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Backcountry snowboarding

What makes it so thrilling?

Backcountry snowboarding is the pinnacle of snowboarding. When the lift-accessed terrain is tracked, you need to search further if you want to ride fresh powder. The black sheep can get you to secret spots within 1-hour reach of the Arlberg, where everything has been a bit calmer. Or we take the advantages of the Arlberg and start to hike/splitboard 1-2 hours to get into quieter mountains.

We have been splitboard die-hards from the very first hour. Splitboard technology has never been as accessible! Now we can get up in the same mountains as tour skiers. Splitboarding opens up the freeride terrain as far as you can imagine. If you like the quietness and serenity of nature, you most likely will love this experience.

There are different types of guided splitboard tours. Sometimes we ride the splitboard as a regular snowboard and do 1-3 little hikes besides riding lift-access terrain. We also like to guide elongate tours to huts or a particular mountain with special descends.

splitboard guide arlberg
The guide will take you on unforgettable moments, captured by Michiel Rotgans

Let me get you into the zone

Let me know what you want. Everybody has their own wishes and ideas; I am here to make it happen! Below are just a few ideas to help you out.

  • How much experience do you have?
  • How is your physical condition? Usually within 1-2 hour reach there is very good snow to be found.
  • Do you need a splitboard, or do you rather go by foot?
  • Do you need a splitboard introduction, or need some advanced touring advice for steep switchbacks?
  • Are you stoked for a location switch from the Arlberg? Maybe you want glaciers?
  • Is it the ascending or the snowboarding that you like most?
  • Do you just want to hike as less meters as possible to get to the good snow?
  • Would you like to go on a hut tour?

St Anton snowboard Guide for 1 day

€350,-

  • 6 hours of touring and freeriding

  • 1-2 persons

  • each additional person €30,-

  • pack with shovel, probe and transceiver 15,- per set*

  • Jones Splitboard starts at 40,- per day

  • Helicopter drop 500,- per run max. 3 guests

Book now
St Anton snowboard guide for 3 days

€950,-

  • 3 * 6 hours of freeriding

  • 1-2 persons

  • each additional person €90,-

  • pack with shovel, probe and transceiver 30,- per set*

  • Jones Splitboard starts at €100,- for 3 days

Book now
Snowboard guide for 1 day on flexible location

€350,-

  • 6 hours of freeriding

  • 1-2 persons

  • each additional person €30,-

  • pack with shovel, probe and transceiver 15,- per set*

  • Jones Splitboard starts at 40,- per day

  • travel expenses guide additional

  • lift-ticket guide additional

Book now

*shovel, probe and transceiver is minimum safety equipment. A helmet is strongly recommended!

snowboard guide arlberg
You need to have a good understanding of snowsafety, captured by Rutger Geerling

Avalanche and snowsafety training

Safety is our highest priority. Before you can ride off piste, you need to be trained accordingly. We teach you how to work with a transceiver, a probe, and a shovel. The minimum time we need for this training is 10 minutes. Generally, depending on group size, you can do a proper done training in the safety area of Rendl within 20 minutes.

During a regular day, we will brief you in the morning about the current Avalanche bulletin and teach you how to interpret these signs we get from the snow deck, wind, temperatures, and observations from previous events. Many factors influence our decisions, we take you along in our choices and teach you how to move strategically and safely in and out of the off piste.

Would you like to learn even more about the cohesion of snow layers? We regularly dig snow profiles and keep track of them; we can show you how these works teach you how to do compression tests. Researching the snow-deck is a perfect way to spend time when the weather is not so great for example.

Hike to ride

Hike to ride is the first step after lift accessed freeriding. There are many reasons why this is so cool. You get into serene backcountry areas, and you still get to snowboard a lot of descends with a light backpack. We call this high-performance snowboarding, and this method is used a lot for film- and photo shoots. You don’t need any extra materials, except for something extra to drink and eat along the way.

Most of the bootpacks the Black Sheep take you on will take around 20-40 minutes. Sometimes we put the board on our backpack, and sometimes we hold it as an anchor on steeper terrain. The guide does the work by packing the snow, by hiking up first and you walk up the stairs! After these hikes, we frequently take back a bus or a cab to get back to the lifts.

hike to ride freeride guide
heli ski guide arlberg

Dirt-bag deluxe adventure

Do you just want to ride best snow and mountains without getting tired? Search elsewhere!

We advise against heli-snowboarding, heli-snowboarding in the Arlberg without a splitboard is a waste of money, time and kerosene. You can reach way better mountains in a short period with fewer tracks and lower footprint.

However, if you do not want Luxury and want a real dirt-bag adventure, and the only thing that counts is: "adventure, snowboarding and being out there?" The helicopter is the perfect tool to start your splitboard adventure; from here we can get deep into the mountain range and set up base camp for a few days. That way your carbon footprint stays within reasons.

We can bring tents, sleeping bags, a cooker, and food. Or we tour to the untouched zones with a “Winter-Raum” in one of the closed mountain huts for a bit more comfort.

Splitboard touring, earn you turns

Short splitboard tours

  • Usually 1-2 hours of ascending
  • Ideal to learn and improve splitboard technique.
  • When you are not as fit as you would like to be.
  • Maximum efficiency to reach good snow.
  • Usually day start with lift accessed snowboarding.
  • Likely to make more descends in a day.

Lengthy splitboard and hut tours

  • Between 2-6 hours of ascending
  • Kick-turn experience recommended
  • Basic knowledge of snowsafety.
  • You are fit and regularly practice sports.
  • Wildlife and alpinist experience.
  • Unique descends on unique mountains.
  • You have to be able to carry a heavy pack.
  • You know how your splitboard works.
  • The beer tastes even better afterwards.

freeride guide arlberg
freeride guide arlberg

Tirol freeride safari

Arlberg is a juwel, but Tirol has got more on offer. Our guides are very well informed about the conditions in each place. Tirol has 3 glacial resorts within an hour drive from St. Anton. Kaunertal, Pitztal and Sölden are much higher and you can easily reach mountains of 3500m. Then you got the Paznaun valley with Ischgl within 30 min. drive, Ischgl, Serfaus and some other cool spots catch way more snow from the south. That keeps the diversity and terrain very interesting. Let’s say you want to come to the Arlberg for a week, but when you arrive the conditions don’t fit, we take you each day to another spot.

Depending on your wishes, we can start in unknown valleys with our splitboard, or we start right from the lift. Sometimes we finish the day somewhere else as our start location. Off-course we take care of the logistics and make the reservations in the huts.

This year we start e-bike assisted splitboard trips by the time the season is ready for it. This expands our possibilities and season and keeps you fit. We will provide you with the bike and splitboard mounting system, you ride it up until the snow or the hut. This makes it easier if you have to bring up lots of gear to make the splitboard tour.

patagonia outerwear
jones snowboards
smith optics