What’s to love most about the Legendary Banked Slalom?
For some, it’s probably the paella. For others, it may be camping under stars in the parking lot of Washington’s Mt Baker Ski Area, or the thrill of racing through dozens of trying turns in the name of duct tape glory. With 32 years of this speedy, sideways-sliding tradition under our boots, it’s high time we inquire what keeps hundreds of snowboarders coming back to this race in the Cascades year after year. Out of the dozens we asked—from big names to unsung heroes of the annual event—a majority offered the same reason for their return: Community.
Each year’s gathering brings fresh faces and seasoned veterans alike, some from near, some from afar. Some come from a season spent slashing powder, others from sliding rails in the streets. Some come with hard boots, others with speed suits, some without highbacks—the list goes on. Each rider brings their own flavor, approach, and mentality to the mountain, but each rider connects with the next while revisiting snowboarding’s roots at this iconic event. Differences be damned; we’re all snowboarders, near-family.
On-par with powder, community has proven to be one of snowboarding’s greatest driving forces. We have the latter to thank for propelling us through another memorable weekend full of banks, berms and even a bowl-to-tunnel turn at Mt. Baker this February. Here’s to 32 years of the banked slalom, and to all the people that make it so legendary.