Growing up in Southern California, living in San Diego and being a surfer was the farthest thing from the cold snowy life of a Snowboard guide. Well after 16 years of guiding all disciplines of ski guiding. Eric is a world class guide at the top of the game and brings passion, creativity, safety and stoke to his backcountry guiding. With 30 years of snowboarding under his feet, his love for the mountains and sliding sideways are infectious. Spending his time between British Columbia, Alaska and the Sierra, Eric has spent a great deal of his life in the mountains and has had a diverse career over the many years.
Eric Layton was the first accredited American Mountain Guides Association, certified splitboard guide after having passed his ski exam on his splitboard in 2015. Eric’s knowledge and expertise for backcountry splitboarding, heli skiing and alpine climbing has led him to work as a guide for operations throughout the world. Including cutting edge operations such as Eagle Pass Heli Skiing
, Baldface Lodge and Third Edge Heli
Eric is he owner and lead guide at Splitboard Guides International
a team of certified splitboard guides offering a human powered guiding service throughout the Sierra Range and select destinations around the world. His company is committed to bringing avalanche awareness and education to the backcountry adventurer looking to expand their mountain skills. Eric always believes the first commitment is to you, the guided client. Your well being and safety are paramount. Eric can guide trips and courses for all skill. Eric prides his guiding on experience and safety to expand your backcountry snow skills. Come join him for the ultimate adventure, it’s what he does! When not in the mountains you can find Eric at the beach surfing down in Southern California and enjoying the ocean with his wife and two boys. Always thinking of the mountains, but grateful for the twists and turn that life brings!
Eric is also an ambassador for Chimera Snowboards.
Q & A with Eric Layton:
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in San Diego, California. In little town called University City-UC
Q: What was childhood like?
A: Full of adventures! I lived on a canyon and was 10 minutes to the
Ocean. We loved camping! Soccer, swimming, surfing and skateboarding were daily activities. We went to the beach a lot and I fell in love with surfing, which pretty much consumed me until I found splitboarding in the early 90s.
Q: What do you remember about your first day Splitboarding?
A: Walking!! No seriously, we were on the old Burton interface system then and they were giving me a lot of trouble that day. So we did what we knew worked and that was bootpacking. In the early days I remember walking more because of gear malfunctions. I got into splitboarding to escape the crowding scene at the resorts. I started my backcountry career bootpacking everything and eventually transitioned into splitboarding in the early 90’s to capture that feeling of surfing on the snow!
Q: Tell me about a day in the mountains or a trip that you’re proud of.
A: A good day in the mountains for me is all about the ( 3 S’s) SAFETY, STOKE, SHRED!! Safety being the most important!!
Q: What drew you to the phantom set up?
A: John and the crew are innovators in the SplitTech game building high performance driven splitboard products. All the Phantom tech setups offer clean lines delivering a powerful drive and response to your board.
Q: What’s something you love about the phantom setup that wasn’t on your radar when you got into it?
A: I initially got into Phantom for there Alpha bindings, but being the SplitTech innovators they are, they now offer everything a hardboot splitboarder needs. Their accessories to the bindings are second to none.
Q: What is your stance & how has it progressed since making the switch to Phantoms?
A: 0/+27. I've been riding this angle for a long time now and have a 21.5” stance. The solo cleats with there minimum weight are game changers if your looking to lighten up your kit!
Q: What is your favorite board to ride with your Phantom System?
A: I ride the Chimera Sceptre 162 or the Chimera Hermit 165. Salt Lake City, Utah- Rider owned and operated delivering backcountry tools for backcountry riders!
Q: Any tips & tricks with the Phantom system?
A: Don’t let the bindings ice up on overnight tours, keep them in your pack in your tent or cover them so the springs will rebound in the am. I find
this on wet spring tours, when you ride into camp, then leave the bindings on overnight.
Q: What do you appreciate the most about the mountains?
A: The peace and strength it brings and the opportunity to connect to nature with our sport.
Q: What does life balance look like to you?
A: Family, Health, Snowboarding. Trying to balance my snowboarding life with my family life can at times be difficult. Life on the road, chasing dreams and feeling a bit selfish sometimes blurs your vision, but having a loving supportive family has been a gift to me and I cherish it daily!!!
Q: Tell us about a mentor you've had in your life.
A: I have had a a lot of mentors along the way from different mountain disciplines. Each helping and teaching me their craft. No particular one person, yet a collective of savvy mountain minded individuals that helped me to deliver my style and continue with the art of guiding throughout the mountains.
Q: Favorite song?
A: Bro Hymm (Pennywise) it reminds me of a great chapter in my life and
reconnects me to the friends I've lost- The Surf/Skate/Snow, Punk scene of the 90’s
Q: What’s something you’d like to tell someone just getting into Splitboarding?
A: You're lucky - look at all this incredible equipment out there now. Find strong mountain partners with a sense of adventure and get out walking!!!