This past weekend was the Third Annual Bolton Valley Splitboard Festival, and despite some pretty chilly conditions a ton of fun was had. When we arrived it was -11F at the mountain and over the course of the day things warmed up to a balmy -1F… and that was before factoring in the windchill. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t take the day off and sources say that with the wind temps were pushed down around -35F or -40F… Cripes!
Fortunately, splitboarders are a tough crowd and at 9am when the demos opened our industry reps started wrenching and didn’t stop until 3:00PM when it was time to move inside for our raffle and movie. We really have to give a huge shout out to all of the vendors that showed up with gear and staff to support this event. With the temps pushing -40F… standing around outside turning a wrench isn’t the most enjoyable of experiences, and these guys did it with a smile. This event wouldn’t be possible without them, and after a day like we had it’s impossible to thank them all enough for what they do.
One of the nice things about backcountry skiing and snowboarding is that once you’re moving there’s usually no shortage of internal heat to keep you warm. Taking this into account, it was a good idea to not spend much time sitting still. There’s a lot of terrain to explore at Bolton and it’s only limited by how hard you’re willing to work.
For participants that weren’t familiar with Bolton, or those that were on a splitboard for the first time we offered short guided tours that took participants briefly into the Bolton Backcountry area, eventually traversing out to one of the maintained groomed runs before transitioning and then descending back to the lodge. It was a great opportunity to see some of the terrain Bolton has to offer and get away from the wind. Once at the top of our loop participants had the option to descend on a groomed trail, or take a slightly more adventurous path through a glade. Bolton has something for everyone and it’s definitely worth taking the time to poke around if you’re interested in earning some turns.
Overall, it was another great event and we’re already making plans for next year. If you’re interested in splitboarding but couldn’t make it to the festival be sure to go talk to the guys at the Outdoor Gear Exchange, Skirack, or The Mountaineer. All of these guys know their stuff and they all have splitboard demo equipment you can rent and try out.
We also need to thank our other vendors for bringing some awesome gear, and providing staff… You guys are amazing! Support for the 2017 Bolton Splitboard Festival was provided by Voile, Karakoram Bindings, Spark R&D, Burton, Never Summer, Rome, Weston Snowboards, Outdoor Research, Julbo, Clif Bar, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Skirack, the Mountaineer, Lost Nation Brewing.
See everyone again next season!