanks Aline for the interview and your motivation to participate.
Riding Pics by Alex Papis / www.alexpapis.com
Sponsors: Völkl, Dakine, Deeluxe, Ortovox, Jeewin, Marker, H.A.D.
You want to know more about Aline? www.alinebock.de