Splitboarding in Chamonix

As fun as a snowboard is, it’s no good for ascending slopes and going cross-country. And that’s a real drag, because some of the best powder runs out there can only be reached after completing some serious back-country maneuvers (unless you have access to a helicopter of course).

That’s why some enterprising snow surfing enthusiast came up with the splitboard (we won’t lie, we have no idea who that person is, but we like to think it was a man by the name of Brett “The Cowboy” Kobernick, as Canadian local news claims).

A splitboard is a snowboard that splits in half (yep, it does exactly what it says on the tin). Each half is effectively a ski, with its own bindings. Though they’ve been around since the late 1980s/early 1990s, it’s only relatively recently that they’ve become a viable way of accessing deep power off-piste runs (thanks to innovations in bindings in particular).

Splitboarding! (Image: Rude Chalets)

Splitboarding! (Image: Rude Chalets)

Rude Chalets are running a splitboard intro week in Chamonix from April 6-13. Aimed at competent snowboarders, the course will provide lessons in splitboard riding and mountain safety. Chamonix is one of the world’s most revered and well-respected free ride destinations, so there’ll be some pretty neat descents along with all that schooling.

Lars Vanhaelewyck leads the course. The Belgian has been shredding the Chamonix backcountry for the last 20 years. Not only is he an internationally qualified IFMGA guide, but he’s also summited Mont Blanc several times – put simply, he’s an authority on things like back-country safety and crevasse rescue.

The price is about $2,000 per person per week, which includes:

  • five full days with a back-country mountain guide (max group size is six)
  • rental of splitboard, bindings and skins
  • six-day Mont Blanc unlimited lift pass
  • seven nights fully catered ensuite accommodations in Chalet Chocolat
  • breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and three-course evening meal (six nights)
  • return airport transfers from Geneva
  • in-resort transport to and from the slopes

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Main image: Rude Chalets)