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ED: We realize if we just post this story and gallery you’ll all complain, so before you bother, here’s a video of the event that happened a few weeks back at Mission Ridge that Garrett Read made. It looked fun.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if you’re still paying attention, Paul Stanley, who’s more of a speed guy, wrote this about the Bomber Banked Slalom that went down on February 16th.
Mission Ridge is one of the highest, coldest and driest ski areas in the Cascade Mountain Range and this past weekend it was home to the first annual Bomber Banked Slalom. This was the third banked slalom course I’ve been to here in Washington these past four weeks, first Alpental’s Smash Life Banked Slalom and the Legendary Banked Slalom at Mt. Baker. The Baker course is always gnarly but somehow I was convinced this year that the Alpental course may have been tougher. Then I got to the top of the course at Mission Ridge designed by local legend Joey McGuire. I nearly pissed myself.
The upper section of the course consisted of eight big, steep banked turns that descended down a thin track along the Bomber Bowl. The track would get so narrow in spots that you had to point it or else trying to slow yourself down would propel you off the track and down the steep, hard packed bowl. Turn eight was a killer for a lot of the 130+ riders who showed up. Some were calling it ‘The Cradle’ for how tight of a turn it was. You could actually feel some serious G-Force! Not only that, but right after it was a straightaway that was ever-so-slightly uphill and those who fell on turn eight were lucky to get a push from the fine folks apart of the terrain park staff who also helped build and maintain the course.
After the straightaway came a couple of tight turns through a small pocket of trees that led to some longer, faster and much mellower turns on the way to the finish line. While I was shooting near one of these turns, I heard some screaming and I turned around to see an unoccupied snowboard flying through the course, nearly taking out one of the riders, and then shooting off one of the banked turns at the bottom of the course catching upwards of 40-60 feet of air. I don’t know why I am sharing this moment of my day as I sit here with no photo or video evidence of the craziness, nor does it really relate to the actual even. But it was definitely one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen. To make things even better I also saw a very small child scorpion in the harshest manner you can possibly imagine, but I think he was alright. All in all, this course was gnarly in so many ways, I almost forgot to mention the fact that there were even sharp jagged rocks that appeared below the starting gate and on one of the turns later in the day.
I really loved the ambition and the ruggedness of the entire hand-built course. From the people falling right out of the starting gate to all those who got worked by The Cradle that was turn eight, this event was just an introduction to what I hope will be an even radder one next year!
Groms: Milo Malkoski
Youth: Jonah Schlicker
Womens: Jenni Novak
Masters: Mike Cummins
Adults: Kris Melton
Kudos to Joey McGuire, Erik Baker, Josh Neumeier, Jp Sokolowski and the entire terrain park staff at Mission Ridge for putting on such a rad event. Also a big thanks to Coal, Defcon, diecutstickers.com, Iron Horse Brewery, Lib Tech, and Revolution Snow and Skate.