In March 21-23rd, 2014, a group of local, enthusiastic splitboarders decided to organize the first splitboard festival in Alberta – The Ascend Splitboard Festival.
The festival attracted nearly 30 boarders from across western Canada and as far as Germany to share their passion for the mountains. The festival’s goal was to bring together all riders, whether new to the sport or old mountain goats. The festival provided them the opportunity to learn the basics of splitboarding techniques and avalanche safety, and ultimately to shred in Jasper’s breathtaking mountains.
Canada’s top Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certified splitboard guides showed everyone two days of some of the best riding that Jasper has to offer. Boarders were divided into three groups based on their abilities and experience. On the first day, the touring destinations included local classics along the Icefield Parkway road (Highway 93) that connects Jasper with Lake Louise ski destination. Everyone became acquainted as we discussed avalanche safety and explored the terrain of Hilda, Parker and Destiny Ridges. On the second day, the ACMG guides treated participants to a spectacular day climbing up the Boundary Glacier and riding deep powder surrounded by peaks and crevasses.
When we weren’t climbing and shredding the Canadian Rocky mountain powder, the Canadian Avalanche Association fundraiser capped off the festival. Participants had the chance to win from the wide selection of prizes from sponsors, and listen to presentations by Parks Canada staff on avalanches and mountains safety. A talk by Matt Reynolds also providing insights into the process of becoming a certified ACMG splitboarder guide and living as a guide. The evening was capped off by a slideshow on Jasper’s local riding spots. Demonstration boards from Olive Snowboards from Edmonton and Splitboard HQ from Calgary were available to test out.
A huge thank you to the sponsors and to everyone for coming and helping us to make the first Ascend split fest a success and earn its mark in the Canadian splitboard social scene.
See you next year!
Dustin Leclerc / Bob Covey