Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Legendary Banked Slalom at Baker

I was really fortunate this year to by having an opportunity to compete in the legendary banked slalom at Mt. Baker.  I've always heard really great thing about the competition, but never competed.  It is pretty hard to get in for locals and almost impossible for non-locals without an invite.  Thank you to EVO gear for inviting me to take one of their two spots.  The weather the first day was typical northwest weather.  The skies were grey and the snow was blowing.  I'd never competed in a banked slalom, so the only thing running through my head was, "GO FAST!"  The first couple of turns were really tight, so when I gunned it out of the starter booth, I pulled off a beautiful cartwheel.  I am pretty sure that cartwheels aren't part of banked slaloms.  The US Forest Service put a slight damper on my day as well.  Oh well, maybe the next day would be better.  Saturday was a much nicer day.  The sun was bling'n and the course was icy.  My goal for the day was to stay on my feet and avoid aerobatics  Unfortunately my time was slightly too slow.  I have to say I am not too bummed.  My time still topped some pro's and the women that made it to the finals have been doing the slalom for years.  One of the ups to the banked slalom was the awesome food.  At the top of the course there was a roasted red pepper cream cheese dip with crackers, fresh fruit and chocolate fondue, and sourdough with cheese fondue.  There was also a salmon feed on Saturday, which I think caused the food poisoning that haunted me all Saturday into Sunday.  I have to say that food poisoning is the most horrible thing ever and I would never wish that upon anyone else.  The banked slalom was an amazing time even with the lows.  I saw a lot of familiar faces from EVO gear, POW gloves, and Spacecraft.  Hopefully I'll have a crack at the course again next year, minus the food poisoning.