Day 8 at the UpBattle Splitboard demo, Glencoe Mountain Resort
Despite the continuing thaw in positive temperatures, the UpBattle Splitboard Demo went ahead at Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Starting with a talk on avalanche safety and gear in the mountain cafe, We were treated to an introduction by Lesley McKenna of Wandering Workshops. I’d done a similar introduction last year with Lesley, and another this year really helps to cement that wealth of information.
After discussing transceivers, planning etc, we set off outside on a gusty, drizzly day to transition boards for the uphill.
There were plenty in the group, many who had little or no experience with splitboards. Euan from Snowsport Scotland and founder of the UpBattle event, Jonny Barr helped setup the boards for the other participants.
After that we make start skiing up the strip of snow leading up to Mugs Alley from Coire Pollach. We covered how to weight yourself over your heels, how to use our heel risers, and once on to steeper terrain we practiced AVA and kick turns. We didn’t go too far up the mountain, so we transitioned back to downhill, clipping boards back together and making some turns back down to the plateau.
Once we were back down it was time to practice searching with our transceivers. You can never practice this stuff enough and I’m really glad I joined the workshop despite the weather conditions not being at their best.
Once the workshop was over, we were free to ride the rest of the mountain. Some of the other guys tried out the demo boards that had been provided. I stuck to my Lib Split BRD. I love riding that board.
Main Basin and Happy valley were best and had been washed smooth, but they had a few shallow patches you had to beware of. I even took a few runs through the Haggis Trap which was back to its narrow gulley with a tight run in and jump out.
It was a fun day and I couldn’t believe I stayed up the hill as long as I did!
The skins had trouble sticking to the wet board bases, the snowpack was saturated spring snow. The cover was more May than February and the wind was blustery, which did blow away the low hanging cloud providing the odd brief spell of hazy sunshine.
Temperatures were still very high, things may cool down a bit later in the week.