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Baker Banked Slalom, Bitches

The Legendary Mt Baker Banked Slalom is not as much about riding a gnarly course as it is about kicking it with homies at the raddest mountain in the world, at least, that was my experience. It’s a contest where all the pomp and frills of a normal contest are stripped away and the purist of hardcore shred energy beams down on you like a ray of light. Other than that, I simply didn’t know how else to explain LBS. Included are real life pictures of my notepad, and other pictures I managed to take with a broken iPhone during the event.

Friday 2/10

The Yobeat crew packed their bags and headed north towards Baker. Brooke is afraid of being anywhere without cell service so we stayed in Bellingham to get drunk at some of her ol’ college stomping grounds. First stop was a brewery called Boundary Bay. I started things off right by finishing beer left on the table by the pussies seated there before us.

After a few more pints and delicious soft pretzels we moved onward to the Ranch Room, a dive-bar inhabited predominantly by drunk senior citizens. I’ll admit that ordering whiskey and coke with “the cheapest whiskey you have” may not have been the wisest decision, but it made for an interesting night.


The Beaver inn. There is free popcorn there but Jared suspects Brooke stole it. I run the jukebox for a while but when I get back to the table I find that Brooke has actually fallen asleep at the bar. I forgot that 9 0’clock was past her bedtime.

Saturday 2/11

8:00 a.m. Wake up with a splitting headache and the taste of cheap whiskey in my mouth. Momentarily I hate the world but I am reassured that it is awesome when Brooke starts puking out of the window on the Mt. Baker highway.

9:30 The sun poking through the clouds momentarily shows me a number of epic jagged peaks.

9:37 a.m. Run into Toby! Toby is a Yobeat contributor and all around rad dude. We took a couple hot laps as we demonstrated our beautiful mustaches.

 

 

Toby introduces me to Laura Hadar, and I do the best I can to keep the words “I love you” from coming out of my mouth. YOMERICA!

12:30 p.m. Meet up with friends Calvin and Addison who demonstrate one of Baker’s mottos: “Huge to flat.” These three words defined my time boarding a powder-less Baker.

At 4:00 p.m., in probably the only legitimate way to incorporate “freestyle” into the Banked Slalom, a hand plant contest begins. The judges pick one person for each division to have a guaranteed spot in next year’s slalom, which is a pretty big deal. Zac Marben wins it for pro men, and Yobeat friend Colleen Quigley takes it for the girls. Needless to say, people were getting gnarly.

7:00 p.m. Addison and Calvin lead me through the damp, dark Washington woods to a metal and wooden trailer with a bunch of crazy looking bicycles outside. I meet the people who rent the place, past slalom am winner Craig Newbury, and professional snowboarder “he-who-shall-not-be-named.” After some vagabonds and I put down a few cold ones, we promptly walk to the bar where the party is. Just outside the place, we are harassed by a bunch of Washington cops, who are hell-bent on being dicks. Luckily, friend Mallory convinces the cops that we were simply picking up empties on the road and wanted to recycle them.

The Frequency after party sucked aside from the band “Metalmucil,” and Addison questioning a bunch of lurking cops about whether or not they had ever killed anyone.

There was a man offering free shuttle rides on a donations basis to help people get past the five cop cars sitting outside the bar waiting to fuck people over. We got dropped off at the K2 house and debauchery ensues. Highlights consist of Travis Parker braiding a girl’s hair, a Banjo hootenanny, and a pretty intense rap battle between myself, a dude named Feta, Ben Lynch, and various others. At about 3 a.m. we walk back to the woods where I curl up on the floor between the other 12 people passed out in the small trailer.

Sunday 11/12

8:00 a.m. Wake up, at least five more bodies have packed themselves into this small trailer. Even the kitchen floor is now completely occupied and impossible to navigate through.

At 11:00 a.m. it starts to snow.

For the Pro Section of the banked slalom, I took my spot among the rest of the raucous local crowd at a place referred to as the party cave. It is on a tight corner spot where locals try to vibe out Travis Rice. Amidst a cloud of weed smoke, and a sea of beer cans, even the consistent presence of Jonny Law could not bust up this party.

This dude, a.k.a. fun Police, screams at every single filmer and photographer within the ropes of the slalom. unless of course you are the local newspaper, then you can stand wherever you want. Basically, he was looking out for the rider’s safety, but MAN, this dude was being a dick. Never before have I seen Brooke flip out like this. I was scared, and I was 20 feet away.

I consistently stuffed my face all day with the delicious food at the top of the course.  That food was for the riders? Oops.

4:00 People start running the course switch. This is where T. Rice finally struts his stuff and ends up taking second. Apparently, when he sold his soul to the Devil, the pact didn’t include a podium spot at the Banked Slalom for Pro men, just going switch.

The awards were long and hot, but the podium was full of super-duper-stars. It was a nice end to things.

On the way home, I talk to Jared about the possible filming locations of Johny Tsunami, and we see a sign on the side of a building that says “As seen in Twilight.”

Here are Brooke’s pictures. Results are over here.

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Comments (10)

  1. luckyyy you got to meet hadar!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  2. please keep coming with good last names for Marcel! Gomez is the best so far.

    and yes, fuck the police.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  3. Damn it a. That was auto correct, i swear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  4. The part about Brooke puking out the window made my morning. The photo of Russell Winfield is priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  5. Stoked on the new intern. Agree with all thee above^^^, especially Benni

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  6. He’s got a “?” right after “gomez!” Lookidat! Ha!

    #dancemusic

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Oh you’re talking about his notes. I think I’m still hungover.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Next Gen winner as LibSon was awesome too.

    YOBEAT IS DRUNK!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  8. although i wouldn’t be brave enough to down someone else’s beer (wouldn’t wanna catch mono or meningitis) this must be an awesome job: going to cool places, meeting cool people (HADAR!), not to mention snowboarding…like…all the time!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  9. scotty fucking rules!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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