12 February 2007

Ski Day 13: Back To Timberline

Our sled training for the patrol returned to Timberline this weekend. I have to say I'm a little bummed we couldn't continue running at Meadows. There was some great terrain over there, and lots to learn from a great bunch of volunteer and pro patrollers.

Sunday was a decent weather day (read: not raining), but not so good for taking pictures, except for a few spots where the clouds were just barely thin enough to remind us all there is a sun up there. It was overcast, snowing, and the visibility varied widely throughout the day from pea-soup to near-sunny. So no photos this time around.

It's starting to get a little bit routine, and Timberline isn't really chock full of great challenging terrain, so sled training over there is almost getting into that boring range. Well, maybe not boring. I dunno. I love running sleds, but I think I'm at the point where running empty and running on average terrain doesn't get me as jacked up as it used to. We ran our training runs over off the Molly's Express chair, where there are some nice terrain variations from steep to flat to steep and back to flat again, so you do have to manage your speed and work with and without the chain brake. So at least there's some transitioning to do, and I got a couple runs each in the handles and on the tail rope. I still want to drop into the West Pitch with a loaded sled.

One of the apprentices that I hadn't skied with since we ski-tested together for the patrol last February, was in the handles when it was my turn to be passenger, and gave me a decent - if a tad fast - ride. We got through most of the morning without interruption, but as seems usual for Timberline, we did have to respond to a few cases.

We did a scenario as well, a tweaked knee, for one of the associate (non-sled-driving) apprentices so he could get some work as a first-responder on the hill. I'm hoping us sled-drivers will get some more chances to do that. Just as we were finishing the scenario, a case came in and we had to break things back down quickly to get going on that.

I got to drive for a live case on Sunday, my first in the handles. We took a youngster down Molly's Run after putting his shoulder in a sling and swathe. I wasn't first responder, and all I did otherwise was write down vitals, but I did drive him down the rest of the run and help upload him on the chair when we got to the bottom.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing area orientation and getting some runs in. We did the sweep at Norman and then at Pucci and called it a day. Since I'd carpooled up with a couple other apprentices, and one of them just wanted to go home, we skipped the usual de-brief at the Ratskeller this week. Not a bad day today at all, but with all the snow, everything was wet. I think now I'm getting close enough to getting signed off that it would be a good idea to go get a new red jacket that's hopefully a hell of a lot more waterproof than what I've been skiing with.