Originally Posted by Ispoiler
That sounds like a plan, I have been thinking about a split board as well.
Before I made a decision about the AT boots I spent a number of hours combing through FAQs for guide services in the Sierras, Jackson Hole and the Selkirk range in BC, and discussion groups like "Telemark Tips" where serious bc riders labor the fine points of style regarding approach and downhill riding. What I gleaned from all of this lit was something like this:
a. The battle between soft-boot "feel" and back country readiness rages on. The serious guide services discourage or forbid soft-boots/straps, are *somewhat* accepting of clickers with the full array of compatible approach tools, and recommend hard boots/plates with split boards or regular boards with approach skis. Their issue with soft boots is about soggy linings after days of hiking, compatibility with crampons, and ability to kick-step the steeps (a current T4T theme). Nevertheless, one guide service had to admit that a couple of their snowboard guides still ride soft boots.
b. Split boarding is great for most everything up/down *but* steep, narrow, icy, technical terrain (isn't a lot of of N.E. bc riding just that?). Some guide services recommend having split *and* regular board for the range of conditions based on weather/snowpack changes.
c. Some bc riders in really deep powder (Utah) prefer mountaineering boots with plate bindings, but when things are steep and sketchy, the mountaineering boots need straps and high-backs to have control, and even then the low liners can be a problem.
d. AT boots were most criticized for lack of surf feel in powder, weight (typically 8 to 10 lbs) and tendency to "over-steer", but some riders claim that a relaxed riding style can compensate for the stiffness of the set-up. The new "thermafit" liners are saving a pound or more, but at an additional premium of $100 or so.
e. It is expensive and time-consuming to explore all of the choices in the flesh; discussion groups are *good*.
f. Nobody talks about Sorrels any more (even in Utah). Dang!
I saw a few posts from Tommy T. in these discussions, I think in Telemark Tips. He uses his full name there, posting with the same flair and incisiveness.
I'll be breaking in my new AT set-up in the resorts early-season next year, and am really forward to trying out Big Jay, the Sherburne Trail and others during the winter before testing the headwall at Tux again in the spring.