Saturday, March 2, 2013

Legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom 2013

Dustin Anderson (far left) was posing for me when a bunch of chumps got in our way.
Alright cats, let me tell you what's real about this year's Legandary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom. Why now? The day after I got back from the LBS I flew to Japan and who wants to write about Mt. Baker when you could be riding pow in Japan. Not I.

First off, some greats were there (LBS, not Japan): Terje, Palm, Gigi, TRice, Müller. Some Olympians: Holland, Watanabe and Wescott, who took home the gold for the Men. His first. Maelle Ricker won for the ladies. Her seventh. In a row. If there's an asterisk (there isn't) it was that Maria Debari wasn't there. I don't know why not. Filming?

While we're talking about winners, the Men's Masters winning time (Jake 'minibike' Price - 1:35.167) beat the Pro Men's Masters time (Marcel Dolak - 1:36.678). Actually the top three places in Masters would have won Pro Masters. I guess the joke's on them? I asked last year's Masters winner Adam Haynes whether he would bump up to Pro Masters and he declined in his customary, humble way. His sixth in Masters would have been second this year in the Pro Masters field. Catch the rest of that interview in the current issue (10.4) of frequency: The Snowboarder's Journal on finer newsstands now.

Missing from the winners category, the belt buckles. Open Pros got race gates instead. Bamboo poles and all. Ask Marcel Dolak if he minds. Spoiler Alert, he's still stoked. He seems like the kind of guy who might wear one of those belt buckles, though. With the jacket. And a cowboy hat. Maybe it's all in my head. Dude lives in Seattle somewhere. Redmond. Not exactly the wild west. They also got Lib Tech Water(surf)boards and the customary raven statuette.

Speaking of shit that was missing, no switch race, at least officially. I don't know the story, maybe they ran out of time, but I feel like the awards were finished early this year. They did award the Andre-nuski rivalry award at Milano's after the official awards, though, and I didn't go, so that could be something.

The sportsmanship award went to a girl whose name I missed. She was finishing her run when she came upon a slower rider in front of her. She didn't get upset, she didn't pass. She slowed. She shouted. Words of encouragement. 'You go girl' and 'Finish strong.' Love to hear it.

Unknown rider extends ass and hand in opposite directions, remains erect.
Also missing was the mid-course party cave. No cave. Smaller party. Even with (because of?) the legal weed. The fact that the sheriff's department was on the scene, in skis, might have had something to do with that.

Sighted at the location of the cave-less party, OG Mt. Baker Hardcores Eric Janko, Carter Turk and Mike 'Tex' Devenport. Longer pony tails and gray hairs. Legends, all three. I've seen maybe 10 pictures ever of Turk. He didn't even show up to accept his Craig Kelly award two years ago. Tex is the one I'm most familiar with. He's in some later movies. Maybe Let it Ride or Platinum even. Ballsy, big-mountain stuff. Stories of dropping four stories to flat. Earning his stripes the hard way.

From the same site, I watched the course gobble fools up. And by 'fools' I mean even big-shot pros like Terje. Cat went off-course, boosted a method and drowned a cameraman in spray before ducking out ahead of the awards ceremony. I guess if you're going to leave before your gold tape (last year) you might as well leave before your 8th place, too. What a guy.

This year, Jamie Lynn got the Craig Kelly Thunderbird Award and I've never seen anyone so proud of anything before in my life. You could tell how much it meant to him from the second his name was called out by last year's winner Jeff Fulton. Lots of love coming from that man for those who came before and the current tribe.

Proud Jamie sandwiched by Jeffs Fulton (left) and Galbraith
Once again, the Older Amateurs podium was swept by Baker employees. Home field advantage kids. Deal with it.

Jason Robinson won the 2nd Annual Handplant Contest. He took home a raven-shaped Lib Tech board, which he tried to make out with. Des Melancon deserves props for the sickest single trick, a steezy stalled frontside invert.

J-Rob bestiality boardplay
Oh yeah and keep your eyes open for some demos of next year's gear. I got my hands on the Anon M2 goggles, Jones Aviator, Gnu Beast and Salomon Villain boards. I also might have something in the works with a binding company that will remain nameless until the ink dries.

Also in a coming post, I'll talk about Japan. Right now, I'm off to Montana and Moonlight Basin.

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