British Columbia’s Sun Peaks is fostering two grassroots events again this season: The Bluebird Banked Slalom (Feb 16) and the Duff Invitational Slopestyle (Mar 16)
Both events “give back to local non-profit groups and require passionate volunteers, high quality mountain venues, as well as the support of local businesses and residents,” Sun Peaks says.
Bluebird Banked Slalom
The Bluebird Banked Slalom on February 16 has grown into one of the locals’ favourite events and was created by the non-profit Bluebird Day Fund (BDF), a charity founded in memory of local snowboarder Bryn Taylor. Founded in 2006, the organization’s purpose is to provide local riders and park skiers with support and resources to assist their growth and development in their respective sports. The Bluebird Day Fund holds several fundraising events throughout the year, now including the annual banked slalom event.
“The Bluebird Banked Slalom is all about getting out and having fun with others on the mountain,” says Brian Lupal, president of the BDF. “And it’s that same mind set and passion that drives the Bluebird Day Fund so this event was a natural progression for our organization. Support from the local community and region has been phenomenal and we are looking forward to another great slalom this year.”
The event takes place on a natural gully race course, located just off the 5 Mile ski run. “Hully Gully” incorporates natural banked berms, side hits, features and flow into the course. It’s a one-of-a-kind event with improvements this year creating a faster and more open course.
“This event is very community driven,” says Devin Knopf, events coordinator for Sun Peaks Resort. “We’ve even had our volunteers in the grooming machines with the operators directing them on how the course should take shape. Plus, many competitors and volunteers have been out grooming and shaping the course by hand. This year we also brought on a B.C. sponsor, Okanagan Springs, which is great.”
Advance registration is required and will be capped at 200 racers. The event is open to all skiers and boarders 19 years of age and over. The $40 entry fee includes chances at prizing and giveaways, a beer and a burger, entry to the Masa’s ‘Bluebird Banked Slalom After Party’, and at least $15 from every entry will go to the BDF, which hopes to raise $3000 at this year’s event. Participants can call 250-578-5474 to register.
Duff Invitational Slopestyle
Later in March, everyone is invited to the Duff Invitational Slopestyle, with a new date of March 16. Professional snowboarder Chris Dufficy is looking forward to his second annual event at his home mountain of Sun Peaks and raising money and awareness for the Kamloops Brain Injury Association.
“I’m proud to announce the return of ‘The Duff Invitational’,” says Chris Dufficy. “On Saturday, March 15 there will be a new Best Method Contest with one hip, one method and one winner. This is just a warm up to the main event on Sunday. We are working to provide a super fun slopestyle course. Plus, having more sponsors than last year only means more prizes and more fun. Let’s do this and raise awareness for Brain Injury!”
All proceeds from the $20 entry fee will benefit the Kamloops Brain Injury Association. Dufficy was one of the first professional snowboarders to adopt helmet-wearing after overcoming a series of head injuries.
This year’s event in Sun Peaks’ nine acre Rockstar Energy Terrain Park will have all riders competing in a two hour jam session, with their best run counting and top scoring riders moving onto the finals. Each finalist will receive two runs, with the better of the two counting.
Registration will be open from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, March 15 and from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on Sunday, March 16.
Slopestyle photo by Royce Sihlis courtesy of Sun Peaks.
SnowOnline Editor: Lori Knowles