When the rest of us were piffing our boards in the closet and getting our boardies out, two of our Yuki Birds Em and Ash were gearing up to keep the froth alive and heading out on an epic end of season adventure. Mitch had a chat with them to see how it went and of course what their secret scroggin mix is!
You went on a late season hike, can you tell us about it? Where did you go?
Ash – Yeah, we’d been thinking about doing an overnight split mission for a while and everything seemed to fall into place, good weather, warm temps & no wind.
Em - We set off from charlottes pass, heading towards Blue Lake on a tour consisting of ice cold river crossings, splitboarding, boot packing, exposed hiking trail, steep uphills, stairs, rock scrambles... even a couple of penguin slides... but most importantly a bit of board sliding too!
It was a mid-arvo departure to camp, and once we’d found our sweet spot, we ditched all our camping gear for just our boards and skins and dropped into the lake, before hiking back out again and over the ridge behind us to watch the sunset over my personal favourite peak in the main range - the sentinel. This is my favourite spot to look out over for so many reasons, but the two main ones being, it’s terrain unlike anywhere else I’ve seen in Australia and of course the sunset looking towards Victoria. The hazy layers upon layers of mountains disappearing into the distance. Bloody love that.
After our tasty blueberries (furphy) and squeezing the last bit of light out of the sunset, we made back for camp, in the dark... snowboarding with head torches on. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more uncoordinated, take away my daylight whilst snowboarding and Bingo! You’ve got yourself a laugh or two at my expense!
The early birds (ash and I) caught the proverbial worm (the sunrise) at the ripe old time of 5:30am over blue lake and I dropped the lovely natural halfpipe next to us and in a labor of love, boot packed it a couple of times because... snowboarding? Am-I-right?
We then packed on up and moved on out to begin home.
More fabulous, dreamy, slushy turns before a bit of hiking.. bit more boot packing and a rivercrossing as the cherry on top.
What inspired you to get out and go for a trek at the end of the season. Most people are thinking about the beach and are done with it, what keeps you there milking it for the last turn?
Em - I would snowboard for the entire year if I could, I just wanna get every last bit of winter left behind!
Ash - Backcountry hikes are so special and if you’re lucky you have the mountain all to yourself. We are both passionate about snowboarding & enjoying outdoor adventures. October and November are quieter months with the weather being cool & snow still covering hiking and biking tracks.
What was the biggest take home for you from that trip?
Em - don’t make avocado and tomato sandwiches for dinner on a hike. They get squished, they get mushy and they get super unenjoyable. Think - banana at the bottom of your school bag ... that’s what I was working with.
My camping culinary repertoire definitely needs improvement.
Now, this is a pretty serious question, some may thin I am prying but sometimes you gotta ask the hard hitting questions, what's your scroggin mix consist of?
Ash - Emma is the scroggin queen! The coconut flakes were a winner!
Em - I don’t know if you know this, but I’m kind of a big deal?
The term - ‘scroggin qween’ has been thrown around from time to time..
This batch was a beauty - au naturale nuts, I’m talkin almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts... Coupla cranberries, sultanas, dried apricot and apple.. a sprinkling of seeds; sunflower and pepitas; dried coconut flakes - game changer! aaand some dark chocolate diced up. Voila!
Of course everything can't go right all the time. Any mishaps, any heavy lols?
Ash - There were a few wobbly moments snowboarding with our heavy packs on, especially when crossing the river to start the hike! We also had a few giggles snowboarding back to camp, it’s not every day that you are riding in the dark!
You seem to have a pretty good posse of lady shredders and adventurers. Do you think you’re the exception or do you think there are more ladies getting out of bounds and seeking their own path? Hiking is kinda hard. Is it always fun?
Ash - Yes, there are certainly a large number of ladies shredding in the park and all around the mountain. I think there are definitely more ladies venturing out of bounds, particularly those of us who have done many snow seasons. I’ve noticed each season in Australia is getting busier & busier & more of us are keen to get away from the crowds & explore past the resort. I’m always trying to progress in snowboarding, and splitboarding has been a challenge for sure. Hiking is not always easy! As they say “earn your turns”, it has tested my fitness and my patience’s but the views at the top and riding home makes it all worthwhile.
How important to you is it to have products that align with your personal values
Em - The importance of products that align with both your sport specific needs and personal values just catch me right in the feels. All the warm and fuzzies..
so often you think.. I need this.. for this. But to know that the product you are using out of necessity is well thought out, environmentally conscious and sustainable AND does the job and even then some that you need it for, Is just the way it should be all of the time? Right? It’s. Sick.
What's some advice you could give to crew who are thinking about getting into split boarding or hiking?
Ash - A splitboarding setup is pretty costly upfront but with the sport gaining popularity it is easier to find second hand boards and equipment. Most friends I know started off with snowshoes and poles to get the taste of it. I’d try tagging along with someone with experience and who is familiar with the area. Start small and go at your own pace.
Em - advice to people wanting to get out there? Talk about it! Get excited, get enthusiastic, start conversations, make some new friends, branch out and get out there with some nice folks who know what’s up and are willing to impart some of their knowledge and experience onto you.
From instagram to Facebook pages there are so many resources to immerse yourself in and network with some like minds. Everybody started somewhere at some point
heck, come bug me up in Thredbo, touring is as much social as it is snowboarding for me. It really is just good, clean, wholesome outdoor fun, and fun is better with friends!
If you could say one thing to people who are thinking about going on an adventure but are sitting on the fence, what would that be?
Ash - Give it a go! It's such a great experience and will give you a new perspective of our mountains. If you're lucky you will be rewarded with some untouched powder and fresh turns!