Curtis Ciszek slicing through the arc. All photos: Chris Wellhausen

True to tradition, the Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom started churning through foggy, soggy, snowy conditions early Friday morning. Parking lot chatter from distant friends and locals broke the silence of the thick-misted plot—signaling a start to the gathering’s 24th year. And even though the newly fallen snow was sparse, it greased the burms of the course and kicked the lingering dry spell to the curb.

Early runners on the course were lucky to glide through the few inches of snow lining the banks while the recent fluff also made for slower times. But for most riders, the toughest part of the race was being able to see the next gate through the thick clouds. Graham Wantanabe, Nate Holland and Temple Cummins did a damn fine job of navigating and posted some of the fastest times of the day for the pro men’s division. But Josh Dirksen can turn a board better than most and was on their heels and a half second behind.

While making it through the top half of the gully posed the biggest challenge, it all changed around noontime. The sun started to breach the clouds and your running order became a gamble for visibility. By the time the ladies and masters were swooping down the course, it was leaning towards a full-fledged bluebird day and riders began stacking up faster times. Helene Olafson, Marni Yamada and Karleen Jeffery-Barlia snagged the top three qualifying spots for the ladies pro division.

Left, right, blue, red, repeat, repeat, repeat so the day went. “I just don’t want to fall,” said Volcom am Skylar Thornton about his first trip to the LBS. This statement was true for just about everyone else too, even if they didn’t admit it. By the close of the first day, less than two minutes was all it took to weave through the array of gates and if you made it, then all the better to relax on Saturday.

For those who didn’t qualify on Friday, Saturday provided a more formal racing scene and loosened the belt for a few more riders to sneak in. Good visibility, icy gates, and a more defined course. Sure vision was great, but the snow shavings packed up to create high walls and icy trenches. The chundery arcs started claiming riders left and right halfway through the course. Times were faster though and there were some shake-ups in the second day of qualifiers.

Marni Yamada held on to her second place standing for the pro ladies and Maelle Ricker snuck into first with Maria DeBari in third. For the men, Graham Wantanabe and Nate Holland held onto their first and second spots while Seth Wescott slipped into third. Stay tuned for the final results…

Day One Qualifiers (click here for full results)

Women

Amateurs (ages 16-29)
1. Danielle Davis 1:48.15 (Glacier, Washington)
2. Hilary Vanderlind 1:48.90 (Glacier, Washington)
3. Zoe Vernon 1:51.62 (Bellingham, Washington)

Pro
1. Helene Olafsen 1:37.31 (Oppegard, Norway)
2. Marni Yamada 1:39.53 (Seattle, Washington)
3. Karleen Jeffery-Barlia 1:39.87 (Mammoth Lakes, California)

Masters (ages 30-49)
1. Weeg Simmons 1:44.02 (Glacier, Washington)
2. Corey Saxon 1:49.87 (Portland, Oregon)

Men

Next Generation (ages 11 & under)
1. Hank Kennedy 2:00.99 (Glacier, Washington)

Juniors (ages 12-15)
1. Max Warbington 1:37.34 (Bend, Oregon)
2. Gus Warbington 1:41.22 (Bend, Oregon)
3. Odin Barnett 1:45.55 (Bellingham, Washington)

Young Amateurs (Ages 16-19)
1. Logan Beaulieu 1:38.19 (Bend, Oregon)
2. Austin Sweetin 1:40.17 (Seattle, Washington)
3. Tucker Andrews 1:40.23 (Crested Butte, Colorado)

Older Amateurs (ages 20-29)
1. Craig Newbury 1:34.72 (Mount Vernon, Washington)
2. Nate Kewin 1:36.23 (Burnaby, British Columbia)
3. Christopher Coralline 1:36.34 (Kirkland, Washington)
4. Robin Foster 1:36.65 (Glacier, Washington)
5. Forrest Burki 1:37.06 (Gig Harbor, Washington)
6. Colin Tobin 1:37.41 (Bellingham, Washington)
7. Matt Bowen 1:37.95 (Glacier, Washington)
8. Michael Anderson 1:38.74 (Bellingham, Washington)
9. Christopher Powers 1:39.03 (Bellingham, Washington)
10. Mathew Berglund 1:39.06 (Crested Butte, Colorado)

Masters (ages 30-39)
1. Marcel Dolak 1:33.05 (Redmond, Washington)
2. Darby Heaney 1:33.18 (Ketchum, Idaho)
3. Scott Nelson 1:35.51 (San Luis Obispo, California)
4. Chris Tretwold 1:35.78 (Bellingham, Washington)
5. Ian Kaplan 1:35.94 (Wickersham, Washington)
6. Jeff Caldwell 1:36.01 (Walla Walla, Washington)
7. Mike Cummins 1:36.35 (Olympia, Washington)
8. John Kaiser 1:36.71 (Seattle, Washington)
9. Willie Freeman 1:36.94 (Portland, Oregon)
10. Matt Clemson 1:36.94 (Kirkland, Washington)

Mid Masters (ages 40-49)
1. Randy Haugen 1:38.93 (Bellingham, Washington)
2. Dave Wray 1:39.29 (Portland, Oregon)
3. Goro Bustamante 1:41.54 (Seattle, Washington)
4. Rob Hanson 1:43.26 (Bellingham, Washington)
5. Marco Rubeo 1:43.52 (Pemberton, British Columbia)

Grand Masters (ages 50-59)
1. Jim Taylor 1:51.96 (Burlington, Washington)
2. Kevin Boyce 1:54.62 (Bellingham, Washington)
3. Ian Galt 1:57.80 (Kelowna, British Columbia)

Pro Men
1. Graham Watanabe 1:28.12 (Hailey, Idaho)
2. Nate Holland 1:28.58 (Truckee, California)
3. Temple Cummins 1:29.97 (Gig Harbor, Washington)
4. Josh Dirksen 1:30.34 (Bend, Oregon)
5. Seth Wescott 1:30.44 (Farmington, Maine)
6. Darin Bryant 1:30.45 (Bothell, Washington)
7. Pat Holland 1:32.17 (Tahoe City, California)
8. Lucas DeBari 1:32.56 (Glacier, Washington)
9. Matt Edgars 1:32.63 (Kirkland, Washington)
10. Rob Kingwell 1:32.99 (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)

Pro Masters (ages 30 & up)
1. Carl Cowtan 1:33.55 (Kelowna, British Columbia)
2. Ludovic Strohl 1:33.94 (France)
3. Jason Troth 1:34.04 (Telluride, Colorado)
4. Tom Burt 1:35.41 (Kings Beach, California)
5. Tim Carlson 1:35.86 (Monroe, Washington)
6. Alex Warburton 1:36.56 (Squamish, British Columbia)

Day Two Qualifiers (click here for full results)

Women

Amateurs (ages 16-29)
1. Kalyn Marab 1:45.79 (Bothell, Washington)
2. Julia Hamre 1:52.00 (Ringebu, Norway)
3. Jeanine Deeb 1:52.39 (Boulder, Colorado)

Pro
1. Maelle Ricker 1:34.84 (Squamish, British Columbia)
2. Marni Yamada 1:35.61 (Seattle, Washington)
3. Maria DeBari 1:36.25 (Glacier, Washington)
4. Karleen Jeffery-Barlia 1:36.88 (Mammoth Lakes, California)
5. Helene Olafsen 1:37.58 (Oppegard, Norway)
6. Victoria Jealouse 1:37.68 (Pemberton, British Columbia)
7. Stacy Thomas 1:40.51 (Seattle, Washington)
8. Tara Dakides 1:42.57 (Oceanside, California)

Masters (ages 30-49)
1. Weeg Simmons 1:44.67 (Glacier, Washington)
2. Cece Briggs 1:53.94 (Bellingham, Washington)
3. Chritine Zander 1:54.62 (Glacier, Washington)

Men

Next Generation (ages 11 & under)
1. Hank Kennedy 1:58.12 (Glacier, Washington)
2. Dylan Adams 2:12.80 (Auburn, Washington)

Juniors (ages 12-15)
1. Max Warbington 1:42.02 (Bend, Oregon)
2. Odin Barnett 1:45.39 (Bellingham, Washington)
3. Mitchell McAllister 1:51.68 (Bellingham, Washington)
4. Cam Martin 1:54.94 (Bellingham, Washington)

Young Amateurs (Ages 16-19)
1. Logan Beaulieu 1:32.79 (Bend, Oregon)
2. Tucker Andrews 1:33.36 (Crested Butte, Colorado)
3. Zeppelin Zeerip 1:37.93 (Sparta, Michigan)
4. Austin Sweetin 1:39.65 (Seattle, Washington)
5. Elliot Newman 1:40.29 (Bellingham, Washington)
6. Trevoy Schy 1:40.65 (Lynnwood, Washington)
7. Scotty Broberg 1:41.73 (Wenatchee, Washington)

Older Amatuers (ages 20-29)
1. Nate Kewin 1:29.91 (Burnaby, British Columbia)
2. Christopher Coralline 1:31.59 (Kirkland, Washington)
3. Matthew Berglund 1:32.46 (Crested Butte, Colorado)
4. Nathan Bingham 1:32.56 (Bellingham, Washington)
5. Forrest Burki 1:33.41 (Gig Harbor, Washington)
6. Kael Martin 1:33.88 (Everson, Washington)
7. Bradley Andrew 1:34.57 (Westchestertonfieldville, Iowa)
8. Nick Catmur 1:34.84 (Crested Butte, Colorado)
9. Jack Freysinger 1:35.22 (Glacier, Washington)
10. Drew Cyr 1:35.29 (Bellingham, Washington)

Masters (ages 30-39)
1. Joe Trotter 1:34.86 (Glacier, Washington)
2. Scott Nelson 1:36.15 (San Luis Obispo, California)
3. Chris Tretwold 1:36.33 (Bellingham, Washington)
4. Kevin Eichner 1:38.12 (Portland, Oregon)
5. Ian Kaplan 1:38.15 (Wickersham, Washington)
6. Adam Haynes 1:38.56 (Bend, Oregon)
7. Marcel Dolak 1:38.75 (Redmond, Washington)
8. John Kaiser 1:39.58 (Seattle, Washington)
9. Darby Heaney 1:39.80 (Ketchum, Idaho)
10. Andrew Marriner 1:40.04 (Laguna Beach, California)

Mid Masters (ages 40-49)
1. Dave Wray 1:37.38 (Portland, Oregon)
2. Randy Haugen 1:40.36 (Bellingham, Washington)
3. Chris Saari 1:42.19 (Port Angeles, Washington)
4. Marco Rubeo 1:42.34 (Pemberton, British Columbia)
5. Goro Bustamante 1:42.56 (Seattle, Washington)
6. Bob Klein 1:45.04 (Tahoe City, California)
7. Johan Malkoski 1:47.14 (Seattle, Washington)
8. Kai Janson 1:48.82 (Glacier, Washington)

Pro Masters (ages 30 & up)
1. Jason Troth 1:31.41 (Telluride, Colorado)
2. Ludovic Strohl 1:31.72 (France)
3. Tim Carlson 1:32.42 (Monroe, Washington)
4. Carl Cowtan 1:32.46 (Kelowna, British Columbia)
5. Ian Beer 1:33.36 (Vancouver, British Columbia)
6. Apostolos Karabotsos 1:33.41 (Port Angeles, Washington)
7. Garry Pendygrasse 1:33.88 (Squampton, British Columbia)
8. Alex Warburton 1:33.93 (Squamish, British Columbia)
9. Dave Sypniewski 1:33.978. (On The Road, USA)
10. Jason Buckles 1:34.22 (Pemberton, British Columbia)

Pro
1. Graham Watanabe 1:24.19 (Hailey, Idaho)
2. Nate Holland 1:25.05 (Truckee, California)
3. Seth Wescott 1:27.31 (Maine)
4. Temple Cummins 1:27.36 (Gig Harbor, Washington)
5. Rob Kingwell 1:29.13 (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)
6. Pat Holland 1:29.42 (Tahoe City, California)
7. Robert Fagan 1:29.63 (Squamish, British Columbia)
8. Blair Habenicht 1:29.68 (Bellevue, Washington)
9. Lucas DeBari 1:3.24 (Glacier, Washington)
10. Sylvain Duclos 1:30.24 (Carlsbad, California)