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The Best Splitboard Destinations in the World Bracket Challenge

If you're like us, you've already watched your favorite splitboard movies twice and you wish you could be doing a little more actual splitboarding. With that in mind, we created a simple little tournament for splitboarders all around the world to participate in and help decide what are the best splitboard locations in the world. It's meant to be fun, not super serious, and just an easy distraction.

Yeah, we know there are a lot of different brackets and contests out there.  But this one is specifically for the splitboard community!  It's pretty simple, first, we need 16 locations, zones, or mountain ranges. You can nominate an area you are familiar with riding as the Best Splitboard Destination in the World using the form below until Monday, April 13th. After that, the tournament field will be set and we'll share the voting opportunities on this page and Spark R&D's social media channels. If your nomination is selected as 1 of the 16 to be in the tournament, you'll win a pack of Spark swag and goodies. If your exact selection (nomination) wins the tournament, we'll send you a set of 20/21 bindings next Fall!

This is meant to be a fun distraction! We're not looking for your secret stash or a specific trailhead you like to use. Nominate large areas like The Montafon Valley in Austria, the Eastern Sierras, or the Lyngen Alps in Norway. We promise, because your general area gets in the tournament, there will not be a hundred more people at your favorite trailhead next year. 

Click here or the button below for the nomination form. The nomination period ends at 11:59 p.m. (23:59) on Monday, April 13th. The tournament voting begins Tuesday the 14th and will continue for about 2-weeks. Voting forms will be distributed on this page and via Spark R&D social media channels. 

Champion---Iceland-Bracket

Here is the voting schedule for Round 1. Voting begins Friday, April 17th. 

Below is the schedule for Round 1 voting. This is also where the link to the voting form will appear. 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

May 11-14

    •  Voting Form: https://forms.gle/owq3G9C2hCRJKLn79
    • #1 Rogers Pass, BC, CANADA vs. #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND
    • UPDATE (5/18): #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND has won the tournament! 

 

Round 3 (Semi-Finals)

May 4-7

    •  Voting Form: https://forms.gle/RRwXHgXXrxGGRYi27
    • #1 Rogers Pass, BC, CANADA vs. #5 Hatcher Pass, AK, USA 
    • #2 Lofoten Islands, NORWAY vs. #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND
    • UPDATE (5/8): #1 Rogers Pass, CANADA and #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND advance!

 

Round 2

April 27-30

    • #5 Hatcher Pass, AK, USA  vs. #14 Kananaskis Country, AB CANADA
    • #11 Tavascan (Pyrenees), SPAIN vs. #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND
    • UPDATE (5/1): #1, #2, #4, and #5 all advance. 

 

Round 1

April 17-18

    • Voting Form: https://forms.gle/djsgTCe6sTxdntLx8
    • #1 Rogers Pass, BC, CANADA vs. #16 White Mountains, NH, USA
    • #2 Lofoten Islands, NORWAY vs. #15 Hakuba Valley, JAPAN
    • UPDATE (4/19): #1 and #2 have won and are moving on to round 2!

April 19-20

    • Voting Form: https://forms.gle/qMAK32Zt8n5aKz9EA
    • #5 Hatcher Pass, AK, USA vs. #12 Little Cottonwood Canyon (Wasatch), UT, USA
    • #6 Val D'Herens, SWITZERLAND vs. #11 Tavascan (Pyrenees), SPAIN
    • UPDATE (4/21): #5 and #11 have won and are moving on to round 2!

April 21-22

    • Voting Form: https://forms.gle/6uytHmGa1DfPrchH7
    • #3 Lake Tahoe, CA, USA vs. #14 Kananaskis Country, AB CANADA
    • #7 The Andes, CHILE vs. #10 Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, CO, USA
    • UPDATE (4/23): #14 and #7 won and are moving on to round 2!

April 23-24

    • Voting Form: https://forms.gle/fLpusUQAnnrw8cAG8
    • #4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND vs. #13 Arlberg, AUSTRIA
    • #8 Chamonix, FRANCE vs. #9 Forni Glacier, ITALY
    • UPDATE (4/26): #4 and #8 won and are moving on to round 2!

The Nominations!

1. Rogers Pass, BC CANADA

Nominated by: Brian Delf

The snow is amazing and there is plenty of it. The terrain is complex and is amazingly varied. The access, while controlled, is really well done.

1-Rogers-Pass

3. Lake Tahoe, CA USA

Nominated by: Bryan Robinson

With the consistently stable snowpack, often roadside access, incredibly beautiful lake views, varied terrain options, comfortable California temps, a community of supportive and inspiring people as well as a bountiful desolation wilderness for those seeking more exploration, there are multiple reasons why Tahoe offers the best splitboarding in the world.

3-Lake-Tahoe

5. Hatcher Pass, AK USA

Nominated by: Jocelyn Kopsack

Very easily accessible, 1 hour from Anchorage. Rideable snow from the road from October through June, glacier access year-round. Plenty of options to find a fresh line. Hatcher Pass Lodge offers a great place to stay at 3000 ft in the midst of the mountains, and the Mountaineering Club of Alaska maintains a great backcountry hut system!

5-Hatchers-Pass

7. The Andes, CHILE

Nominated by: Eric Layton

Not always the best snow conditions, but the vast reality that you may be the only Splitboarder for miles, literally miles from anyone else- stable snow conditions friendly vibe and a ski culture sticking mostly to the ski resorts gives you almost complete freedom. Oh and active volcanoes erupting all around you as you shred It’s how the States were in the ’50s. Incredible solitude.

Photo: Corrine Knorr

7-The-Andes

10. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA

Nomination by: Kahle Toothill

Views of alpine peaks (14ers/13ers galore), ease of access to multiple THs, close proximity to Boulder/Denver, tons of terrain options from beginner to expert. Great community of riders in the area.

Photo: Trey Laurence

10-Rocky-Mountain-Ntl-Park

12. Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT, USA

Nominated by: Brady Evans

From the city to the parking lot takes less than an hour tops. From the parking lot to the ascent can be immediate. All to shred classic steep lines, couloirs, and chutes.

12-Wasatch-Range

14. Kananaskis Country, AB, CANADA

Nominated by: Jennifer Tu

It’s free to access and has some sendy bowls, glades, and epic ski mountaineering. As well as that Rocky Mountain powder. You can keep it mellow when the avalanche forecast is considerable or hit some summits when it’s good. My dog gives it two paws up.

16. White Mountains, NH, USA

Nominated by: Michael Griffin

It has such a rich history of Backcountry skiing. The mountains may not be high in elevation, but the weather can be extreme and unpredictable. People often wrote them off for being on the ice coast, but if you manage to play the conditions right there is some superb riding.

16-White-Mountains

2. Lofoten Islands, NORWAY

Nominated by: Brett Tobin

In a remote corner of the world this island is truly a winter wonderland with a seemingly endless number of mountains to be toured. You can really find your inner self while being blown away by the Arctic Ocean views and the northern lights dancing overhead. And if your mind hasn’t already been blown by the summit scenery, drop in and enjoy the wonderful snow for some of the best turns of your life!

Photo: @jsagues

2-Lofoten-Norway

4. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, ICELAND

Nominated by: Asgeir Hoskuldsson

One of the most remote places in Europe. Uninhabited since the 1950s. Only accessible by boat or hiking in. Beautiful fjord lines, ride down to the sea and 20-22 hours "sunlight" during spring and early summer riding. Ridiculous backdrops.

Photo: Borea Adventures

4-Hornstrandir-Iceland

6. Val d'Hérens, SWITZERLAND

Nominated by: Daniel Badoux

Low to high altitude, good snow, crazy lines, a lot of huts, amazing views and nice traditional villages.

6-Val-D-Herens-Switzerland

8. Chamonix, FRANCE

Nominated by: Matt Tench

What doesn't it have? Do you want glaciers and epic scenery? Check? Do you want steeps? Gotcha back. You want mellow terrain with stunning views? Also can. And, you want a great place to sink a beer afterward. Got you covered...

Photo: Matt Tench

8-Chamonix-France

9. Forni glacier, Santa Caterina Valfurva, ITALY

Nominated by: Nicola Borella

13 summit above 3.000 meters, from easy ones to the super steep north faces. You can ride until the end of June. Ther are a lot of mountain retreats where to stay to sleep for another great adventure the day after. The glacier and panorama is completely amazing and every time I go there I fall in love.

9-Forni-Glacier-Italy

11. Tavascan, SPAIN (Pyranees)

Nominated by: Marc Sixto

It is an area with a small station with only 1 ski lift. It is an area with many splitboard options for all levels. There is a hostel right at the foot of the station with very good food.

Photo: Marc Sixto - sixtophoto.com

11-Tavascan-Spain

13. Arlberg, AUSTRIA

Nominated by: Dane Caldwell

It’s got it all. Big mountains, trees, views access, snowfall, terrain options for any day, easy to get away from crowds, affordable, and a fun mountain town.

Photo: Dane Caldwell

13-Arlberg-Austria

15. Hakuba Valley, JAPAN

Nomination by: Justin Thareja

The Holy Trinity of terrain, access, and stability, along with world-renown snow accumulations. 45-degree spine lines, an hour and a half skin away, commonly rideable within 24-48 hours of a 50+ cm storm.

Photo: Matthias Weichselbaumer

15-Hakuba-Valley-Japan
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