The crew of 13 Lets Split participants met at Mt Stirling Car park at 7.30am on July 14th - some of whom had endured cold & noisy hotel rooms in Mansfield the night before, and some who had set a 4am alarm to drive up from Melbourne that morning. Regardless, spirits were high as everyone readied their kit (and tried to remember everyones names in the cold car park).
At 8.15am, after the necessary preparations (and Trip Intention Forms) had been completed, we lined up for our Safety Briefing, and were on our way skinning toward the Summit by 8.30am. Of the 13 participants, four people had never been Splitboarding before. And of these four people, two of them had rented gear for this event as they did not yet own their own gear. So as everyone found their touring groove (and pace), the large group settled into two smaller groups, which gave everyone the opportunity to get to know their surroundings, their gear, and each other on this part of the tour.
Mt Stirling is a epic place for people to the introduced into Backcountry. Its a 4km trip to the Summit from the Car Park, most of which is below tree line (so very protected from wind), and passes by a well equipped Hut (Bluff Spur) which is an ideal place for a re charge and re fuel. And apply sunscreen! The weather for TRIP 1 was a perfect sunny day, with minimal wind, so everyone was nice and warm (and stripping off layers quite early into the tour).
Just before midday the group arrived at the summit, stopping along the way to take in the surrounding views, and admire the wonderful vegetation on Mt Stlrling. The snow cover was great, but the proceeding weather over the last few days had left the snow pack quite 'firm', so the warm sun (with little wind) was very welcomed as it softener to the north facing aspects. After reviewing both Stanley's and Dug Out bowls, it was decided that we would ride Dug Out bowl, where the sun would have 'assisted' the most. Our first run was a long one, with the crew all excited to be getting their first turns in at Mt Stirling for 2018. We then splitboarded back to the summit. The rest of the day's riding was spent on Dug Out bowl, specifically on the upper / shorter part of the run that the sun had softened nicely. So the day ended with a 2 hour group hiking & shredding session on this aspect. And even the four first time splitboarders, who were all feeling fatigued from the long skin up from the car park, all joined in on this great group session - putting everyone's stoke levels into overdrive.
Now there is no doubt that Mt Stirling has some great terrain on its upper bowls, but one of the best parts about touring and riding here, is the 4km cat track run back to the car park! As everyone navigated this long run at their own pace, the group trickled down to the base area in nice succession. And seeing the pure happiness on everyone's face as they came to the bottom of the run (and the end of their day touring), was the exact reason why Lets Split was started - to encourage as many people to go splitboarding as possible. The stoke you get form a day splitboarding is incredibly high, and also very contagious. And Lets split is doing its bit to help spread that bug.
The remaining LETS SPLIT 2018 schedule is -
TRIP 2 - JULY 28/29 @ GUTHEGA (Perisher, NSW)
TRIP 3 - AUG 11/12 @ MT BOGONG (VIC)
TRIP 4 - AUG 25/26 @ DEAD HOSE GAP (Thredbo, NSW)
So whether your a pro, or a first timer Splitboarder, Lets Split welcomes anyone who wants to get out there and enjoy a day well spent. All bookings and enquiries can be made though http://slidepath.com.au/lets-split/ or firstname.lastname@example.org. So.... LETS SPLIT!