The Best Event in Snowboarding: Mt.Baker LBS

Mt. Baker Banked Slalom, recognized as the Legendary Banked Slalom (LBS), is a snowboarding competition held every year since 1985 at Mt. Baker Ski Area, Washington State, USA. While the whole World was watching the Olympics this year, tons of snowboarders met at the occasion of the legendary Mt.Baker Banked Slalom in a smallish resort in North America, an event where amateurs challenge the pros.
20. 3. 2014 Comments: 0

The LBS is considered as the forerunner to the boardcross events, and has been won by some of the biggest names in the history of snowboarding, Terje Haakonsen, Xavier de Le Rue or Craig Kelly to name a few. The LBS is shrouded in legends but none more than that of Terje. He is almost semantic with all the stories and past races and no one has won the race more times than him; 7 trophies over a 17 year period to be precise. This time was no different. Terje beated everybody switch in 1:41:00. Just for comparison, this year's fastest man Harry Kearney finished the course in 1:43.35......riding normal.

Terje passing and beating everybody switch.


The first race held in 1985 was organized by Bob Barci, the father of North West snowboarding and Tom Sims, the founder of Sims Snowboards. With a few other riders at the top of only 500-foot-long course, they dashed through 15 gates with only a few onlookers present. The decision to put on the banked slalom at Mt. Baker eventuated from other ski resorts attitude towards snowboarders, not allowing them to hit the slopes in North America at that time.

LBS 2014

Every year, the best riders from all over the World come to test themselves on Mt. Baker’s ground. This year's 29th season was another remainder of the fact that snowboarding is still pure despite its "big contests" and media blitz. Be the young or old, all participants agree that this event is only about snowboarding. It was for the very first time that the organizers have changed the slalom course since 85'. The starting line was moved about a half of a kilometer higher adding more gates than in previous years. Only the good old shack that says "Say Your Praiers" at the starting point remaines the same.

"Say your prayers"

Amateurs meet pros

The slalom was one of the most difficult courses in the race’s history. Even a professional snowboarder and legend Terje Haakonsen stated the course was not easy on legs.  Mt. Baker hasn’t had much snow this season and the course had the added difficulty of icy, hard packed conditions.  Many said it was the most brutal slalom ever.......  And names like Jack Mitrani, Gigi Rüf, Jamie Lynn or Marie-France Roy are no slouches at riding. First competitors lined up at the start on Friday morning. The whole slalom is divided into two heats and only 50% of all riders from the heats pit strengths against each other to win the famous Duct Tape Trophy (a traditional trophy made from a duct tape).

Famous golden duck trophy


All pro riders made it to the final except Gigi who was disqualified. The finals were divided into two runs and only the first time from both runs is announced to keep everybody in a tension. And the winners are.........

Pro Men Harry Kearney 1:43.35 Norwood, Colorado 20
Pro Women Marie-France Roy 2:00.78 Les Eboulements, Quebec 30
Pro Masters Pat Abramson      1:50.48 Boulder, Colorado 41
Pro Women Masters Marni Yamada 2:02.64 Seattle, Washington 35
Next Generation Jaydn Chomlack 2:07.76 Whistler, British Columbia 11
Juniors Hank Kennedy 1:54.02 Glacier, Washington 15
Younger Amateurs Jacob Krugmire 1:57.66 University Place, Washington 17
Older Amateurs Spencer Cordovano 1:51.20 Hailey, Idaho 26
Women Amateurs       Martina Nemcova 2:03.42 Boulder, Colorado 23
Women Masters Kelly Edmonds 2:09.33 Shoreline, Washington 34
Masters Scott Reynolds 1:51.67 Rossland, British Columbia 31
Mid Masters Tim Gallagher 1:58.35 Mammoth Lakes, California 44
Grand Masters Jay Moore 2:01.01 Bozeman, Montana 50

Thank god for snowboarding and thank god for The Baker Banked Slalom to keep reminding everyone how great awesome riding a snowboard with friends is.

20. 3. 2014 Comments: 0

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