After the hottest February on record, and temperatures hitting 17° it was on the cards to cancel the event. But with a small blip in the chart it was time to cross fingers and hold out. It was a good call, storms came in and plastered the Cairngorms with 5 days of snow and wind. It was on!
The weekends report showed the winds dropping and snow flurries both days. Organisers made the call to go ahead and with all the background nonsense going on, we needed some positive vibes up the Cairngorms.
For those who are not familiar with Scottish snow conditions they very rarely get epic powder due to the wind. So with that in mind Jonny came up with a plan 6 years ago to host an event with a twist ‘A Derby race’. This involves a La Mans style start running 25 meters to your snowboard, splitting it and touring up to selected transition zones and riding down to a finish line. The event has been a local success, as like all other splitboard demos it raises money for the local mountain rescue team and host's backcountry seminars to educate folk on snow conditions and avalanche transceiver search patterns.
On the flipside Scotland has some great mountain ranges and with the rights to roam you can scale some epic mountains during the winter seasons when the conditions are on. With a long history of skiing there has been guide books and other press prints on touring the backcountry, so it dose really put Britain on the map with some classic decents.
25 folk scaled the mighty Cairngorm to battle out the storm. Local Aviemore Olympic snowboard legend Lesley McKenna took 1st women’s and Dan from Cumbria England grabbed 1st men’s.
As always the sponsors Ortovox, Jones snowboards, The Reason magazine, Freeze Pro shop, Dragon Alliance, Arcade belts, Stance socks, SparkR&D, Roam headphones, El-gin, mizu, Sick and Wrong, Endeavor snowboards, SP Bindings, G2outdoor, TSA Aviemore, Good with wood, Arcterix and Bawbags provided an emence prize purse for the UpBattle 2019. Raising just under £800 for the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. Jonny and Louise Barr would like to thank all the sponsors, the Cairngorm mountain staff and the UK splitboard community for there support. See you next year !
For more info go have a look at their facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/upbattle/ or the Instagram page Upbattlesplitboarding.