Temple Leads Holy War At Mt. Baker

”We want to be free; free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man. And we want to get loaded” – Peter Fonda, “Easy Rider”, alt. intro to Mudhoney’s “In and out of Grace.”

GLACIER, WA – In a winter rife with the high weirdness, one can only attribute these things to The-End-Of-Times: a coked-up thug frat boy beats down enough poor black folk to pilfer the presidential election; it snows more in Maine than at Mt. Baker; The Olympic Committee gets all hot in the pants over Boardercross; andthe Whatcom County Sheriff, State Patrol, and Liquor Board converge on Glacier to declare martial law, and further subvert the constitution.

You’re gonna miss Janet Reno, Bubba.

When the dust and blood settle over this former mining encampment, The Glacier Uprising will make Ruby Ridge, WACO, and South Central Los Angeles look like a Pasadena ladies investment club. But I digess…

Day One, of The Mt. Shuksan Banked Slalom, featured a tight duel of familiar faces, gin-clear skies, and the gnarliest course locals can recall since year number two (when the race was held down the gut of the Pan Dome Chute). “Bumpy” and “Burly” seemed to be the most common descriptions of the massive compressionsdue to low snowfall.

This year’s coveted Golden Duct Tapes will go to the fearless and the strong. Those who stayed away because of conditions and heresay are going to miss the premier race of the last ten years. This one is going to be the Holmenkollen of Banked Slalom epics. With a scant tenth of a second seperating Men’s Pro leader and local favorite Temple Cummins of Gig, Harbor, WA, and the Norwegian whale-killer Terje Spraakonsen of Telemark, Norway. Hot on their highbacks is former champion Rob Morrow, followed by Drew Nielson of Vancouver B.C., Josh Dirksen of Bend, OR, and Peter Bauer, from Duetschland. Also in the top ten on Day One were Tommy Brunner of Austria, and Shin Campos of Whistler.

In the Women’s pro, a distincly Finnish-named Marni Yamada from Seattle leads by nearly three seconds over Italy’s Martina Magenta, and Seattle’s Stacy Thomas. Honorary local Barrett Christy finished a disappointing 11th and must try one more time to qualify.

In the Masters (30-45) Oregon’s Shannon Melhuse came in a dead heat tie with Whistler’s Gary Pendergrasse, ahead of third place Matt Remine from Olympia, WA.

A sign of things to come, 12 year-old Lucas DeBari, local prodigy and offspring of the owner’s of Milano’s (Glacier legendary Italian eatery), is running barely two-tenths of a second behind Nick Cornford in the (12-15 year-old) Junior Boy’s bracket. Lucas spent some time with Shaun White in the Superpipe this last year, and the transition work is showing.

The day went along in the usual bliss, being in one of the last truly wild and home-school resorts in North America. Sun and groovy vibes until the cops came…

With enough force to retrieve Omar Bin Laden, all manner of legal authority descended upon fair Glacier to intimidate, shake down, and impress total prior restraint upon the whole community. You would’ve thought we were Floridian voters. In a particularly brutal incident two competitors from Sun Valley, Idaho were forced to “pour out their beers” onto the frozen night street. Requests for clemency (due to open-container legality in Idaho), and to “pour it out down our throats” were denied.

They can have this reporter’s Schmidt when they pry it from my warm, unconscious fingers…

The culminating Red Bull party (and focus of cop attention) was dumb as fuck. Ten bucks to get in to buy $5 drinks, and see music industry gladhanders (hello Napster, goodbye Burbank), and snowboard industry suspects. Although Jillian Sizemore’s Midgent Money ensemble put on a great set, and the featured DJ didrun some nice cuts.

Now it’s time for Day Two. The Temple Cummins, Miracle on Ice continues.