Gear and Beer: K2 Panoramic Splitboard, 14th Star Brewing Co. Maple Breakfast Stout

K2 Panoramic Splitboard

k2 panoramic kitBackcountry, sidecountry and uphill travel are a growing segment in snow sports – and not just in the ski sector – as more snowboard manufacturers also offer splitboards in their seasonal line up. The Panoramic is K2 Snowboarding’s go-to splitboard and has now been available for four seasons.

The Panoramic features an all-terrain rocker; a flat base with rocker at the nose and tail. This shape claims to offer enough lift for floating on powder while maintaining maximum contact in ski mode. Bamboo strips in the core add strength to the base and a flexible tip and tail help initiate turns, which is welcome assistance against the rigidity of the included Voile plates.

This board is available to purchase alone or as a kit with Voile hardware and K2 skins, making it a good choice for beginners entering the sport since almost all the components are included. The directional shape of the board, its’ light weight, and set-back stance aid in turning and control of the board during both up- and downhill travel, again making this a good choice for those transitioning from downhill snowboarding. The rocker is fairly minimal and the board has a low profile, which can make downhill turns feel responsive but can stunt uphill travel if ski tips get hung up in heavy snow. The top sheet has a matte finish which tends to hold onto snow more than the smooth and glossy materials that are typically used.

As part of the kit set up, K2 skins come pre-cut to match the shape of the sidecut and length of the skis. Low profile “ZClip” attachment points clip quickly and easily into eyelets on the nose and tail of each board minimizing the opportunity for attachments to slide off or the skin to shift. No problems with collecting snow or skins peeling off when climbing.

k2 skinsK2 also offers an upgraded baseplate/binding as part of their integrated “Kwicker” system. K2’s pin-less plate, binding and boot system is designed to cut weight and speed up the transition between walk and ride modes. The Clicker lives on.

Have fun exploring new or favorite terrain on this board and be sure to go forth safely.

Available in sizes from 154 to 168 cm. $599.95 for board only or $899.95 with Voile kit and K2 skins



14th Star Brewing Co. Maple Breakfast Stout

maple-breakfast-stoutThe head brewer and owner, Steve Gagner, dreamed up 14th Star Brewery while serving in Afghanistan. Now, he creates traditional varieties with a nod to the local flavors found in his hometown, St. Albans, Vermont – aka Maple City USA. Maple sugaring season is right around the corner and there’s no better time to start thinking about all the ways to enjoy it.

14th Star’s Maple Breakfast Stout pays homage to the long tradition of sugaring in Vermont with well-planned and locally sourced ingredients. This dark brown stout holds a short, foamy head when poured into a pint glass. A combination of malts produce toasty aromas of chocolate and coffee. Sweetness from pure Vermont maple syrup from St. Albans and honey from French Hill Apiary (also in St. Albans) balance the barely there hoppinesss and roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. Oats added to the malt lend a full, smooth mouthfeel.

This 5.5% ABV brew is so flavorful and complex, you’ll want to order a second round. Available on draft in select locations across Central and Northern Vermont or stop by 14th Star Brewery during the Vermont Maple Festival (or anytime) for a tasting and growler fill up. While you’re there, pick up a 22 ounce bottle and take a look at the label artwork featuring Gagner’s grandfather tending to a maple evaporator.

Hilary DelRoss

Hilary grew up in southern New England where she developed her love of nature and outdoor recreation, including learning to ski at Rhode Island's only ski hill. After exploring the Rocky and Cascade mountain ranges, she transplanted to the Green Mountain State where she snowboards, skis, hikes, bikes, kayaks and stokes campfires from her home base in Montpelier.