Survival was the name of the game during the KT-22 Banzai at Squaw this weekend. While earlier Banzai events this season were well described by words like "fast" or "sketchy", the vocabulary floating around the start gate on top of KT was more along the lines of "brutal", "grueling" or "aaughh my legs..." KT-22 Banzai at Squaw | The Marathon Banzai | Results & Photos | Unofficial Networks

KT-22 Banzai at Squaw | The Marathon Banzai | Results & Photos

KT-22 Banzai at Squaw | The Marathon Banzai | Results & Photos

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KT-22 Banzai at Squaw | The Marathon Banzai | Results & Photos

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KT-22 Banzai Feature

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Survival was the name of the game during the KT-22 Banzai at Squaw this weekend. While earlier Banzai events this season were well described by words like “fast” or “sketchy”, the vocabulary floating around the start gate on top of KT was more along the lines of “brutal”, “grueling” or “aaughh my legs…”

Take an already long and challenging run, throw in a summer like heat wave, soft snow, moguls, huge ruts and ribs, and bush laden side hill traverses, top it off with the best three powder days of the season the week of the race and what do you get? One punishing marathon of a Banzai.

KT-22 Banzai Men's Snowboard - crash

Men's snowboard

The course started on the top of KT-22 just behind the patrol shack. Racers exited the gate heading through the mogul patch towards The Nose and then cut right off the ridge onto East Face. A few quick rights and sweeping lefts took racers in a side hill fashion down to the base of GS Bowl before diving into the skiers right hand side of Schimelfenig’s, through a minefield of bushes, then back across to the Searchlight face and the finish line under the Red Bull Arch located at the base of the mountain. The fastest Men’s ski time during qualifying was 1:45.54 by Squaw Valley’s John Lange. The longest course yet on the Banzai Tour.

KT-22 banzai ridge onto East Face

First air off the ridge onto East Face

Despite sapped powder legs and trying course conditions, racers got after it run after run. The warm T-shit weather made for funky soft snow conditions on the course, but an incredible atmosphere for spectators and skiers at Squaw all weekend. Banzai racers were turning heads on the KT-chair in traditional Squawllywood fashion. Check out the skier getting a little wild off of the air below the lift.

KT-22 banzai Crash

If you’re wondering, yeah he crashed hard. At least the snow was soft.

Spectators were out barbecuing in the sun along the side of the course. It was a laid back day spiked with excitement every time a Banzai heat flew by.

KT-22 banzai crowd above Fingers

Onlookers above Schimelfenig's

On course was less of a picnic. It wasn’t uncommon for a racer in a heat yesterday to crash, pick up the pieces and continue on only to overtake a leading racer who crashed below. This course spread people out more than most Banzais. There were several close heats, but there were also a number of tense moments as spectators cheered a racer with a significant lead scrambling to collect themselves after an explosion while the rest of the pack closed the gap. Technically, in a Banzai you are supposed to be disqualified if you lose a ski, but during the women’s small final each racer lost a ski at some point on the course. Racer’s retrieved their gear and finished the course. Places 5-8 were still awarded in order of finish, technicalities were forgiven in that heat. Those skiers definitely deserved credit for completing the race.

KT-22 Banzai 1st place to Yard Sale

She was leading the heat by a country mile

KT-22 Banzai crash pass

But the pack caught up

KT-22 Banzai Women's ski

Women's skier charging the Two Trees section of Schimelfenig's

Huge credit to anyone who completed the KT-22 Banzai. The heats in this race weren’t as neck and neck as many in Kirkwood or Alpine, but this course may have tested competitors more than any other. It was truly an Iron Man of Banzais. Hat’s off!

KT-22 Banzai men's snowboard

Men's Snowboard | Bushes below Schimelfenig's

KT-22 Banzai Turn into GS Bowl

KT-22 Banzai | Left Turn off East Face

Results:

KT-22 Banzai women's snowboard podium

KT-22 Banzai women's snowboard podium

Women’s Snowboard:

  1. Carrie Hall
  2. Casey Lucas
  3. Margurite Cossettini
  4. Grace Dalman
  5. Mallory Olney
  6. Sky Rondenet
  7. Lucy Marcus
KT-22 Banzai Women's Ski podium

KT-22 Banzai women's ski podium

Women’s Ski:

  1. Shannon Rahlves
  2. Shelly Robertson
  3. Hanna Jermstad 
  4. Tara Hines
  5. Caitlin Robinson
  6. Shanie Matthews
  7. Sarah Black
  8. Tanya Machinick

Shannon Rahlves wanted this one bad and truly dominated the final. She has experience with marathons. Shannon Rahlves also competes in Iron Man and other endurance events. 

KT-22 Banzai men's snowboard podium

KT-22 Banzai men's snowboard podium

Men’s Snowboard:

  1. Sylvain DuClois
  2. Chelone Miller
  3. Dave Brumm
  4. Chris Galvin
  5. Casey Batory
  6. Nick Shneider
  7. Andrew Irwin
  8. Jason Kosich
KT-22 Banzai men's ski podium

KT-22 Banzai men's ski podium

Men’s Ski:

  1. John Bochenek
  2. Kyle Smaine
  3. Todd Disbrow
  4. John Lange
  5. B Devine
  6. Marcus Caston
  7. Sean Collin
  8. Bruce Carrade

Kyle Smaine is ranking high in the overall with a first place result from Alpine and now a second place finish at Squaw Valley. John Bochenek is solidly on top of the leader board with a first at Kirkwood, fourth at Alpine, and now a first at Squaw Valley. John Lange (former G.N.A.R. competitor) was winning his heats all day but threw a shoe in the final. It was awesome to see both John Lange and John Bocheneck (both work race services at Squaw) skiing head to head in the finals.

The next and final stop for the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour 2012 will be held next weekend, March 10th-11th, at Sugar Bowl where competitors will race for the Silver Belt. Sugar Bowl will also host the super final on Sunday where the leading competitors will race Daron Rahlves himself for a chance at $10,000!

For more info or to sign up for the Silver Belt Banzai check out rahlvesbanzai.com

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