The 2018 Slayride Banked Slalom at Stevens Pass, WA was something special. After raising almost $30,000 for the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center through the event in 2017, Stevens Pass brought back the slalom and spread it over two sun-filled days this March. With racers of all ages and backgrounds gathered together for a good cause, temperatures nearing 50 degrees Fahrenheit, bluebird skies and a finely crafted course wound tightly through the trees, the event was destined for nothing but success.
This year’s Slayride Banked Slalom course was tough and fast, with large banks—some nearly double the height of the racers—that allowed for plenty of speed, followed by leg-burning, technical corners. It flowed under the popular Hogsback chairlift which provided riders and spectators alike a great view of the race, and also allowed for plenty of heckling opportunities. Regardless of whether or not racers made it past some of the course’s more challenging berms, there seemed to be only smiling faces coming through the finish line.
Seattle’s Elysian Brewing hosted a sunsoaked beer garden just below Big Chief Mountain, and along with the resort, will be donating all proceeds from the event to the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. Following the races on Saturday, everyone gathered for a worthwhile, tasty barbeque and prepared for Sunday’s finals.
With the competition cut down from qualifiers, Sunday’s race was fast and competitive, and saw an overall improvement on Saturday’s race times despite warming temps. By mid-afternoon t-shirts were the norm for many in attendance–a welcomed surprise for this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. That evening everyone left tired but satisfied, feeling accomplished knowing that we all had raced, partied and sunburned for a good cause. This year’s Slayride Banked Slalom helped raise $50,000 for the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, proving that Stevens Pass, and everyone who participated in the event fundraising, truly outdid themselves this time around.
Thanks to Julian and the Stevens Pass crew for putting on the event, and to the park staff for creating and maintaining such an awesome course. We’ll see you again at next year’s Slayride Banked Slalom.