“Pretty much anyone that can ride at RMR can ride a banked slalom,” organizer Greg Fortier said. “They have the skills they need to get down. And bringing it back to the sport, it’s turning — the first trick of snowboarding.”
Fortier, who owns the local Trapper Snowboards, loves banked slaloms which is why he introduced the competition to RMR last year. With about 140 participants then, they’re capping it at 200 this year.
A small team of volunteers and Fortier have been putting in the backbreaking work since Monday to get the track ready in time and they’re super excited about how it’s turning out.
“This year we are working with some amazing snow,” Fortier said. “It packs in really nice and holds up really good to ride in. You’re not going to see the same type of damage from traffic going through the course like last year. It should hold up much better.”
The length of the track this year is on the longer scale as far as banked slaloms go. Certainly much longer than last year’s track in the Hollywood Gully, but less steep. Fortier estimates the average of times for participants this year to be over two minutes. It will be a standard race and timing will be done with sensor technology.
This year’s banked slalom starts in the Tasty Glades, just above the terrain park. The route goes down to the cat track and over to the trees on the right side of the Gnome Zone. It then hits another cat track and another section of trees.
Overall the varying terrain will provide the full spectrum of fun and technical features and Fortier describes the course as a leg burner but exhilarating after the initial nerves go away.
“It’s fun, because it’s not like turning on a groomer where you bury your edge into the ground and change direction,” he said. “It’s kind of like mountain biking in a bike park. It’s firm, smoother with no braking.”
For those wanting to watch, there will be a good spectator section along the ridgeline near the start.
Registrations close today, and can be done online or at The Cabin. The Saturday night banquet will include a fundraiser for the Kovach Park Skatepark redevelopment project.
For more information, check out the Facebook event page here.