So what is a splitboard? Well, it’s a snowboard that splits in two, turning it into two really fat cross country skis. Skins are attached and the splitboarder can ski and skin their way up almost any terrain. Once at top the skins are remove, the skis reconnected to make a snowboard and the splitboarder can ride down the mountain. Splitboards are made for the backcountry. In this driest of dry winters, sadly, the backcountry has mostly remained rocky and totally unridable. On a warm Saturday in January these two friends made the most of the only snow storm of the month and headed out to Donner Summit in the Tahoe surrounds to splitboard and ride the heavy spring-like snow, having fun and dodging rocks.
Laughing, two splitboarders contemplate skiing down a tiny hill on their way up the mountain.
A pine tree grows in the sunshine with a very tiny pine cone in its branches.
In this very dry winter, right after one of the only storms of the season, the hills are covered in very wet snow with many exposed rocks.
Two splitboarders make a trail through the heavy wet snow as the skin to the top of a hill in the Donner Summit backcountry in the warm sun.
Skinning up the hill, the two splitboarders look around and consider where to go.
Having skinned to the top of a hill the two splitboarders take in the view and the sunshine.
A snowboarder methods on a splitboard off a small natural jump in the rocky terrain.
A snowboarder stands by the landing, unstrapped and holding his board, waiting to hike back up.
In a year of almost no snowfall the rocks show through on the hillside amongst the gnarly trees of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
A snowboarder methods on a splitboard off a small jump among the rocky terrain, his dog chasing behind.
A dog sits at the top of a small natural jump having chased his snowboarder master down the hill as he hit the jump.
A snowboarder hikes back to the top around exposed rocks and small trees.
A snowboarder methods on a splitboard in the backcountry around Donner Summit on a warm sunny day; The heavy wet snow melts off rocks on the hillside.
Taking a break, three friends picnic in the snow, sitting on large boulders.
One snowboarder watches another in the battle for the best splitboard method.
Two splitboarders stand on the top of a snowy hill in the sunshine and prepare to ride down.
Two snowboarders and a dog hike up to a small cliff drop.
A snowboarder hits a small cliff drop with the warm late afternoon sun behind him; Even though its only January, heavy spring snow conditions mean lots of rocky and small trees exposed beneath the blue sky.
A snowboarder hikes back to the top again as the sun gets lower in the sky.
A gnarly old tree and a big boulder among the spring-like snow beneath a blue sky; A backside grab off a small cliff drop.
A snowboarder’s silhouette, holding his splitboard, on the top of a hill with the late afternoon sun behind drawing the day to a close; A gnarly dead tree with a house nestled on the hillside amongst the rocks behind it.