The 2013 Smash Life Banked Slalom: A Snowboard Commune at Alpental, WA

The 2013 Smash Life Banked Slalom: A Snowboard Commune at Alpental, WA

Posted by: Colin / added: 01.21.2013 / Back to What Up

“My name’s Bruce,” he announced.

Bruce had just parked his trailer within six inches of my Subaru, which would also serve as my home for the next few nights, then sent it careening through the side-view mirror when he failed to block out the back tires. But we had a good little commune forming in Alpental, WA’s Lot 3—Tipton Power’s Dolphin, Matt Edgers mobile home for the winter and Shane Stalling’s Dodge Dakota tucked into the back corner of the lot. We had just finished digging the course for the A Rob Smash Life Banked Slalom and it was looking pretty loose. It was a setting in which Aaron Robinson himself would have been right at home—a DIY gypsy scene for a weekend of railing berms and good company. He probably would have befriended Bruce himself.

It wasn't surprising then that Bruce woke us up by blaring the ‘90s techno sounds of Prodigy at 8am Saturday morning, welcoming us to race day. Bruce aside, bluebird skies and an inversion made for fun riding on the upper mountain, but the shaded course stayed nice and fast. To rider’s right of Chair 1 sat 24 turns winding through towering old growth across a series of benched-out traverses and tight berms before releasing into high-speed sweepers down low. It was a formidable course to say the least—many were calling it the rowdiest banked slalom they had seen. I experienced this firsthand on my first practice lap and flew backwards out of the fourth turn, crushing my helmet and ending my day (helmets are mandatory at Summit events and if you attend next year be sure to bring one). A certain media counterpart prowled the top of the course looking for ibuprofen and a little liquid encouragement. A few racers threw in the towel after their first course inspection. Aaron would have been proud.

And then there was the racing—two runs, top time counts. The ladies, younger generation and masters went first, wrapping up their runs by noon and posting top times in the one minute, twenty-five seconds range. A bit of course maintenance and the men dropped in. It was obvious that Matt Edgers and Blair Habenicht were riding faster than the rest—they had helped dig the day before, so it was also appropriate. And when the sun disappeared and the last of 126 racers made their way to the base area for awards and a set from The Riot Act, it was Blair and Matt taking first and second respectively, followed closely by Alpental locals Jay Kelly and Marcel Dolak.

All told, the event raised a little over $2,000 for the A Rob Plant A Seed Project, helping the next generation get on-slope in Aaron’s hometown of Whitefish, MT. As the party migrated back to Lot 3, plans were already taking shape for the 2014 edition of Smash Life—look for a possible race series between Big Sky, MT and Alpental, WA and sign up early to secure your spot.

A huge thanks goes out to Joe Pope, Shane Stalling, Stumpy and all the diggers, riders and revelers in attendance. And, of course, to Aaron Robinson for the inspiration and dedication that brought us all together to share the simple joy of digging, turning, and the one-of-a-kind camaraderie of the Smash Life snowboard tribe.

RESULTS

ADULT MEN

1 HABENICHT BLAIR 1.10.72
2 EDGERS MATT 1.11.73
3 KELLY JAY 1.12.70
4 DOLAK MARCEL 1.14.40
5 ROBINSON MATTHEW 1.14.71

WOMEN

1 BORNEMAN ROBYN 1.26.76
2 BHAGWANDIN KHAI 1.29.71
3 KOBELIN KAYLA 1.31.46
4 HOSS KARI 1.32.80
5 GOMEZ ISABELLA 1.33.20

GROMS

1 COLE KEALA 1.24.86
2 SOLTANE MATTEO 1.25.17
3 BESSELO FRANK 1.32.84

MASTERS

1 COLE KIMO 1.23.61
2 VERNER KEN 1.25.13
3 NAVARRO ADRIAN 1.29.34

For full results, click here.

Main Image: Jennica Lowell.




Comments:

Posted by T Bos on Feb 23rd, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

T

Awesomeness!



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