Monday, February 23, 2009

Split-Boarding in Glacier National Park

If anyone has ever been to Montana's illustrious Glacier National Park, imagine standing atop Apgar Lookout overlooking Lake MacDonald and the plethora of wondrous peaks stretching over 10,000 feet into the big crisp blue sky. Now imagine standing there with a snowboard, and having the pleasure of riding down engulfed in that incredible view. If you haven't been there, well just look to the left and you'll get an inkling of an idea of what it feels like.

The hike up (or "skin" as we call it in the back country snowboarding world) was actually more pleasurable than the ride down, although it's hard to determine which takes the cake...

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to reach the Apgar Lookout, and about 30 minutes into the hike, the magnificent view came into focus. Zig-zagging up steep pitches generously covered in spruce trees and perfect quality snow, I occasional verified with Canyon that we were on the right track. He had done this tour once or twice before and, as usual, was cruising at a much quicker pace than I. I huffed and puffed pushing my over sized skis (actually two halves of a snowboard) up and over fallen branches and around tight turns.

Once we entered the clearing finally out of the dense trees, I turned around and to my surprise, saw the most beautiful vista I'd ever seen. I was quick to deem this the best snowboarding hike I had ever done, and we weren't even at the top yet!

We rested at the lookout for a half hour, sipped in the 360 degree views and had some snacks to refuel for the ride down. We carelessly slashed turns throwing snow into our faces momentarily obstructing the breathtaking view.

Once at the bottom, we hooted and hollered, and switched back over to ski mode to get out of the woods. When we got to the car, we high-fived, and in all the excitement of a day well spent... accidentally locked the keys in the car. Figures.