Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Year Another Legend

The 26th Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom went down over the weekend. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@boredyak) already know that Harry Kearney won Pro Men's, Maelle Ricker won her fifth consecutive Pro Women's and that Terje Haakonsen won the switch run. You won't find that last one on Baker's site, but I assure you it happened. No duct tape trophy for that, just some commemorative goggles that ended up in the crowd. Ricker won hers with her broken hand tucked inside her jacket. Rumor has it that Maria DeBari hired Tanya Harding to smash her in the knee with a pipe, but Maelle got a hand in the way, saving her knee and her gold duct tape. I started that rumor, of course.

You better aks somebody.

I didn't race this year as I yet again failed to have my name drawn from the lottery. I did get to shred two days on a legendary hill with equally extraordinary folk. Saturday it was windy enough for the powers that be to shut the diesel off and kill the lifts early - save the one lift that shuttled riders to the top of the course. Then, it dumped eight inches overnight, tapering off for a mostly sunny opening on Sunday. My friends and I showed up for first chair only to find that two of us forgot our boots. Team Rental Boots still shredded the pow mercilessly. Honestly, the rentals were as comfortable as my own boots. I took the occasion to ride a couple different borrowed and demo boards; a K2 Turbo Dream and a Bataleon Omni. Even with our lack of a local guide, we found fresh snow until it was time to return the smelly boots. Helluva day. We even managed to find a crew who barbecued a whole pig in the parking lot and provided dinner for a crowd. Didn't really expect that.

Look close enough and you might even see a race course.

Another year without running the race and I find the LBS to be all about friends. Friends from as far as Norway or as near as Bellingham, with Utah, Colorado and Seattle in between. I wish I could have caught up with everyone. Thanks goes out to all who provided me with hospitality and congrats to those who brought home the tape, came close, qualified, gained entry or just caught up with their own friends. You know what it's all about. Watch out next year in the Masters class, though. I'm aiming for the top. Only 364 training days left.

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