“Splitboarding allows you to access incredible terrain without the use of expensive machines and has revolutionized snowboarding. As technology and knowledge progress, it becomes easier and safer to get into the mountains of the world. I hope more people realize the beauty of our planet and use splitboarding as a catalyst for exploration.”
Elliott Bernhagen, 25, in his own words: “When I was 18, I moved west and worked hard to snowboard full-time. Since then, I’ve had many of the best days of my life. I’ve forged my greatest friendships, seen the most surreal landscapes, and pushed myself further than I ever believed possible. Every day in the backcountry is a highlight to me. I’ve always ridden for the love of it, and have never been interested in competing. My great friend, Patrick Orton, loved photography, and we rode for six years together exploring the world. As we each progressed, his photos started getting picked up by magazines and companies. It’s been an amazing experience getting to ride with my best friend, documenting amazing moments in our lives, and sharing them with the world. My ‘career’ highlight is meeting my friend and creating a life of non-stop joy. I’ll be shredding for you, brother.” (Patrick Orton died tragically in 2013.)
Q & A
Q. Years snowboarding?
A. 10 years
Q. Years splitboarding?
A. 3 years
Q. What Spark R&D gear do you ride?
A. I have been riding the Burners. I’m stoked to get on the AfterBurners with the new Tesla System. It’s obvious to me that this is a better, more efficient way to ride. Also, the Verts have proven their worth to me on the mandatory steep and deep boot packs in Alaska. In many places, you can skin around to your objective. Haines makes you climb straight up your line and the Verts are an essential part of my AK set up.
Q. Why ride Spark gear?
A. Spark continues to innovate and create incredible products. There’s not a lot of profit in this niche market and they are putting out the best there is. If you want to explore this incredible world on your snowboard, then Spark bindings will allow you to have the most fun while doing it.
Q. How much splitboarding do you do?
A. I work hard in the summer so I can ride every day in the winter. I live a in a pop-top camper, so there’s no sitting at home. Full storm or bluebird, I ride and I haven’t had a resort pass for the last 2 years.
Q. How has splitboarding changed snowboarding?
A. For me, it has made life infinitely better. When I started hiking, I discovered endless terrain, powder everyday and far more unique features than I ever saw in a resort. Splitboarding allows you to access incredible terrain without the use of expensive machines and has revolutionized snowboarding. As technology and knowledge progress, it becomes easier and safer to get into the mountains of the world. I hope more people realize the beauty of our planet and use splitboarding as a catalyst for exploration.
Q. For you, what’s a perfect day splitboarding?
A. Every day I come back safely from the mountains is a perfect day, but it’s hard to beat a bluebird day in Haines.