A new backcountry snowboarding hard-goods company has sprung up to fill the growing demand for backcountry travel equipment. Started by Smith Optics’ Chris Smith in Ketchum, Idaho, the product is built by snowboarders for snowboarders to access new terrain. The idea is simple, sell a self contain touring package at the low pricepoint comparaed to a full splitboard setup. The answer to this is an integrated backpack system, which uses a small set of foldable approach skis as it’s focus. by providing a light-weight ski, this system keeps boarders on snowboards they are used to riding instead of using trading in for a heavy splitboard.
There are many possible advantages to this system, number one being a fix set of skins. This could greatly reduce the setup and teardown time between uphill travel. The low price is the second big advantage. Splitboard setup run about $1500 for boards, hardware, specific bindings, poles and skins. See the facts below for more advantages to this setup and a link to the Mountain Approach site.
- Lightweight – Only 9 lbs. (total weight Including skins) 4.5lbs per foot, per step = less fatigue & longer tours
- Quick transition time – Unfolds in seconds, no removable parts and no skins to peel and glue
- Ride any board you want – No compromise on performance, you don’t have to give up your favorite solid snowboard!
- Unique tool – You already own at least one snowboard, why buy another to ride the backcountry?
- Ascends effectively – Continuous steel edges and dual side cut (both edges of the skis) makes easy kick-turns and traverses
- Full Camber – Creates the most effective edge and surface area for the climbing skin to be gripping the snow
- Size – Packs away easily in the integral backpack for your descent