Oz Splitfest 2012

Having both cut our own split boards earlier in the year and with a trip each under our belts, Alex and I were pretty keen for Splitfest.

The car was pretty full.

We arrived a little late, so we missed out on Kyle Millers “FreeRider“, but there was still beer, an informative talk by Adam from Firstlight split boards and Bruce from wilderness sports.

A raffle followed, and I somehow managed to clean up with a copy of sweet grass productions excellent “ Signatures” and a pair of awesome G3 Alpinist Split board Climbing Skins. (Review to follow).


We ran into Joss and Tom from UNSW and organised to all meet at Guthega car park to tour out towards Mount Tate the next day.

After a long drive from Thredbo, (we were staying in Sam’s grandad’s flat) we arrived a little bleary eyed to quite the spectacle. Guthega car park was packed with tourers. Tele skis, AT rigs and split boards where everywhere.

Guess a good powder dump and a forecast for two bluebird weekend days brings the crowds. After running into Jiri and the crew from SUCC. (Who complained the paddling season might not start till November at this rate), we donned our gear and caught up with the split fest crew at the Guthega bridge.

Alex stoked with all the Pow!

Skinning up the ridge to guthega trig was made quite pleasant by the fact that not only had a trail been broken, but the 20 previous split boarders had made it a positive super highway. Expecting to find Mount Tate tracked out we were happy when the beginners group split off right, sessioning a nice slope all day. A quick changeover just the other side of guthega trig had us riding down through shin deep untracked powder and trees in Japanese style bliss.

Crossing the creek on a still fairly robust snow bridge, we switched back to climbing and headed straight up towards the summit of Mount Tate.

Skinning up Tate

Alex’s enthusiastic trail breaking was deemed a little interesting as he zig-zagged up a 40 degree convex slope that when I bounced in the skin track would produce neat fracturing slabs about 20 cm deep. After explaining this was a BAD sign we moved over to a more mellow angle and decided to avoid skiing anywhere near the convex slope.

Stopping for a quick breather!

The snow was soft and real deep, amazing conditions for Australia.
Its a rare day your considering the avalanche conditions in Australia.

Thanks to Joss for some of the awesome photos in this blog post.

The summit of Mount Tate
Alex on the summit of Mount Tate

Reaching the summit of Mount Tate, we stopped for lunch. The head wall of the summit rocks was icy, so half of the crew chosen a mellowed line while the other half committed to some careful turns. The snow quality was still amazing lower, but not quite as good as the first run of the day. We dropped quickly to the tree line, snaking helixicall turns down the beautiful face before turning and traversing just in the trees. We followed soft snow down through the trees over pillows and piles. At one point I turned and snapped this picture of Sam dropping a substantial rock.

Sam throwing his hands in the air on a nice drop
Tom getting some air
Skinning out
Tom in some afternoon pow

Joss and tom wandered off for a bit too hit some jumps before rejoining us. One more run in the now afternoon slush placed us back at the bridge over the dam and a short skin brought us back to the dam.

Sam loving the freshies. It’s not splitboarding, but we wont hold it against him!
The Car Ride back to Thredbo

I’d like to thank Adam at Firstlight Splitboards for setting up this whole event and hooking Tom and Joss up with some splitty’s to ride for the day! It was a great event and everyone should be there next year!

Thanks to Joss for some of the awesome photos in this blog post.


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