At this point in time, I am absolutely positive that everyone loves to read long rambling stories about me driving around in a car and doing stuff. But thanks to my graduation from college, the cross-country trips have been cut to a minimum and well, I never do anything anymore.
But I don’t have a job right now, or really, anything to do, and Mt. Baker’s Legendary Banked Slalom just happened to coincide perfectly with my unemployment. Originally this was just going to be a story about that, but seriously, Terje won for the 6th time and while the contest is always the most fun event of the year, it’s pretty hard to come up with a unique and interesting story about people making turns around gates for the 20th year in a row, so I’m spicing things up a bit and talking about myself a bunch. Also, I realized that the wonderful staff of Yo Beat was almost complete, so I’m calling this a reunion tour. Friday Feb. 6, 2003
I was pretty much positive that I wouldn’t make it to the contest on Friday because that is the story of my life. But, miracle of all miracles, my friends were driving up there at 10 in the morning, which is the perfect time to go snowboarding.
We rolled into Baker’s parking lot around noon, where the rain that had plagued the entire drive and apparently the mountain all morning was now falling as snow. The lodge was filled with very soggy competitors who were all on their way home. But I was still dry so I went to check out the course. Although visibility was less than perfect, I could kind of tell that if you messed up on your run, you’d get to make sweet powder turns through the middle of it.
I ran into Yo Beat staff photographer Tim Zimmerman who wanted me to show him around the mountain. Basically, any Baker local, present or former is inundated with this request about a million times a day during the LBS. But I agreed because Tim does work for Yo Beat, and this is a reunion tour.
Pow….all for me!
We headed up Chair 6 where there was pretty much nothing but powder and fog. In other words, it was completely sick, Baker style. After that I kind of lost interest in the race and opted to make turns in untouched pow for the rest of the day, but I heard Nate Holland bested Terje’s time and finished the day in the lead.
The RDS Park
Here I am playing with stitch assist on my new camera. It didn’t really work. The bowls at RDS.
After riding all afternoon and then driving back down to Bellingham, I thought, boy I have a lot of energy, I should drive to Vancouver and skate the new RDS park. So I did. The park is one of those strange mall parks that’s all clean and you have to pay too much to skate, but it does have a ginourmous street course, two mini bowls, a mini ramp and a ridiculously huge replica of the DC ramp.
It also had a group of 50 kids from Jesus camp, who all decided to get in my way in particular. But the park was fun and even though my legs stopped working after about 5 minutes, it was a good time.
The heated vert session at RDS.
Saturday Feb. 7, 2003
In case you couldn’t tell, Friday was my big day, so again, I had some trouble making it to the mountain before noon. But once I got there I decided to actually devote some time to the contest, which was a good decision. This year, perhaps because it was the 20th, Baker decided to hold a retro race. Not only were competitors required to wear retro gear (‘89 or before), but also they actually had to be O.G. You know, the Tom Burt’s and Tom Sims of the world.
Wait, what year is this?
Handicaps were given for things such as no highbacks, speedsuits, boards before ’85 and duct tape. And while the equipment and outfits were pretty sweet, these guys were totally into it, riding in the full old school style. I was especially entertained when someone (and please note and am not O.G. so I wasn’t sure who most of the people were) came complete disconnected from his duct tape bindings mid turn. And of course Kyle Phillips frontside grab off the third turn was pretty alright as well.
So retro it’s not even in focus. Tom Burt.
Tom Burt won the retro race, and Terje had the fastest time of the day, but enough about that, the real highlight of Saturday is always the salmon BBQ. As usual, the food was amazing, especially the Sashimi.
Sunday Feb. 8, 2003
On my way to Baker for the third day in a row I remembered why I moved to Portland and never snowboard anymore. That drive gets old to say the least, but I also was feeling pressure to make it to Seattle to meet up with Yo Beat music editor Kevin Peckham after the contest. Some quick journalism math told me that it would require about 8 hours of driving on top of the snowboarding and lodge lurking that was part of the Slalom. But I’m tough and I couldn’t call this story a Yo Beat reunion tour if I didn’t go.
So anyway, I’m going to make the write up on the finals quick. The course was basically perfect (flat light aside): not too icy, not too powdery. Everyone got two runs, but the contest was decided by the first. Terje won as usual, Seth Wescott finished 2nd in his 4th consecutive contest this year. Nate Holland’s big mouth obviously helped him weigh more and get down the hill fast cause he finished third. (Love you Nate!)
I don’t have funny things to say about the women because they weren’t in the Winter X Games boardercross so I don’t know things about them off the top of my head. Anyway, Stacey Thomas won, Karleen Jefferey got 2nd (and will have to wait until next year to see if she can break the tie for most wins (6) with Terje) and Fabienne Reuteler finished third.
1. Terje Haakonsen
2. Seth Wescott
3. Nate Holland
4. Josh Dirksen
5. Peter Bauer
6. Temple Cummins
7. Dustin Anderson
8. Rob Kingwill
9. Tyler Lepore
10. Joey McGuire
1. Stacey Thomas
2. Karleen Jeffery
3. Fabienne Reuteler
(For complete results hit up mtbaker.us)
Shuksan did decide to come out at one point Sunday. So pretty.
I had to beeline it to Seattle after the contest, but it was worth it. The trip involved beer and IHOP and Kevin may have lost his job at Yo Beat to his friend Mike but I’m still waiting for someone to contribute something.
Kevin and Mike fight it out for the Yo Beat music editor job.
I’m ending this tour here because my memory card on my camera filled up and it’s already old news anyway. But the Banked Slalom ruled once again, Baker is the best place to snowboard ever and the staff members of Yo Beat are still lazy bastards