Race In The Mt Baker Banked Slalom

DO YOU FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED?

The legendary start gates of the legendary race. Photo: Tim Zimmermann
The legendary start gates of the legendary race. Photo: Tim Zimmerman

Where? Mt Baker, Washington state, USA.

When? Annually around February

What is it? One of the oldest – and coolest – competitions in the snowboard calendar. This is little more than a race down a ditch. Flags show the turns if it’s a white out – which if often is. But the heritage is second to none: Craig Kelly has won it before, Terje famously won it riding switch, and pretty much every super pro in the world has tested his or her mettle against the mighty course. As always, this year’s prize will be a roll of duct tape.

Will I need a helmet? Not really, but you can if you want to.

Can I do it in fancy dress? Again – if you want – definitely chose retro snowboard gear if you can – but underneath this event lies quite a serious competition, and entry places are seriously limited (enter the lottery at mtbakerskiarea.com), so you might be spunking your chance if you do. What chance do I have of winning it? Pretty good if you’re a decent rider. Not much if Terje turns up. This is all about guts and technique.

How fast am I likely to go? Quite fast, but not much quicker than if you were simply racing your mates down to the apartment or something.

What passes as a bluebird on Mt Baker. Photo: Colin Wiseman
What passes as a bluebird on Mt Baker. Photo: Colin Wiseman
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