“They usually set up jumps at the end of the pond, not in the middle of it. Where are we even supposed to land?”
The random skier standing next to me atop the drop-in point asks me this like I have a good answer to his question. Hell, I don’t even know who the “they” he’s referring to would be– like there are any real event organizers here. Along with the rest of the randomness going down at this year’s Slush Cup, these little kickers were constructed sporadically by the first few that showed up to the hill this morning. With too much lip and flat, ice water landings the jumps don’t make much sense at all. It’s an ideal set up for the annual shenanigan fueled pond skim party at Mt. Baker.
A couple of friends and I showed up at 10 a.m. and were already cracking cold ones by 11. The session started small but grew to nearly 100 people by midday, and as the numbers increased the riders got looser. Unless you consider an ice bath on a hot summer day miserable, the consequences were low and allowed riders of all levels to test their luck on the skim. Before long a handful were hucking backflips off the jump that was constructed on an island of snow halfway through the pond, while others opted for surfing the entirety of the water and slashing waves of aquamarine snowmelt at whoever was in reach on the side. With hooligans, dogs, parents, kids and even a guinea pig named Chubby in attendance, the 2017 Mt. Baker Slush Cup felt like a big family barbeque, complete with Morgan “Coonman” Rose cooking up complimentary burgers for hungry riders and plenty of beer going around for the thirsty ones.
The Slush Cup serves as a perfect start to summer to say the least–a day-rager you wish would never end. But come 7 p.m. it was time for our crew to call it quits. With sunburned backs and sloshy boots we made our way back to the car. We left the hill eager to return to greener pastures below, content knowing the snow will still be around for a few more weeks if we decide to skim again soon. Maybe next time we’ll even set up some jumps that make sense. But then again, maybe not.
Thanks to all event attendees, shovelers and Wade Wiltse for their help in making this year’s Slush Cup one to remember. We’ll see you again next year!