Happy Faces - best weather - super cool participants and this year finally some female splitboarders as well. This is the conclusion of the SPLIT & RELAX 2018.
After four dry years in December we wanted snow at the SPLIT & RELAX 2018. Therefore we postponed our annual test event to March.
March is always difficult timeframe, companies are coming back from their production trips and trade fairs, so event dates overlap. No matter what - we will do it! (Which date do you like better? December or March - please comment below the article)
Friday 9:30 am. We arrive at the parking lot of Arthurhaus in Mühlbach and prepare everything to make our exploration tour to check the conditions for the SPLIT & RELAX. The aim is to get a comprehensive picture of the current conditions with as much fun as possible. While preparing, an already known car drives into the parking lot. Who could it be? Of course, Ben from Konvoi Snowboards! Ben wants to shred some labs at this pleasant powdery morning with his new pow surfers.
Cool, then I grab one of the new Konvoi splitboards to test it in steep terrain. Ikka and I stroll in the direction of Mitterfeldalm, to then hike up some steeper terrain to the left at a suitable place. The name of the tour remains secret, because due to the conditions it was not possible for us to reach the summit. Nevertheless we had a great tour and were back on time at 2 o'clock at Hochkeilhaus to welcome the arriving snowboard companies. Anna and Martin had already arrived and were busy setting up the check-in desk.
The first companies arrive; Jakob of Burton takes the chance and quickly hikes towards one of the four couloirs on south side of the Hochkönig range to get an idea of the conditions.While we muddle around and prepare everything, we can hardly believe our eyes. To our joy, the guys from Plum are already here. In the right valley, at the right time, this we had never seen before.Now someone we don't yet know comes along, Bruno of Stompede rolls into the parking lot, nice to meet him. And now everyone else from the industry is coming, people from Korua, Jones, Furberg and Rossignol. Unfortunately, a few long-standing partners did not make it this year due to overlapping schedules but even without them it was possible to set up an unforgettable event. Here again thank you to all who made it possible!
Friday, 19:00 pm DINNER - the time has come for salad, soup, schnitzel with pumpkin seed breading and panna cotta. There was also something for vegetarians as well. After the meal with one hour delay, maybe too relaxed, we managed to gather everyone in the showroom. "Official" opening of the SPLIT & RELAX with an avalanche theory course. A first organizational problem occurs. Many people could not bring poles, and we don't have enough telescope poles as well. So we improvise and have poles for everyone the next day. These are not compactable but for one or two tours it should be fine. Maybe there will be a pole partner in 2019!?
After the official part, most people go to the bar; some go to bed or outside to enjoy the fresh mountain air. As always, we talk tech until all boards and bindings are reinvented.
Saturday 8:45 am, breakfast ends and everybody is more or less prepared in front of the Hochkeilhaus. Groups find together, a car window is smashed as well (just as it is proper for snowboarders), and everyone is ready for splitboarding.
The industry group takes it easy and starts after all others are on tour to catch up with most of them and to give them tricks and tips regarding uphill and material handling.
Saturday, at about 3 pm we are back after a wonderful touring day. We are happy about all the satisfied and exhilarated faces. Now the whole game starts all over again, but I don't want to bother you with the wish-wash.
Now it's 8:00 pm and it's getting exciting. Chris Fuschlberger presents:'Mladen - Life of a Mountaineer' (2017), a 'Bootsjungen' production. We can only recommend to everyone to watch this movie and would like to thank Chris and the entire Bootsjungen crew in particular!
About an hour later, everyone does what they want again. For us the evening ends late with discussions about the industry, possible developments and I get forced to test a hardboot setup. The industry wants it - I'll do it. It resists me, but the next morning a setup is ready and I move in my plastic shoes.
Sunday, the ambitious start early in the morning, the guided again at 8:45 am and 8:00 am and the industry takes the classic tour up to the Hochkeil, this year starting directly behind the Hochkeilhaus.
Hmmm, uphill is very pleasant with the hardboot setup, even if it has not much to do with splitboarding. Nevertheless it has advantages and one can well persuade oneself that it is great.
Arrived at the Hochkeil, we meet some of the groups, take our obligatory photo and ride back.
This is where the disadvantages of the hardboot setup comes into play, but it's all because of the boots, which weren't modified enough ;-).
We are all back around 3:00 pm. The material is given back, we ask most of the participants whether there are criticism, wishes or suggestions. But the respondents were satisfied and said: "Keep up the good work, we'll be back next year".
So be it, in May we sit down and let the coin decide the date (December or March) - or do you have any preferred date? You can post wishes about the event date under the article.
After everyone was on the way home at 5:00 pm, we did the organizational things and went back to Munich at about 6:30 pm.
The SPLIT & RELAX with over 60 participants from England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, was well attended and finally, this year we had a great touring feeling in the "Winterwonderland" and as announced everything was possible. We thank everyone for this amazing event and are looking forward to the next years. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Special Thanks to Denis N. for the beautiful photos!