Even though I started splitboarding a few years ago I’ve never really come across many others involved in it, its one of those things that isn’t talked about, most people don’t want to share their spots, with good reason I guess, nothing is worse than traveling out to a zone to find your objective tracked as I experienced earlier this season. That’s locally I guess and in the Queenstown area I’ve spoken to maybe 5 people tops that split. I know there are more out there, boards keep arriving in shops and keep getting sold. These people must be out there somewhere.
The local snow scene isn’t very big online here and the few people who participate can be found on various forums but it’s not very often you can meet or ride with them, which is what made a splitfest an interesting concept for me because it draws people together.
We headed up to Canterbury on a beautiful spring morning, scoping lines and mountains on the way. Enjoying the different landscapes as we passed, the tussock and schist of Otago, The wide open Mackenzie basin rising to New Zealand’s highest peaks and finally through to the Canterbury Plains famous patchwork of fields. After a quick fuel and food stop in Christchurch we headed back inland with light fading fast towards the Craigieburns and Arthur’s Pass National Park.
We setup camp and Klondike Corner and enjoyed some warm food and a beautiful clear starlit night. I awoke to heavy rain at some point during the night, When we awoke in the morning there was fresh snow metres above us in the tree canopy and ice on the ground. A beautiful setting to awake to we fired up the gas stove for some fried potatoes, bacon and eggs and unfortunately left the van’s interior lights on too long. Richard from splitn2.com to the rescue!
After a quick coffee stop in Arthur’s Pass village we dropped our gear off at the Goods lift and headed up to Temple Basin. Walking up the snow-covered goat track made me appreciate that windy dirt road up to the Remarkables. After regaining our breath and meeting with lots of new people Myself, Kyle and Ryan headed up to ride a couloir above the temple lift. Being the cheap ass that i am i decided to skin up rather than paying for a pass. After one of the sketchiest climbs over wind crust and ice we made it to the top of the couloir. A fun ride down through very aesthetic terrain, very cool for lift accessed.
Me and my partner headed back down to the car park for another night of car camping in the valley. We enjoyed a beer by the fire at the Wobbly Kea in the village only to be joined by a cheeky kea for dinner before we spent another night in the van.
The next day we had a bit more snow and a bit of wind over night helped to refill the gaps, After making a last-minute booking into the on field accommodation we made our way back up the walking track. I wasn’t super motivated so didn’t ride anything exciting instead spending the day with my partner, Jacqui who had come over from Australia and Steve.
We caught up with some people in the evening and watched Kyle Miller’s slide show as well.
The next morning after another meal of Mi goreng noodles we headed up with a group to below Mt Cassidy for some nice soft turns in decent snow before hitting the lower slopes which still had tussock poking through.
We headed back to the car, made a mad dash to the village for diesel and headed off down the west coast hoping to get across the Haast pass to Wanaka, Unfortunately it didn’t open as scheduled and we made the long trip back from Franz Josef once again returning to Arthur’s Pass and then back through to Queenstown.