Front Range Splitfest, a massive gathering of splitboard experts and never-evers organized by Weston Backcountry, set for this weekend
Colorado’s largest splitboard-focused event takes place this weekend at Winter Park and on Berthoud Pass, bringing together both splitboard experts and those who want to try for the first time.
Front Range Splitfest is organized by Weston Backcountry, but the Minturn-based company tries hard to enlist the help of all of its competitors in bringing a robust demo opportunity to the event.
“We leave all of the sales and competition behind for this event,” said brand experience manager Ben Hilley. “We work really hard to bring brands from all over the U.S., and even out of the country, so everyone can try out different kinds of boards, different kinds of bindings, and have a huge raffle.”
Three different levels of tickets are offered, an all-access pass gets you unlimited demos, free beer and a T-shirt for $99, a board-only pass gets you unlimited demos for $65, and an event access only gets you access to all the seminars and splitboarding, but no demos, for $35.
The seminars alone make the event worth attending — industry experts from all walks of the splitboard world will be hosting terrain talks and state-of-the-snowpack discussions heading into the spring touring season, and a hardboot discussion with Phantom Snow Industries will be offered for those considering more serious mountaineering — but on the other end of the spectrum, there will be courses for never-evers on how to get started.
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“Every hour we’ve got a different kind of free class going on during the event,” Hilley said.
Front Range Splitfest differentiates itself from similar events through the efforts undertaken by organizers to offer something for everyone. While the country’s other premiere splitboarding festivals take place in iconic extreme terrain destinations — Mount Baker, Jackson Hole, Silverton, etc. — Front Range Splitfest takes place in, well, the Front Range of Colorado, which is going to attract a different kind of guest.
“Our thought process was that we wanted to make an event for everybody, to really just have something for all ability levels, and have multiple guided programs going on for people that have never been splitboarding, because there’s a big interest in Colorado for people wanting to get into the backcountry, and they want to learn to do it the right way,” Hilley said.
But that’s not to say that Berthoud Pass doesn’t have terrain for the more advanced, as well.
“It’s a perfect place to try new boards or terrain, ride a new brand or just meet new people,” Hilley said. “We have a women’s specific intermediate to advanced tour going out, there’s still spots on that, we have partner finder happy hours going on with our partner Hideaway Park, and there will be a massive raffle with over $10,000 worth of splitboards and bindings and backcountry gear.”
The gathering is based out of the Headwaters Center at Winter Park, and the splitboarding will take place during the daytime hours on Saturday and Sunday. Evening events will take place on Friday and Saturday, with the gear raffle scheduled for 9 p.m. on Saturday. The event concludes with a last call for demo gear returns at 6 p.m. on Sunday. All proceeds from the gear raffle will go directly to local avalanche education groups and forecasting centers.
For the full schedule, or to get tickets, visit FrontRangeSplitfest.com.