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686 at The Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom

Feet of snow, ice, downed trees and power lines resulted in the closure of Mount Baker’s Resort just days before industry pro’s, legends, desk jockeys and other various characters were poised to gather for the 31st year of the Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom. Those tasked with the setup were put in a crippling position with an event that carries such a heavy bag of history right on the horizon. With tireless hours that core group of Mount Baker’s finest managed to exceed expectations and open the resort. Even while being stuck on the mountain for multiple days with limited assets and manpower they managed to weather the storm and also prune the course into pristine condition for the start of the event; a feat that offers validation to the already fabled lore of Mount Baker.

On our end power had flickered off and on and back to off as storm clouds dissipated and snowfall tapered off. The erratic weather left feet of snow well below the usual snowline. Snow banks piled to head height triggering a PBR fueled dig out that teed off a normally unusual experience at the McCarthy residence and set pace for three days of exceptional Mount Baker conditions. Pat McCarthy, 686 Team Manager, hosted team riders looking to race into legendary stardom and have a good time. Here’s a taste of the experience.

- Erik Hoffman  Staff Photographer / Graphic Designer  @erikhoffmanphoto