Neil McNab / Ambassador Guides
Home ZoneChamonix Mont Blanc
SponsorsDragon, Karakoram, Northwave, Ortovox, Sweet protection, The Snowboard Asylum
Where do you guide backcountry snowboarding?
Through my guide company Mcnab Snowboarding I offer backcountry snowboarding and splitboarding courses in Chamonix, France, as well as, exotic snowy locales around the globe. My destination courses change each year. This year I'll run courses in Krygyzstan and Russia.
2013 Season Highlight
My splitboard trip to Kashmir in India where we scored perfect powder day after day. A perfect mix of fresh lines and new cultural experiences. Amazing super steep tree riding and big mountain faces all fresh and untouched.
Favorite Jones Board
I think I spent about 90% of my season on the Jones Hovercraft 160 and Solution 168W Splits. I rode/guided something like 14 solid weeks of Splitboarding with a wide variety of objectives from Splitting in Kashmir right through to Split Summiting Mont Blanc here in Chamonix. When I am deep in the BC or up high and carrying extra Glacier kit I ride the Solution to cope with the extra kilos on my back, for day tripping when the pow is deep, fresh and steep the Hover is my pick of the day. When not Splitting I ride the Flag 168W, a board that can handle anything at any speed, it's my go to board for non splitting days.
If you only got one pow day for the entire next winter, where would you ride?
If I only got one bottomless powder day next season I'd take it right here in Chamonix. The terrain here is perfect and the descents are steep and long. Grand Montets on a perfect day is hard to beat, but then some steeps off the Midi… a Cosmiques couloir in full flow right down the Bosson's Glacier to the valley would be a nice score and one you could be happy with for a while.
What is one lesson every beginner splitboarder should know?
Splitboards are quite wide when split into skis and Split bindings make edging the ski difficult on icy or steep terrain. Learn how to control and trust your edges and how to change the size of your stride for different gradients and traversing. Edge your top ski hard and bring the lower foot on a shorter stride (just barely past your top foot, a kind of shuffle) on steep terrain as the lower ski is way harder to edge. Splitting is all about being efficient so learn to slide rather than step and you'll be able to hike for ever!
What mountain ranges or lines are on your radar?
This coming winter I'll be guiding around Chamonix where I have a heap of new zones to explore and some 'new' steep and deep Chamonix extremes style courses running. I'll also be running a splitboard trip to Krygyzstan and a late season heli-boarding trip to Kamchatka, Russia.