What is the first step to take when going snowboarding? Correct, going to a mountain.
But the very act of getting to a mountain itself can be almost as exhilarating, exciting and adventurous as the riding on offer once you make it to the top. Breath taking views, road trippin' vibes and if you're lucky, some radical roads.
Roads? What's so great about roads i hear you say? But once you begin venturing out into the mountains you'll start racking up some pretty rad highways, dead ends and gravel tracks under your travelin' belt. Here's five examples of some of the best roads that we at Whitelines have discovered whilst snowboarding - the whole journey is the adventure.
[part title="Kaunertal, Austria"]
The road that inspired this article - those of you lucky enough to have made a pilgrimage to the annual Spring Break/UK Board Test will have witnessed the amazing private road that takes you from the sleepy village of Feichten, past the drunken, passed-out body of Scott Todd and up past 29 switch backs to the glacier.
As roads go, it is an amazing one, though it is often over looked through being hungover on the way up and half cut on the way way back down. Starting off in the misty woods, it takes you up past one hell of a dam, past some curious Austrian goblin-esque wood sculptures before spitting you out into the moon-like surroundings at the top.
Off the beaten track it's not, but for a road traveled as much as it is it merits the time out taken to appreciate it for what it is.
[part title="The Remarkables, NZ"]
In a country full of gnarly roads, the one leading to The Remarkables ski area is undoubtedly one of the gnarliest. If you're in any doubt, just check out the video of a bus attempting to negotiate it's way down the hill above.
As with many non-residential/non-highway roads in New Zealand it's constructed from gravel, hope and not much else, fine in the summer but perilous in the snow, and as NZ's highest public access road it sees a lot of the white stuff every year.
Gnarly or not, the drive is more than worth it - the Remarks is a great, fun resort, even featuring the only Burton Stash in the Southern hemisphere. And like many other mountains in the South Island, if you're lucky enough to get above the cloud line the views can be pretty spectacular.
[part title="Chamonix, France"]
Not by any means the gnarliest of roads, but still an impressive one. Going up the valley for the first time you're greeted by some of the most awesome peaks in the world looming out at you as well as one of the most impressive 'fuck you nature' pieces of French civil civil engineering going, this bridge:
Bizarrely though, after they went to all that effort the bridge is only one way, up. To get back down again you have to take the old cliff side road, now one of the swerviest and windy dual lane roads you'll ever drive on. Maybe they went on strike when it was time to build the other half.
But again, it is the mountains around you that make this such a rad drive. Oh and this awesome aquaduct:
[part title=" Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Japan"]
Cheating, we know, but even though the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in Japan isn't technically a resort road, it's pretty insane for any snow lover and a great example as to why Japan is the powder capital of the world.
Closed to public vehicles, the world famous snow corridor is accessible through a network of pedestrian routes, cable cars and buses, all passing through drifts up to fifteen metres in height. Holy fu....
[part title="Mt Baker, USA"]
There are few roads that actually are part of snowboarding folklore, but the legendary (is that just a ubiquitous term for the mountain now?) Mt Baker road gap is one of them, still one of the most iconic kicker spots... In The World (this article is a bit Top Gear...).
Since the first TB film in 1990, this has been a proving ground of sorts for backcountry kicker enthusiasts, incuding GB's James Stentiford, the first Brit (?) to have hit the beast.
A true snowboarding road if ever there was one.
Any roads we've missed? If you think so, feel free to send any snaps you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org, we might even publish it!