A few weeks ago, LWA pal Xander Dillenbeck and his brother Chris hit mountains in France, Austria and Switzerland armed with Burton splitboards, their cameras (and lot of mountain safety training) for a hut-to-hut odyssey that looks like it was pure snow porn.
We asked the duo share some of their favourite snaps from the trip that simultaneously make us extremely jealous and leave us gobsmacked at the beauty of Europe’s finest backcountry. Feast your eyes on them below, with words straight from the horse’s mouth:
Scattered throughout the European Alps are (very Instagramable) mountain huts – remote alpine accommodation where the views are only trumped by the food and wine. Each hut has its own unique history with hundreds of stories etched in the timber and stone, but what they share in common is a peaceful, palpable ambience – nirvana for many snowboarders. There also often happens to be really good riding accessible within a short walk of your doorstep.
The catch is, most of the good huts are difficult to get to, and only accessible by foot…
If you’re not familiar, a splitboard is a basically a snowboard that separates into two skis, with special skins that stick to the base and allow for uphill travel outside the resort boundary. It’s a lot more effort than jumping on a chairlift, but the payoff can be huge – no crowds, great snow and limitless potential for adventure.
With COVID travel restrictions somewhat settling down in March, my brother and I booked a flight to Europe two weeks out, with very little plan other than to stay in some of these backcountry huts and not to catch COVID. These photos are the result. – Xander