Winter is finally here, sort of. At least we’re getting a bit of snow here + there. Our trees aren’t exactly drooping in snowflakes + there are still plenty of rocks poking through the flakes we do have. But…snow is snow. We haven’t had many truly cold days but at least we now have something to justify them…SNOW!

While I did manage to snag a season pass to the ski resorts up here I haven’t used it much. Beyond riding with  my SOS Outreach kids I haven’t ridden indoors much this winter. Early in the season the lack of snow + crowds kept me away + quite frankly that’s still what’s keeping me way. Unless I’m on my splitboard…

Splitboarding Up Ski Resorts

Robb + I started skinning up the local ski resorts last season when he snagged himself a splitboard. It’s not nearly as exhilarating as taking on the backcountry but there are a lot of perks to hitting up a ski resort with your skins on…

…the avalanche risk is pretty much non-existent.
…you’re close to home + can ski/board right to work if you’re lucky!
…you can take your dog with you if you pick the right resort.
…no need to stop at just one run, you can catch the lifts for laps.

While skinning in-bounds may not be the most exciting thing you can do on a backcountry set up it’s not a bad deal. Plus, Max thinks it’s the bomb diggiity when he gets to tag along up Arapahoe Basin with us. That’s what we did as our first spin on the skins earlier this year. We met a few friends at the base of ABasin, skinned up + rode down before heading off to soak up a productive Saturday.

This past weekend we got an impromptu invite from a friend to skin up Keystone before she headed to work. It timed up perfectly with our volunteer gig at the top of the mountain so we jumped on board. After skinning up the mountain we switched over to ‘safety squirrel’ mode + started working the ThinkFirst helmet booth. We spent two days selling helmets at cost, just to get them on the heads of..everyone! Definitely worth the skin up!

Splitboarding in the Backyard

All of that said, I’m a bit of a lucky ducky + I have a backyard to skin around when all else fails. After our second day of shilling helmets to the helmet-less we talked our friends into frolicking around the backyard with their splitboards. We opted for some easy terrain without much downhill. It wasn’t overly rewarding, but it got us outside + on the boards before the sunset.

It was their first time on splitboards so we basically went cross country skiing, but with skins. Quite frankly, I prefer my splitboard to actual cross country skis. I feel like I get more control…as much control as you can get from a pair of telemark skis with weird edges. We toddled around the trails, floated over the little powder we had + made Max’s day!

But, Why Splitboard?

If our smiling faces haven’t convinced you just yet…let me tell you why splitboarding is worth the effort. For starters, it gets you outside. While you’re out there you get to soak up the mountains around you, sweat through your base layers, find hip flexors you didn’t know you had + work up the perfect excuse for grilled cheese sandwiches.

You also get the warm fuzzy feelings of earning your turns…which honestly means the most when you’re headed up a ski resort. Sure, there’s a chair lift to do all that work for you but there is something pretty peaceful about being one of the only people on the soon-to-be-overcrowded resort. You’re alone on a mountain you know is about to blow up with snow crazed riders…it’s quite, it’s safe + it’s surrounded by stunning views.

In short, this is why I get out on the trails with my splitboard, even if I’m not chasing remote mountain peaks or shredding epic alpine lines. It’s not all about the downhill…on my splitboard it’s about the uphill. The whining, the sweating, the slipping, the clouds, the…mountain + all of its glory.

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