When Josh Dirksen, founder of the Dirksen Derby reached out to LOGE about getting involved in the legendary Mt. Bachelor banked slalom, we were instantly in! We've known about the Derby forever and love its mission to bring the international Snowboard and Sit-Ski communities together for an incredibly fun and memorable weekend full of strong friendships, intense competition and fond memories!
We are also 100% on board with their giving program - "to use our proceeds to benefit selected local and national Non-Profits, as well as supporting our long-time friend and inspiration, Tyler Eklund." This year's non-profit organizations were Oregon Adaptive Sports, Protect Our Winters, and Tyler Eklund as well as being a proud member of 1% for the Planet.
Josh needed a venue to host the Protect Our Winters party on Saturday night, and our LOGE Bend location was the perfect fit - close to Bachelor, with plenty of space for everyone to hang out, wax boards, repair worn-wear with Patagonia, jam out to tunes, eat delicious food, enjoy a few beverages, and generally have an awesome time! Aka pretty much everything we're into as well! Did we just become best friends?!
This year's Derby went off without a hitch, with qualifying going down on Saturday, the POW party at LOGE on Saturday night, and Finals on Sunday. The LOGE crew arrived to Bachelor on Saturday to "two inches" of fresh, cold, snow which rode more like 5 or 6" in places due to the wind drift! After a few hoot and holler runs filled runs, we made our way over to the course, which was a beautiful, winding, hand dug course featuring two different side by side tracks. After a few delicious cups of Parrilla chowder, and a Dr. Brew Kombucha we walked the course top to bottom and took in every bank as competitors carved their way down the course.
Whenever a particularly fast person would come by everyone would get excited and the hoots would get louder, but it was awesome to see the level of encouragement from the crowd even when someone's run wasn't going so well. I remember seeing a boy in the 10-14 category catch an edge on a turn and fall, and everyone around him started telling him "you got this," "get up and finish strong buddy," and "don't worry about it, you're still the man!!" It's really cool to see such a strong community come together at events like this and reminds you of how the outdoors is really about so much more than just the physical sports we all love so much.
We left the hill early to help our fellow LOGE team set up for the POW party. As we arrived, we saw our friends at evo who had come out in full force and brought a few of their master technicians, who were putting up waxing tables to get everyone's boards ready for finals the next day!
Chef Rudy of Curbside Bistro was getting delicious food ready, and Patagonia was on hand as well with their Worn-Wear repairs. It was obvious this would shape up to be an awesome evening! As everyone started to arrive, Alex Winters played to those gathered around the firepits, as a line started building at the Worn-Wear table. Patagonia had brought damaged returns that they were letting people repair and take home, for a small donation to Protect Our Winters! It was a huge hit, and judging by the number of conversations, no one seemed bothered as the line grew.
I wandered outside and observed a game of corn hole after grabbing a brew and donating to POW. Dr. Brew had a hilarious photo wall set up complete with a squirrel head costume and it was pretty entertaining seeing groups just fully getting after it!
Shady GroOove jammed out with their legendary funky, head bobbing tunes, and the night wrapped up with a giveaway featuring a snowboard, a bunch of swag, and a stay at LOGE. I went to bed happy and looking forward to Finals the next day!
We rolled into the parking lot the next morning to slightly different, but very Northwest conditions - limited visibility with a "wintery mix" falling from the sky. Not rain...but close. No matter though since this would make the course super fast for finals! We went straight to the course and weren't disappointed since it seemed like everyone we watched go down the course was blazing fast!
After a few hours of watching, we decided to call it, and headed out since we had a relatively long drive back to Washington. The drive home up Hwy 97 through the rolling grasslands of Oregon and the hills of Eastern Washington is a beautiful one. It's always bittersweet having to head home after a fun filled weekend, but we fell asleep on Sunday content - our minds full from all the awesome people we met, pow we rode, and good times we had.
THANK YOU so much to everyone involved, but especially the Dirksens for asking us to be part of this incredible event. We're already looking forward to next year!!
Video, Pictures, and Words by @garretvs