For us, the event kicked off at Zen Barn for the packet pickup where competitors gathered for food and drinks as they arrived into town. Competitors could get their boards waxed by our team with wax donated from Purl Wax while Johnny Lits' Jerry Duty supplied the jams. Jake raffled off two Ride Snowboards to raise even more money for the Waterbury Skatepark. It was awesome to reconnect with some old friends and see familiar faces before the race nerves started to settle in.
Blauvelt's Banks 2023 at Bolton Valley
The next morning, racers lined up to get their bibs at the newly renovated Timberline Lodge of Bolton Valley while Jake and the diggers were putting the finishing touches on the course.
Riders of all ages were stacking up for practice laps trying to piece together the quickest line. They soon realized the course was no joke and that the quickest line is the line that allows you to stay on your feet. Steep, quick banks with not a lot of room for error left many riders finding themselves trying to figure out multiple plans of action. "Do I double the whoops?" "Do I take this high line to avoid that ditch?" It was a true obstacle course that required a nice flow in order to maintain your speed. One of the more exciting disciplines to watch were the snowskaters. Each turn made was more impressive than the next down this insane course. It was more common to see the riders exploding over the side of the berm than making it through which made the top performers runs all that more exciting.
Once practice was over, the groms kicked off the official first laps of the race, then it quickly went down the line one after another. For day one, riders had one chance to make it into the top 50% of their class. Those who qualified on day one, would get two chances the next day to get their best time down the course. Nerves were piling up, the snow by the start was getting more and more yellow and the vibes just kept getting higher and higher.
Day one continued on to be one filled with stoke, high-fives, and laps on laps as racers finished their qualifying runs and took to the resort. Jake and the rest of the diggers took to the course to fix it whereever it needed. Bolton Valley was buzzing with boarders and the party did not end when the lifts stopped running. Beers from Silo Brewery and the Blauvelt Banks IPA that also benefitted the Waterbury Skatepark were flowin'.
The next day, as the moon disappeared into the cloudless sky, sponsor tents were getting setup, the course was getting it's final touches, and day two was surely underway. The riders who qualified the previous day lined up outside of Timberline Lodge to pick up their bibs again for day two. Families and spectators posted up outside as racers took their two runs, clocking their final times.