The wildest splitfest in the world
The 7th edition of Go Big Or Go Home confirms the good shape of the splitboard scene in the Pyrenees. Some 30 riders gathered a couple of weekends ago in Val d’Aran, all set to enjoy two outstanding splitboarding days lead by Nelson Domínguez and Javi Barro, from Gaiur Snowboard Company. The splitboard family keeps growing, that’s a fact.
In the Pyrenees, the high pressure and excellent conditions after the abundant snowfalls of the past days, set the perfect scenery for long days on the mountain.
The first days starts at the parking lot of the North access of the Vielha tunnel, our goal being the Sarrahèra valley: a varied north face, with all sorts of terrain and good snow conditions to express ourselves. We all start the approach together, as a tight-knit family, all the way to the bottom of Passada deth Nebot, where we reorganize the groups and study the different options the area has to offer: from gnarly couloirs, to sweet runs in a true alpine atmosphere. At this point, we are all feeling in the leading role and ready to decide where to head and look for our own reward. We search ours hopping to the South face through a couloir, leaving us a few meters away of Tuc de Sarrahèra (2645m.), where the most amped amongst us share the summit aiming to end the day the best way. It’s definitely one of those sweet moments the mountain has to offer: encouragement, togetherness, laughs and complicity. Javi leads us to one of those secret spots this valley hides, to treat us with a run in the shadow, a descent loaded with powder and gnar we’ll hardly forget.
We wrap it up with a fully catered BBQ at the beech forest by the Conangles refuge: meat, mountain rice, wine, beer, cider and the best vibe for the best possible end for a sick day.
On Sunday, we wake up again to a starry sky. This time, we meet at the South end of the Vielha tunnel. A long approach takes us to the valley of Molières, through a huge avalanche deposit, all the way to a refuge named likewise, located at 2360m. The group divides in two; while some head towards the northern corridor of the Tuc de la Tallada, the rest continue through the glacier circus up to the stunning and solitary granite ridge of the Pic de Molières (3010m.), searching for northern exposures. The high daily temperatures and the night frost have slightly transformed the snow, but we still manage to score some compact powder turns in the shadow. The day ends with spring temperatures at the Pleta de Molières, before heading back to the Sant Nicolau refuge (1626m.).
We wrap up the 7th edition of Go Big Or Go Home just as it started, with complicity smiles, good vibes and attitude, and everybody enjoying each step they hiked on the mountain.
From Splitboard Magazine we’d like to thank Nelson and Javi from Gaiur Snowboard Company and the rest of the local splitboarders who helped along every time we needed it. Thanks for the hospitality, the friendship and for pushing splitboarding to the next level, for letting us enjoy two amazing days on the mountain, for managing the group and encouraging everybody, making everyone feel the protagonist of their own adventure. Thanks also to everyone who took part, it was a pleasure to enjoy your company and companionship on the mountain. ¡See you all next year! ¡come and join us!
GO BIG OR GO HOME!
Nelson Domínguez / David Pérez
Elena G. de Murillo