Last weekend the Amplid office crew hooked-up with Juergen from the Backyard. The Backyard is a small mountain hostel situated high above the small village of Hippach in Austria's Zillertal valley. Run by Juergen and his girlfriend Noe, the Backyard is the perfect place to base yourself for a splitboard trip and unwind in your down time. Juergen wanted to show us some new areas he'd found which were accessible with a "short" tour which would have us climbing 800m of vertical from the Gasthof Mösl.
The tour started at 1400m and rose sharply to 2200m offering a lengthy feature filled descent down a north facing aspect, which offered the best snow cover during a low tide winter. Juergen, who gets out on his splitboard upto three times a week for a tour, set a fast pace on his Amplid Morning Split, the rockered nose made easy work of breaking the trail and the Kohla skins meant faultless traction. The rest of the group floundered behind while Jueregen waited patiently and smoked hand rolled cigarettes. Layers soon found themselves stuffed into backpacks and Pally'Hi longsleeve T-shirts were tasked with the job of wicking sweat and providing just enough warmth for a tough climb. Four hours later, with sweat soaked brows and fading energy levels we were approaching the summit of our chosen line. The grey soon cleared as splits were pieced together and skins folded away so we were able to scope our lines with good definition.
Juergen drops the couloir and is engulfed in a cloud of sluff
By the time we dropped in, the snow had warmed through and was a little heavy and sticky. This didn't stop Juergen from cutting a tasty line into a sloughing couloir at the start of his line. The Morning Split's bouyant camber profile and short effective edge offering great control. One by one we followed Juergen down the couloir and then entered 700m of terrain which offered pillows, drops, banks and gullies a plenty.
Welcome to Marioland, features to get airborne littered the run for as far as the eye could see
The remaining 700m was ridden in a flash, my memory is a blur of airtime and fresh turns. Every 200m we would re-group high five and then continue along our way. Within 10 minutes of dropping into the first couloir we had unstrapped and were ambling back to the car. We decided to meet-up at the Backyard where we enjoyed a cool refreshing beer and consulted Juergen on our next split mission.
Many thanks to Juergen for taking us splitting for the morning. Find out more about the Backyard at www.backyardaustria.com where amongst other things, you can test the Morning Split.
Juergen's valliant steed, the Morning Split with a Spark RnD binding set-up