I spent the past week riding in Washington; a few days at Mt. Baker, and a few days at Crystal Mountain. I tend to only make it to Washington on layovers, so it was extremely nice to get to spend some quality time outside the airport.
The Banked Slalom was my reason for being at Mt. Baker, and it’s always a good time. I proved to be consistent with my qualifying runs, getting 5th both days. Then, after the first finals run I was in 6th, and 5 people ended up sneaking in ahead of me on the second run, bumping me back to 12th. I’m always happy with anything in the top 15 at the Banked Slalom, as the riding is always super strong. I made it out onto the Shuksan Arm as well, a little side country action, which always proves to be fun and good snow.
After a day in Seattle, I headed up to Crystal Mountain for The North Face Masters. Having grown up riding Crystal, I was super stoked to go back, especially since I hadn’t ever ridden the new Northway chair lift that would access the qualifying venue. With a rain layer underneath, and a venue open for inspection, the terrain was definitely beat up and tough to ride. As is always the case with qualifiers, staying on your feet was the name of the game. I had a couple solid airs at the top of my line, but missed my bottom air, and qualified 16th.
After a super fun weather day of riding wet pow and lines I had nearly forgotten about, we headed up to the King, in the South Backcountry. The visibility was terrible! In fact, I was a little frustrated with myself for not getting a good look at the venue the first day I was there, when it was still sunny, as I didn’t ever get a good pic of the venue. So, with winds howling, I got on the chairlift (that barely made it to the top) just before it closed for the day, and began hiking to the top, still uncertain of my line. I found an air at the top, and decided I’d just see what I could find the rest of the run. It started out working great, but after a slash in the flat light, the ground disappeared from below me, and I had a quick butt check and finished 16th, again. Geeze I’m consistent!
Riding at Crystal I had some of my best days of the season! Hitting pillows, finding awesome uncut stashes, hanging out with old friends, and showing other friends around made for an awesome time. Hope to make it back soon!