Splitboard Tours: The struggle is real

A glorious splitboard day on Stuhleck. Just below the Günther Haus.

My first tour

After some hours learning how to snowboard, I wanted to go for the real thing. I wanted to go on an actual splitboard tour. The first one led us up Annaberg in Lower Austria. We were four people, two Splitboards, two pair of skies. Even though it is an easy tour up to the hut, I learned about the struggles with a Splitboard when crossing a steep slope. The two halves of the board are broader than a normal ski and therefore not as easy to get a grip with and I had to remove the board once. Anyway, I did quite well for my premiere. As did the weather and the beautiful landscape – the perfect rewards. The ride down wasn’t that easy either. Crowded and sometimes narrow pistes…but I arrived in one peace in the parking lot. 😉

View from Annaberg

The second tour

Already the next day we went up one of our local mountains, the Unterberg, with our friends. Again, two Splitboards, two pair of skies. This time I did better, at least on the ascent. 😉 Although my thighs were a bit tired from the tour the day before, it was so much fun. The sun was shining, we were all in a good mood and it wasn’t as crowded as the day before. In the mountain hut on the top, we were greeted by the well-known Golden Retriever Edi and his friend, Garfield, the red tomcat.

The descent was a bit better than the day before, but still rookie-ish. It was the fourth time on the board for me, so maybe it wasn’t that bad. 😉

Garfield, Unterberg Schutzhaus

At last: Noticeable Progress

This week we took a spontaneous day off and went to Styria for a tour up Stuhleck to the Günther Haus. It was freekin’ cold but after a few metres I wasn’t cold anymore. That’s one thing I like so much about ski tours (splitboard tours): It is a full-body workout out in the nature. I couldn’t ask for more. I really love it.

On this tour we had a few minor problems with iced passages. Luckily, we had our crampons with us which served us well. Arriving at the top I was a bit disappointed, because I had wished for a faster time for our ascent but then I reminded myself that the pace isn’t as important as the quality of time of outdoor sports. It was the perfect day, especially after the ride down the piste. Even though it was icy, I did so well I was surprised myself. I saw some great progress: Finally, I could decently ride down a primed piste.

A minor setback

But as always when I am making some progress, a setback is just around the corner. That’s something you can bet on.  Just like a few years ago during my attempts in climbing.

Yesterday we went for another tour. This time we didn’t chose a tour with a primed piste for a descent but a disused one for beginners. Right from the beginning I just knew it wasn’t my day. I was kind of weak, maybe due to the run I did the day before, and the surface was a tricky one: passages with melting and too soft snow, which made it slippery and passages of hard ice. On one of the icy parts of the tour I fell and hurt my elbow. I had to remove the board and carry it until I had better grip again. The fall wasn’t that bad, but all the way up I was wondering how the hell I should ever make it down in one peace.

It turns out, I am quite inventive when it comes to descending a mountain when you can’t ride your board: I did a major part of the ride on my butt. 😊 It worked well and it was fun too.

My man wasn’t as keen as me and so I did several verves for good measure. 😉

Minutes before the fall

It’s all about the fun

Yes, I can laugh about it today but right after the tour I was disappointed because I was asking myself how on earth I ever should be able to take part in a freeride tour when I can’t even make it down a beginner slope.

Luckily, I found my good humour again. The encouraging words of my man helped too. It seems like the so-called beginner slope isn’t so beginner at all.

In the end it is all about the fun. I have a lot of fun on splitboard tours and I love being outdoor in the snow. I also have a lot of fun snowboarding. I am really into it, especially because I am finally making some progress and the fun-part is increasing with every single effort. I know the struggles are worth it.

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