Revelstoke Mountaineer: For the first timer, what is Canuck Splitfest?
Emilie de Crombrugghe: Well, the Canuck splitfest is a splitboard festival organized annually in Revelstoke, B.C., in support of Avalanche Canada and in memory of Wade Galloway. Wade initiated this event in 2011, so this is its 6th edition. The goal of the Canuck Splitfest is to raise funds for the Avalanche Canada Foundation and the Craig Kelly Memorial Scholarship. The Avalanche Canada fund promotes public avalanche education and facilitates the creation of avalanche bulletins across Canada. The Craig Kelly Memorial Scholarship is set up for snowboarders pursuing a career in guiding or avalanche protection to assist them with furthering their training. Next to this, the event is also a gathering of passionate powder hounds from all over North America.
The splitfest has lots to offer: from guided tours, splitboard demos, and a photo contest, to impressive presentations and a huge raffle!
RM: What is your role with the event?
EC: I help organize the event, which wouldn’t be possible without the support from Jen at Avalanche Canada, the generous and numerous sponsors, the surrounding splitboard community and the amazing Revy community!
What is the format of the event?
Most people arrive on Friday night. On Friday, people are welcomed at the Trapper Factory from 5-10 p.m. for a burger and beer to start off the event. Some demos are also set up that night.
During the day on Saturday, everyone has their own tour scheduled, mainly at Rogers Pass. Capow! is offering guided tours for which people can register. Many though decide to go to Rogers Pass straight away and register their trip with Parks Canada before heading out for the day. A few people take advantage of the Eagle Pass heli offering to reach more remote areas with a guide.
That evening, we all gather to share our stories of the day at the Hillcrest Hotel. Sponsors will display products and set up demos. The raffle packages will also make appearance for everyone to inspect, and raffle tickets will be for sale the whole night until the raffle starts at 8:30 p.m.
In the meantime, presentations will be held in the Hillcrest’s conference room between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Forecaster Joe Lammers will start off the show. Meteorologist Matt Macdonald will follow with his presentation: “El Nino: the truth behind the over-hyper Climate Index.” Finally, John Baldwin and Linda Bily will present their impressive book: “Soul of Wilderness. Mountain Journeys in Western BC and Alaska.”We also have a new addition this year on Thursday night January 7th. The River City Pub is featuring a film night in support of the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association and Avalanche Canada.
Tell us about the participants. How many people does the event attract, where do they come from and what’s the crowd like?
The crowd keeps impressing us. Most of the participants are well educated and have at least taken their AST1 (level 1 avalanche course). The event succeeds at gathering many industry people and splitboard gurus, and gives a special tone to the event. Over the course of the event, we see close to 200 people, of which the women’s section has gradually grown over the years. We are also seeing more and more people joining from the States, which is an honour considering the distance. The Canadian presence is dominated by people from B.C. and Alberta.
For the first timer, how do you get involved in Canuck Splitfest?
Our Facebook page is currently our main communication tool. You can connect with us at https://www.facebook.com/CanuckSplitfest/. This is where we are sharing all the information about the event schedule and sponsors. The link to register for guided tours with Capow! is also on our Facebook page, and here it is for your convenience: http://www.capow.ca/events/canuck-split-fest/. A few posters have also been shared regarding the photo contest, splitfest activities, and presentations.
If you have any questions, you can message us on Facebook, and we’ll be quick at getting back to you.
And of course, come join us at the Trapper open house on Friday January 8th!
What are the costs for the event?
The event is currently free. We are only asking you to purchase some raffle tickets if you can in support of Avalanche Canada. We have so many prizes that many of you will go home with a prize, from clothing, avy gear and splitboards to a heliski trip. There will also be a small silent auction. The Hillcrest Hotel is further offering a discounted rate for all splitfest participants.
Are there opportunities for first-timers to try out splitboarding?
Yes, definitely! That’s why we are offering local guides! Our guides are experienced spliboarders that can teach you all the tricks. You just need to make sure to book your guide through the Capow! link mentioned above. (There is a cost linked to this).There will be demos at the event, but they are quite popular, so make sure to be there early if you want to get your hands on some gear. I’m not sure if all companies will have skins, and none of them give out poles, so you definitely want to make sure you have a pair of those with you. My advice would be to come prepared with all the gear you need, that way nothing can get in the way of your powder day!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks everyone for your interest and support! We’re looking forward to meeting you all at the splitfest and are wishing you a Happy New Year in the meantime! We are also always open for suggestions and ideas, so don’t hesitate to contact us about that as well.