The 28th annual Legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom took over the Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington last weekend with an eclectic mix of the world’s best riders from all realms of snowboarding–backcountry, boardercross, halfpipe, and slopestyle–all racing the steep berm-filled course. For nearly 30 years, hopeful riders have made the pilgrimage to the Northwest for their chance to earn the highly coveted first prize: golden duct tape, and years of bragging rights.
Check out the top moments from the contest via Instagram photos below and head to Snowboarder magazine for a full recap here.
“Say your prayers” is painted above the start shack at the top of the Legendary Banked Slalom course; no matter their religious beliefs, all riders sent out positive vibes before dropping into the steep and twisted technical course. One false move while maneuvering through the course and a rider could launch into the gates, a berm, or a crowd of unsuspecting spectators. There was plenty of carnage at this year’s event, and only those who made no mistakes placed in the top 10.
Photo: @robkingwill Chapel of the sacred mountain. #lbs #avalon7connect #avalon7
The key to performing well in the Baker Banked is a fresh wax job to make sure you can move as quickly as possible through the varied terrain on the course. This year it snowed a foot the day before the race, which made the course run exceptionally slow. Racers waxed for powder conditions, which they experienced near the top, but also had to prepare for hard-packed conditions at the bottom.
Photo: @vanssnow Austrian powder champion @wolfgangnyvelt waxing up for his final runs @mtbakerski #lbs2013.
There were more than 100 participants in this year’s race, and only one person was allowed on the course at a time, so it took quite a while to get through all the racers. Luckily for everyone in attendance, it dumped snow the day before, so many hiked up to the top of Mt. Baker and shredded deep powder before their turn on the course. Racing and riding sweet, deep powder all in the same day? That’s part of what makes the Baker Banked so legendary.
Photo: @leannepelosi Thank you Mount Baker for keeping the soul of snowboarding alive. Best weekend with amazing people. Hike up the famous arm! Yeeeehawwww #legendarybakerbanked #regram @colleenquigley
Following the heated contest, the duct tape trophies were awarded to the winners at an after party at the base of Mt. Baker. This year, all attendees were treated to a smoked salmon dinner, and plenty of Washington whiskey. Riders also earned Pendleton blankets, which pro riders Travis Rice, Hana Beaman, Leanne Pelosi, and Laura Hadar are sporting in the photo above.
Photo: @hadeslife Winning team! @travisrice with some boss ladies @hibeams @leannepelosi !! So good!!! #bakerbanked #lbs #legendladies #hanabeamanback7dthebakerroadgapthatswhatthefukisup !
Terje Haakonsen was the 2012 Baker Banked champ and had previously won seven contests in a row, but this year Olympic gold medalist Seth Westcott unseated the Norwegian powerhouse. Seth is a boardercross racer, but since the X Games nixed all boardercross events this year, the Baker Banked was the biggest contest for Seth this season. He earned the coveted golden duct tape for his race time of 1.33.221–a mere 0.6 seconds faster than second place finisher and fellow boardercross racer Graham Watanabe. Haakonsen had to settle for eighth place this year, which quieted his usual braggadocio tendencies.
Photo: @travisrice Seth Wescott takes Baker Gold! Much respect to a true snowboarder..! Graham Watanabe and J Rob taking 2nd and 3rd!
Head here to see more photos from the 28th annual Baker Banked.
Results: Pro Women
1. Maelle Ricker 1:37.065
2. Laura Hadar 1:40
3. Dominique Vallee 1:43.508
4. Colleen Quigley 143.667
5. Leanne Pelosi 144.450
1. Seth Wescott 1:33.221
2. Graham Watanabe 1:33.801
3. Jason Robinson 1:34.045
4. Rob Fagan 1:34.318
5. Nate Holland 1:34.873
6. Travis Rice 1:35.231
7. Harry Kearney 1:35.285
8. Terje Haakonsen 1:35.662
9. Temple Cummins 1:36.183
10. Rob Kingwill 1:36.197