How To Hike with a Snowboard - Pro Tips for Back Country Boarding
Author: Joe Reilly
When you think snowboarding, the act itself may seem pretty streamlined. There’s not much to it right? You have the snow, your snowboarding gear, and your snowboard. What else could there be? There’s also something that we’re going to talk about today known as hiking with a snowboard. Today we’re going to cover all the information, questions, and concerns you may have about hiking with a snowboard. Because if you’re considering hitting the snow this season, it’s going to come up, and when trying something new, it’s always great to be well informed. So how do you hike with a snowboard?
How Do I Hike With a Snowboard?
The answer to this is to first decide whether or not hiking on snowboard is for you. Once you have that down, the next step is to better educate yourself on the terrain such as snow safety, avalanches, weather, backcountry travel, and your overall health. You want to make sure above all else that you are in the right physical conditioning to ski, or do any activity that will be in conjunction with the activity levels of exercise. When you have that all squared away then you want to buy the right gear and then make plans to get out there and hit the snow with your snowboard.
The Details Matter
Below we’re going to go over those first steps in more detail but first we want to explain just why preparation is key when it comes to hiking with a snowboard. A lot of people who have little experience skiing often will either find out on their first time out that they either really enjoy it or they really don’t. There usually isn’t much middle ground there. The next important thing to consider is one’s own physical condition. Snowboarding takes a good amount of effort, so you should be prepared to get the juices flowing on the slopes.
What Should You Do First Before Hiking With Your Snowboard?
|Learn About Avalanches||Know Your Limits|
|Buy The Gear||Plan Your Trip|
- Learn About Avalanches and Backcountry Travel Unlike most other activities, when it comes to snowboarding, avalanches are a thing. They are just like mudslides in terms of their power and unpredictability. They can happen at any given time without any warning, therefore taking a free avalanche awareness class can be of great benefit to put your mind at ease and be more informed before hitting the snow.
- Know Your physical Limits And What You Need To Improve As we mentioned before, hiking with a snowboard is a big physical activity and requires your body to lift a good amount of weight for a long period of time while participating in the act of hiking. This is not something you should do if you’ve never tried anything near this level of activity. To get out there in peak shape you should first consult with your doctor and then take baby steps.
- Buy The The Right Gear Once you know that you’re healthy enough to hit the snow, and you’ve dabbled a little bit out in the elements, one of the most important things you can do to make sure that you have the best and most optimal experience out there is to invest in some of the best gear. From gloves, to thermals, the smallest pieces of gear can make all the difference when you’re out there having fun.
- Make The Plans Are you healthy enough? Did you get your gear? And are you all caught up to speed and educated on the dangers of avalanches while snowboarding? Then you should be all good to go to set a date and make plans to get there with your snowboard. If this happens to be the first time, you may have a little bit of jitters, so setting a firm date can help to give you that extra push to stick to it and get out there!
Caveats To Hiking With a Snowboard
- Gear Can Be Limiting
- Equipment Can Be Heavier
- On Top of Avalanches You Have The Hazards of Icing too.
Some More Details About Our Four Things To Do
We addressed health, safety, and gear so that you’re well equipped and start hiking confidently. Because when it comes to the backcountry, there’s little supervision or ski patrol. It’s an unregulated environment where you and the elements are in control. In this environment there are avalanches.
These avalanches pose a really great risk to snowbarders and hikers alike, that’s why it’s immensely important to get one on one instruction from a qualified and experienced professional to show you the ropes and be safe. Taking a course can increase your awareness, reduce your risks of encountering an avalanche, and knowing all the signs.
The National Avalanche Association holds level one and level two courses to square you away on the basics. It’ll go over things like companion safety, how to use a transceiver, and most importantly it teaches you how to make informed decisions under the pressures of possible avalanches.
Accessing your skills out on the slopes is another thing to always focus on and improve upon because skill is a major factor when you’re out there, whether solo or in a group. Before hitting the unsupervised backcountry, you’ll want to make sure you’re first good at the intermediate level slopes that are often offered at resorts. These intimate lands can also be called blue squares. For this reason, it wouldn’t hurt to take a class beforehand.
Next, we want to touch upon the gear aspect of your experience one more time. Because being outfitted in the best gear and only improving your skills while you’re in the backcountry. avalanche preparedness is one of the top things you should be getting first because it will go hand in hand with your training courses. Things like an avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, and airbag packs would most certainly fall under this category.
Backcountry skis are also great to have obviously because you’ll be of course navigating the tricky terrain of the backcountry, These types have a bigger width and hold different campers along with rockers. These are things you should test slowly because they’ll perform differently than regular skis. For example, the wider widths are lighter. Lastly, backcountry ski bindings are also a must have for the backcountry because when it comes to touring up the mountain, ski bindings allow your feet more movement, such as moving your heel up and down. This extra range of motion makes a big difference when it comes to navigating the backcountry.
How Safe is Hiking With a Snowboard?
With any outdoor activities, there are always risks to one’s physical health. That’s why it;s important to take all the necessary precautions such as classes, gear, and improving upon one’s skill level before hitting the backcountry.
Best Time of Year To Go?
The best time to go snowboarding and hitting the backcountry depends largely on the location. Each location will have different snow totals, avalanche risks, and crowding numbers to each their own. This would definitely fall under the planning stage because with different locations comes different availability and pricing.
How Can I Improve My Snowboarding?
Taking a class along with hours of practice is the best way to improve snowboarding skills. They say 10,000 hours of practices is usually the amount to become a master at anything.
How Do I Carry Skis While Hiking?
There are various ways to carry skis while hiking. One of the most convenient and popular methods is to carry them in your back.
What Makes a Good Backcountry Ski?
Each model varies in ability, but the best usually allow the moist movement with minimal amount of weight.
Is Hiking With a Snowboard for Me?
Now that you’re up to speed on all there is to know about hiking in the backcountry with a snowboard, is it for you? The only way to know is to learn, prepare, and get out there and try it for yourself, just remember to be safe!