Silver Belt Banzai

Sugar Bowl, CA//Feb. 13-14

Feb 24, 2009
Outside Magazine

If the Olympic downhill and the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships had a love child, it would probably look a lot like the Silver Belt Banzai. Skiers battle it out in mass-start heats of six, launching off cliffs, dodging trees, and navigating chutes in an all-out dash from the summit of Mount Lincoln. "It's a free-for-all," says Olympian and X Games skiercross medalist Daron Rahlves, who's helping organize the event. "But there's not just one line to the bottom. You can stick to the open slopes or take the higher-risk/higher-reward option and air it off rocks." But, face it, with 100 racers—and many a pro—you're not getting in on the $10,000 purse. Play it safe and stick to skier's right. You might just survive your 90-second run and make it to the next round. But before you show up, be sure to get your ski legs in order. "Do some nonstops," says Rahlves. "It's not easy to send it all the way to the bottom. You're going to be hurting." $100;

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