Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

If you’re looking to prove how good you are at snowboarding to yourself, or anyone else, the course at the Alpental Smash Life Banked Slalom was the perfect benchmark. Conveniently located in shadows on a trail literally deemed “too steep” last year by Joe Pope and his motley crew of park rats, the winding snake run was hand dug for three days, and really, really fucking long. Let’s just say, we THOUGHT the course at Big Sky was scary, but while there may have been less random rocks sticking out at Alpental, the room for detrimental error (read: flying at full speed out of a berm and sliding indefinitely down a bumpy, rutted trail) was huge. Even Montana mad man Shane Stalling admitted they may be trying to kill us with this one.

Luckily, for those of us with desk jobs and gigantic egos, making it down the course fast was not really the point. No! I’m not just making excuses for my poor performance (but let’s just set the record straight, it was pathetic) I’m actually talking about why we were all there. The event, like the one a few weeks back in Montana, was a fundraiser for the A Rob Plant a Seed foundation, and all funds raised will go to help get kids to the hill. The online registration filled up in 36 hours and when all was said and done on January 19, 2013, 126 racers of all ages, creeds and genders tried their hardest not to die. (For the record, no one did.)

blue
Blue Montgomery has a desk job, but you wouldn’t know it.

The fact that it was for a good cause didn’t stop everyone from 9-year-olds to industry heads to pros to the local legends from throwing themselves down it at top speed with little to no regard for personal safety. In fact, if you were really good (or potentially really stupid) the second half of the course was built perfectly for speed. And since you were so tired from hanging on for dear life at the top half of the course, there was really nothing to do other than go with it (unless you’re me, then you speed checked like a girl riding up to a rail.)

startgate
It all started here.

The women, children and old people went first, and a top time of 1:19.14 was clocked by 14-17-year-old Justus Hines. This time would end up to be respectable overall, but as soon as the men hit the course, we saw what was really possible — well, if you’re Blair Habenicht As a Washington native, and one of the few competitors who actually gets paid to snowboard, he had some extra pressure on him — but he came through with the top two times of the day, a 1:10.72 and a 1:11.65 in his first and second runs. The rest of the podium was made of local legends and ams, proving that in Washington, it really doesn’t matter who gets paid after all.

blair
This is what going really fucking fast looks like. Blair Habenitch.

At the end of the day, money was raised, bets were settled and the whole thing was capped off by a performance from Riot Act in the Alpental lodge. In the fewest words possible: it was awesome! Thanks to Joe Pope, the whole Snoqualmie Park Crew, Shane Stalling, all the sponsors, and of course, Aaron Robinson, whose legend is what really makes things like this possible.

joeawards
Joe Pope is ready to give some awards!

RESULTS

Men

1. Blair Habenitch 1:10.72
2. Matt Edgers 1:11.73
3. Jay Kelly 1:12.70
4. Marcel Dolak 1:14.40
5. Matthew Robinson 1:14.71
6. Blue Montgomery 1:15.87
7. Austin Hironaka 1:16.02
8. Anthony Gervais 1:16.13
9. Shaun McKay 1:16.47
10. Chris Bowlin 1:16.80
11. Nick Felt 1:17.14
12. Paul Stanley 1:17:28
13. Jadree Donovan 1:17.34
14. Shane Stalling 1:17.91
15. Bryce Wenker 1:17.98

Honorable mentions
Sean Tedore 1:21.21
Peter Mullenbach 1:21.47
Peter Line 1:36.80

Women

1. Robyn Borneman 1:26.76
2. Khai Bhagwan 1:29.71
3. Kayla Kobelin 1:31.46
4. Kari Hoss 1:32.80
5. Isabella Gomez 1:33.20
6. Mallory Sullivan 1:36.75
7. Isabella Gomez 1:33.20
8 Jamie Klontz 1:40.27
9. Jenell Turner 1:45.79
10. Brooke Geery 1:47.92

Groms Age 5-13

1. Keala Cole 1:24.86
2. Matteo Soltane 1:25.17
3. Frank Besselo 1:32.84
4. Alex Lancaster 1:34.17
5. Paavo Saari 1:39.06
6. Maui Soltane 2:06.81

Age 14-17

1. Justus Hines 1:19.14
2. Austin Buxa 1:20.03
3. Shane Keller 1:20.79
4.Ben Still 1:22.03
5. Zachary Shoopman 1:22.25

Masters

1. Kimo Cole 1:23.61
2. Ken Verner 1:25.13
3. Adrian Navarro 1:29.34
4. John Haase 1:43.42
5. Aron Lundstrom 1:59.95
6. Ben Rupp 2:14.10

Yobeat Cup

1. Jared’s Helmet 1:10.72
2. Justin Leveille 1:32.66
3. Brooke Geery 1:47.92

Words: Brooke Geery. Above Main Gallery: Jared Souney.

starter air

Usually when you say, hey, will you do an air out of the start gate in a race people ignore you. Eric was down though.

People in Montana are rugged. Dare I say gnarly, even. The ride steep shit, hard shit, rocky shit, and even traverse endlessly with ease, so they don’t think about the mountain the same way people from other places do. And when you let a crew from Montana build their dream Banked Slalom course, those that come from elsewhere better watch the fuck out. Now don’t read that as a complaint, or even an excuse, it’s just the only way I could begin to describe the course at the 2nd ARob Smash Life Banked slalom on January 5th in Bozeman, MT.

stan
Stan negotiates the first few turns on his way to the BRONZE medal.

So about that course. This thing started slow with some big old banks, but quickly turned into a super g where the only option was to pin in. There was a last-minute gate addition placed in an attempt to slow people down, but it caught almost everyone by surprise. This was not a race for the feint of heart so when making predictions on the results, you can count out all the people who came from Baker, Oregon, Colorado or even as far away as Michigan. Park rats need not apply. Honestly, you can even count out Lucas Debari, who rolled up in the Go Boarding Subaru with Alex Yoder.

homeys
Jon Overson with that photo bomb and all the other guys who couldn’t beat Todd Kirby.

Really, the ones to watch when it came to results were the locals, or more specifically, Todd Kirby. He was referred to as the golden boy, the pace setter, and various other glowing names by his friends — who may or may not have been being sarcastic — and sure enough, when the seconds were counted, Todd topped Arob’s brother Jason Robinson by a solid hundredth of a second. To make everyone feel better though, even he fell on his second run.

cheeringsquad
This dude was STOKED.

The truth is though, the results don’t matter. The event — brain child of all of the late, great Aaron Robinson’s friends and family, and man-powered by Shane Stalling — is a benefit for the A Rob Plant a Seed foundation, with all the proceeds going to help more kids get out and board in ARob’s honor. It’s put on by homeys, and aside from scaring the shit out of us flatlanders, they did an amazing job making the day nothing but fun. Even the awards

Which in the end, is all that really matters. After all, ARob would have wanted it that way.

sheep
Oh yeah, and there were sheep.

RESULTS

Men 17-37

Todd Kirby 35.42
Jason Robinson 35.43
Chad Dalman 36.18
Reed Schneider 36.33
Lucas Debari 36.49
Micah Hoogeveen 36.52
Alex Yoder 36.62
Tyrel Bacon (Paid) 36.64
Eric Morrison 37.25
Chad Cremers 37.27
Brand Browning 37.29
Mitchell Kirby 37.47
Shane Stalling 37.66
Cody Lewis 37.68
Mark Thieszen 37.82
Kameron Joahnson 37.93
Nathaniel Murphy 37.96
Shane Knowles 38.2
Kyle Cremers 38.22
Erik Overson 38.25
Jon Oversor 38.54
Kevin Fischer 38.67
Mike Brearey 38.67
Rand Stearns 38.94
Joe Pope 38.94

winners
Jason Schutz and Todd Kirby. Smash life.

Masters 38+

1. Jason Schutz 35.83
2. Chad Zeigler 38.25
3. T bos 40.05
4. Jeff Wexall 40.05
5. Jay Moore (P) 40.5
6. Chad Peterson 43.45
7. Bird Morris 43.73

babes

Women

1. Sarris McComb 37.86
2. Tanya Simonson (P) 39.17
3. Galen Bridgewater 40.7
4. Audra Bintz 41.05
5. Amy Balbier 42.65
6. Carly Miron 44.64
7. Brooke Geery 46.01
8. Maggie Heerdt 46.45
9. Kate Lindsay 53.06
10. Victoria Baughman 60.87

The Yobeat Cup

The winner receives one weapon from the 50,000 Silver Dollar store.

1. RC Cone 42.54
2. Tim Breault 42.66
3. Justin Leveille 44.09
4. Brooke Geery 46.01

Thanks to Big Sky, all the event sponsors, the Robinson Family, Shane Stalling and everyone else who made this event possible. We’ll be back next year, when I will stay on my feet and be on top of the Yobeat cup!