A season finish for the books
End of April – and the season is nowhere near finished at Kaunertal Glacier. Hardly surprising, that the very last Choice Splitboard Camp 2018 did not even feel like a season-ender at all! Bluebird, perfect spring snow and the best touring conditions. Plus two great mountain guides and a group of highly motivated splitboarders, keen to explore the backcountry of Kaunertal Glacier together with Aline Bock and Pia Schroeter.
For the end of the season, the Choice Splitboard Camps moved on to the higher reaches of the Alps. And where could you celebrate a better season finish than on Kaunertal Glacier? The cosy mountain hut Gepatschhaus was our base for two exciting splitboarding day missions. Austria´s oldest alpine association mountain cabin is situated on 1928 metres above sea level and amazingly embedded into the alpine world of the Kaunertal. Not less amazing are hostess Luzia and her crew, who warmly welcomed the splitboarders on Friday afternoon.
Within minutes, the sun terrace turned into a stage for the adjustment party. Beside Amplid and Jones splitboards, Spark R&D and Karakoram splitboard bindings were on hand for freebie demo testing. The campers also had the choice between different Deeluxe Boots, Alpina goggles and helmets, ABS backpacks and Ortovox safety gear.
After dinner, the mountain guide Simon joined the group for the tour planning. At this time of the year, a classic spring situation can be expected even in higher mountain ranges. So everyone was aware, that it had to be a super early bird mission on Saturday. So the next morning, the splitboarders started into their first adventure together with the mountain guides Simon and Christoph and with the rising sun. Skinning up from 2.400 metres above sea, they went touring through the beautiful Krummgampental, heading for the infamous „Glockturm.“ But when the group reached the last ridge before the summit, the very last ascent had already been softened up under the strong influence of the sun.
After observing the other people who were actually fighting their way up to the peak, the splitboarders decided democratically not to go to the very summit of Glockturm, but to take advantage of being the first ones to enjoy the very long decent in perfect snow all the way down the Riffel valley. After a short lunch and change-back break, everybody was ready for a long ride in awesome terrain. All the sweat was rewarded with an amazingly long run all the way down to the bottom station of Ochsenalm. Andi t was a good choice! The snow turned out to be just perfect and it seemed to be exactly the right hour. Arrived at the Ochsenalmbahn, cold beers and radlers were waiting for their adventurers. Back at the Gepatschhaus, everybody had the time to relax. While some were enjoying more radlers or coffee on the sun terrace, others preferred to take an afternoon power nap. And the forecast for Sunday was similar to Saturday: lots of sunshine and summery temperatures and another super early bird day on the menu! Again, the group started skinning up with their splitboards with the first rays of sun. And once again, they went through the wonderful Krummgampental. But this time, the target was a summit called Hennesigljoch on 3.100 metres. At the beginning the tour started with a smooth stroll through the valley, followed by a steep kick-turning hike into the chute below Hennesigljoch. A breathtaking 360 degrees panoramic view was included into the lunch break at 3.100 metres on Hennesigljoch. Quickly changed back to riding mode and everybody was ready to drop into a very long and amazing descent through steep chutes and over wide faces in perfect spring conditions. Nobody else seemed to know this awesome run, so we were enjoing it all by ourselves. With a big smile and little sunburn in their faces, the happy splitboard crew headed straight to the glacier restaurant for a last lunch together. What a season-ender! What a splitboarding paradise! What a crew! We could have kept going on like this forever. But no worries, we´ll be back! Thanks for having us Kaunertal Glacier, see you next season!
A special thanks goes out to Kaunertal Glacier for the support and big thanks to the mountain guides Simon Moest and Christoph Schranz. Thanks also to the Choice demo/test center partners: Amplid, Jones, Karakoram, Spark R&D, Alpina, Deeluxe Snowboardboots, Ortovox, ABS, PallyHi
Pia Schroeter – The Choice Company