Words by Dustin Johnson:
In the early years of snowboarding at Bogus Basin it was hard to go an entire day without being checked for a leash by Don Baker, the lift operations director. However, that is where his judgment of you as a snowboarder ended. Don’s love and dedication for the mountain began in the mid-sixties and spanned over four decades and several titles including director of night operations and volunteer ski patrol director. In the early nineties Don became the lift operations director and that is when most of us dirtbag snowboarders, raised on whiskey movies and seeking the glory of rebellion, were given our first chance to become a working part of the mountain we love.
You were never judged on your level of dirtbaggery or if you stood sideways to get down the mountain, you were only judged on your work ethic and your ability to operate a shovel. Don led by example and to this day no one worked harder than him. Don always said Bogus Basin’s greatest asset was its employees and no matter how bad you messed up he had your back. In 2014 Don passed away after a hard fought battle with leukemia. The Legendary Don Baker Banked Slalom is our way of saying thank you from a whole generation of dirtbag snowboarders.
The second Legendary Don Baker Banked Slalom was the result of five days of meticulously hand dug berms by upwards of a dozen volunteers from various mountain departments, local shred celebrities and former employees of Don. Using limited resources and minimal cat time, Corey McDonald and the Bogus Basin terrain park crew are to be commended for putting together an amazing event. The shovel work alone would have made Don proud.
Over 120 snowboarders and three skiers, who competed in the Don Baker employee division, traveled from six states to compete, making it by far the most popular event at Bogus Basin this season. Local shred and skate heroes Paul Whitworth and Greg Goulet both had strong showings in the top ten mens 18+ division. The minute long course had some fierce competition in the top ten of both the men and the women’s divisions. Tucker Andrews took home the glass wave courtesy of Zion Mountain Art Glass followed by Taylor Carlton and Ben Buchannon. The women’s 18+ division boasted Hannah Eddy taking home the first place trophy, with Amanda Hankison and Megan Jones taking second and third respectively.