A splitboarding festival will Ascend Jasper’s slopes for the second time in as many years next month.
Forty five participants will converge on Jasper’s backcountry terrain to ski up, and snowboard down, the March snowpack. Founder and organizer of Ascend Splitboarding Festival, Lucas Matejovsky, said the event is geared for people looking to connect to both Jasper’s backcountry, and to others interested in the sport.
“We want to create a community,” Matejovsky said. “This is a festival for beginner and expert splitboarders alike.”
Participants of the 2014 Splitboard Festival, Ascent, signed up for two days of guided splitboard touring in the Columbia Icefields area. Julian Holldorfer photo
Building on the success of last year’s event, the weekend’s main draw is the the chance to explore Jasper’s backcountry terrain with certified mountain guides for two days. Social events, incredible draw prizes, presentations and splitboard demos will ensure participants get their money’s worth, Matejovsky said. Off-snow events will be centred at the Astoria Hotel and D’ed Dog Bar.
“Last year the majority of people were really stoked,” he said.
“New people who’d never tried splitboarding were excited and those mountain goat types who’ve ridden all across North America were also able to extend their knowledge.”
Splitboards are relatively new to the snow sliding scene. The specialized equipment is used like skis to climb up the mountain, then converted to a snowboard to ride down. Climbing skins are used to grip the snow for the ascent.
Ascend Splitboard Festival takes place March 13-15. Visit www.ascendsplitfest.com to register.