Saturday, August 13, 2022

2013 Smash Life Banked Slalom: Alpental

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 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.)

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.

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.

Joe Pope is ready to give some awards!



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


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


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


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JP Walker
January 20, 2013 8:34 am

Where was my invite?

January 20, 2013 8:39 am


matthew robinson
January 20, 2013 9:27 am

even though its way more impressive if justus was 14 he is actually 17 and a little shredder indeed. from all us snoqualmie park rats i can honestly say that was probably one of the funnest competition/proving ground coarses ive encountered. proud to be top 5 with such big guns out there.

January 20, 2013 9:35 am

brooke you went slower than me, i owe you 50$

January 20, 2013 9:49 am

Thanks Brooke for the kids shots, Matteo and Maui thought you were super cool and nice!!!
I was registered to do it and got too scared so you can be proud!!!

January 20, 2013 11:12 am

“aggressive air time”

January 20, 2013 11:50 am

Congrats Blair! Not bad for one of the more talented “edge-control” snowboarders.
Hey Brooke, Blair’s last name is “Habenicht”. With a long kchhhhhhh at the end.

ben rupp
January 20, 2013 12:47 pm

thanks for posting results, 2 crashes and one dq….I am just glad i didnt die. equal parts terrifing and fun as hell.

January 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Course was so effin’ gnarly. Surprised no one died… Everybody get it to Washington next year!

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