Breaking Trails and Breaking In

When your season starts as horribly as ours, you tend to go a while without getting out and splitboarding.  What also happens, is you end up getting a lot of new gear without getting a chance to try it out as you get it.  That was the case for us as we finally had enough snow here in the Front Range to go get on it and break in some of our gear.

We didn’t have much time and weren’t in the mood for much of a drive so we went to check out one of the closer local spots up past Nederland – Caribou.

As usual, a little windy up there.

"Nice" day for a split tour

“Nice” day for a split tour

Jess getting out on the Voile Mojo RX that we picked up in the off season, and me on my DIY splitty.

The quiver

The quiver

Felt really good just to get out on some snow again.  The frustration of this early season is unreal, and the best way to cure it, I’ve found, is to get out there when the going gets good.  (BTW, pretty obvious that we haven’t been out much since I FORGOT OUR FRICKIN POLES!)

Awww, snow.

Awww, snow.

Jess is sporting a whole new setup including the Voile MojoRX split, Voile Lightrail bindings, new G3 High Traction skins and Black Diamond Covert Avalung pack.  That means: lots of GEAR REVIEWS on the way.

Testing out the new Voile and G3's

Testing out the new Voile and G3’s

So nice to be able to actually dig in the snow.  What did I find?  About 1-2ft of soft slab on top of rotten depth hoar, yup, not too good.

Cocaine... so much cocaine!

Cocaine… so much cocaine!

AND, some new gear of my own to test out including the Ortovox Haute Route pack, some Arcteryx Theta AR bibs and a new Lowe Pro camera bag setup for backcountry photo shoots.




Super Sick Setup

Well, it took months of stalking Steep & Cheap and REI during the off-season but Ryan and I managed to piece together almost entirely new setups before 2010/2011 snowboarding season! I have a super sick setup now – one that I don’t feel worthy of – and all my latest additions are brand-spankin’ new.

When the 2009 season ended, Ryan and I put together our Dream List for snowboarding gear. We printed out pictures of what we wanted and tacked it up on our 3’x5′ Dream Board. And before we knew it, our dream gear kept popping up! I feel awful for having Burton‘s top-of-the-line Feelgood ES board when I’m stuck on hard-packed groomers because PA never gets enough good snow to scout out any backcountry rides! But, the deals we got on these were just too good to pass up. From my Oakley Stockholm goggles for just $49 (reg $100) to my new $4.99 Giro helmet (reg $110 at the time) to my $16 Burton Lexa bindings from REI over the summer, I’ve got quite the Gucci gear for a Walmart price!

I knew I wanted gear that I wouldn’t even have to think of upgrading for atleast another 7 years so my strategy was to get classic, timeless-looking pieces. So, almost everything is either black or white in color.

My best upgrade? The Norrona bibs (sooo comfy!) and the Burton Supreme boots – warm toes make ALL the difference! I’m definitely glad Ryan and I had the foresight to shop off-season!

Getting Customized!

Who would have thought that moving to a city like Philadelphia would re energize my snowboard mojo! Of course, it could have a little to do with the board sport drought that I have been suffering from in the past few years. As some of the other blogs show, I’ve been hitting the slopes a lot more than usual this season which is a major positive… on the flip side, I have really realized how outdated my setup has become.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great setup for its time but that was a while back, and sitting in a Mississippi storage facility for two and a half years doesn’t work to well to keep up to date. I’ve made several key upgrades this year starting with the most critical… the boots.

I finally got out of my completely dead (and never really fit quite right) vikings and got me a pair of these:

Last seasons Burton Rulers!! On sale from REI of course. I love these things, they are comfy and warm and soo so so so fast to get in and out of and make adjustments.

The next big upgrade wasn’t exactly planned but just kinda fell in my lap. Jess found this site called and used to set alerts when certain items came up for sale. Well what do you know but a board that I had an alert on came up and was over half off of retail… I couldn’t pass it up, especially since my current board was from my freshman year of high school (that makes it over 10 years old!) (Still running fine though btw 😉

So what is this board… the one and only:
Burton Custom X 160!!! This thing is SAAAWEEET! It’s got everything, an all mountain board that is pretty much decked out with all of the latest tech. Some of the coolest stuff about it is:

  • The new ICS (Channel) = Infinite stance adjustments
  • Dragonfly Core
    The world’s premier wood core incorporates over 500 independent laminations, each individually oriented within the core to create the lightest, strongest, and liveliest wood core on the planet.
  • Multizone EGD
    The wood grain is perpendicular to the core only under the bindings—the area from which a rider’s power emanates—to enhance carving precision, response, and durability while maximizing snow sensitivity.
  • Positive Core Profile
    Thicker between the bindings and thinner towards the nose and tail. Drives you through a turn while increasing edge grip, response, and carving precision.
  • Carbon I-Beam
    Our ultra-light carbon backbone gives the board added pop and longitudinal snap.
  • Carbon Vaporskin
    Found on the Custom X™/Wide, Feelgood ES™, Supermodel X™, and X8V™, Carbon Vaporskin™ is a lively carbon blend that shaves precious ounces off the board while magnifying feel and response.
  • New Lightning Bolts
    Radiating outwards from the Channel, these energy transfer lines send input from brain to edge in the blink of an eye, allowing thoughts to become actions with effortless precision.
  • Triax Response Fiberglass
    Versatile flex and response that’s capable of everything from straight-line big mountain descents to mellow laps through the park.
  • Sintered N2O WFO Vision Base
    Sintered N2O WFO base with the insane clarity of our Vision materials for hole-shot speed and the poppiest graphics possible.
  • Infinite Ride
    This exclusive pop and power-enhancing technology allows us to maximize pop and strength by overbuilding the board, then putting it in a machine that breaks the board in for you. The result is a consistent feel from the first day forward, season after season.
  • Stainless Steel Pressure Distribution Edges
    No fancy marketing campaign—just nine years of experience and another Burton breakthrough. The edges beneath the binding area extend out slightly for tremendous edge hold on hard, icy conditions, while remaining ever playful in soft snow. It’s there when you need it, yet can’t be noticed when you don’t.

Okay, that’s enough techy talk, here’s some pics:

Trying it out TOMORROW! I’ll let you know how it feels!

I Feelgood ES

The UPS man dropped off a rather LARGE box addressed to me the other day. Apparently, The Husband got me the Lamborghini of women-specific boards… (“for the price of a Nissan,” he says.) Happy Valentine’s Day to me.. and Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary, as well!

It has:
– “The ultimate blend of speed, strength, and puma-like agility.”

– Dragonfly Core

– Infinite Channel System

– Carbon Vaporskin Lite top (same stuff they use on shuttles!)

– Stainless Steel Pressure Distribution Edges

Oh, I am NOT WORTHY of such gear! He now says I have “NO EXCUSE!” not to master the Experts Only double blacks, the gladed runs, and the steeps. Looks like I’ll have to start paying off this board by upping the skill level. Oh, the perks of being married to a die-hard boarder.

In all seriousness, this very well may be the board that I die on… in an avalanche in 2012. Stay tuned. We’ve been busy planning our next big thing. Oh, yes, we’ve got BIG THINGS poppin’.

Best Garage Sale EVER

Ryan and I experienced our first ever REI garage sale. REI is a coop outdoor gear store (our favorite!) and they occasionally have these garage sales of used/returned gear for 50-75% off. So after standing in a line of more than 100 people, in the cold, wet, gloomy weather we finally get in to the store where we’re told there is to be no running or hoarding. It’s like a tickle-me-elmo event for crunchy people. And we came out with a loot.

In addition to a $2 pocket knife, $3 Burton toe caps for snowboard bindings, and some hiking pants, we also scored:

A Thermarest foam pad for camping (super lightweight!!):

A footprint for our tent:
Ryan got a $200 pair of hiking boots for $20 and these $75 rockclimbing shoes for $25:
This $62 titanium pot for $6.00! SIX dollars! For TITANIUM! We think it was the display pot?
This $45 Sea-to-Summit compression waterproof drysack for $9.

Rogue needed some gear, too, so she scored these Ruffwear dog boots with authentic Vibram soles. :o) It’s to protect her paws on hikes and in snow. The items have a tag on them explaining why they were returned and, get this, someone returned these practically brand new boots (worn once) because “dog didn’t like them.” Yeah, well, my dog didn’t like her collar when we first introduced it to her but she got over it. We’ll take it and she’ll like it… once she grows into it:

And the BEST score were these Vibram Five Finger running “shoes” for Ryan. They usually sell for $85 and he got them for, you’re not gonna believe this, FIFTEEN DOLLARS. That’s 1-5 dollars. Wow. The reason for the return? The previous owner said that these shoes “hurt [his] feet.” Idiot! These are intended to help develop proper running form so you have to get your feet and muscles used to running properly. Ryan and I were laughing while reading the tag and quickly tossed it in the “Keep” pile.