07 April 2007

Ski Day 22: Closing Time @ Ski Bowl

Lower Bowl, from underneath the deck at the beer stube. Note all the bare spots. Upper bowl was still pretty well-covered.

Today, despite the weather, was a great day. Got up a little earlier than necessary, which put me at the patrol building early enough to chat with the trainers who were going up to Meadows today to do more sled training. Went over to the "palace" with one of them to help load some sleds into his van, then hung out and waited for the rest of the bowl crew to arrive.

The drive up was rainy, but as I pulled into Govy, it stopped. I had a fleeting thought that it might clear, but it started right up again after I got done helping load those sleds. Argh. But seeing a few pals from the Spring '06 OEC class up there today brightened my mood somewhat, and I started gearing up for the day. One of the "inverts", Jose, was up there, and it was nice to see him as I hadn't in quite a while. Turns out that he and his better half had a baby recently. Awesome.

Papa Jose, after dealing with an early case, and before we took off to make some runs.

Jose and I got picked ('cause we were ready first) to go out with the head pro patroller and take care of some critical opening assignments so that people wouldn't ski where they shouldn't, since the main lower bowl run was...well, crap. See photo at top.

Anyway, after resetting some 'boo, fences, checking equipment, and taking a couple runs on Multorpor, I headed up to RC to see what needed doing next. I took a couple laps while other folks were drying off, checking out some of the steep stuff up top. Most of the morning was spent making turns and taking turns in RC to dry off and let the others get some runs in. I didn't spend a lot of time up there, but we had plenty of people today, so I didn't feel too bad. I figured I earned some turns for doing the stuff over at Multorpor first thing.

NoPoGirl and Barkernews, one chair ahead. This was their 40-something-th day on snow this season. I hate them. :)

After getting some lunch, I linked up with Barkernews and NoPoGirl and made some runs with them and a couple other folks, including apprentice Laura (driving a sled here). We were just crankin' and bankin' the upper bowl, finding some nice stuff on Pizzaz. I wanted to try out the burst mode on the camera, and the weather cooperated just enough for me to get a few shots of B-news and NPG making some turns tele style. Here are a couple of the better ones:

B-news, making turns. I wanted to get a better shot, but I wasn't fully prepared for where he was going to go.

NoPoGirl's turn to turn. I think she was saying something about the rock in the bottom of the frame. I picked that spot to shoot from so nobody'd hit it.

A little later, I had B-news shoot me making turns. He only managed one three-shot burst, but got a nice shot of me here (thanks, dude!):

Feeling the need for speed. Not looking too bad here, if I say so myself.

The rest of the afternoon was spent pulling stuff off the mountain. I pulled all the "CAUTION" and "CLIFF" signs off of Cliffhanger, and the others were busy taking down rope lines and fences and all manner of things related to what I'll call "guest management". Everybody did a lot of great work today. The challenging part was pulling the lift tower and light pole pads, as they can be rather unwieldy to ski with, much less take back up the lift.

There were only a couple cases all day, and I had the dubious honor of taking the very last case at Ski Bowl for the season. It was a female 'boarder who'd crashed and was having some rib pain. She wasn't seriously hurt, and my assessment didn't reveal any bone damage, but she was definitely in no hurry to get back on her board and risk another crash. I pulled her down in the sled and she ended her day in the aid room in capable hands.

We packed it in after that, putting at least a half-dozen sleds in the "palace" for storage. While waiting for the hill captain to open the "palace" for us, I gathered the hill patrollers from the Spring '06 OEC class who were up today, for a mini-reunion photo-op. Thanks to fall classer Michael for snapping it.

Spring '06-ers in the house! L to R: NoPoGirl, Jose, Barkernews, yours truly, and Mark. Good bunch of folks.

De-brief was at Charlie's, and we all reflected on a good season at Ski Bowl and chatted about the day over a few beers. More good conversation followed, and I thought about how happy I was to have joined the patrol, because I get to see and ski with great people all season long. And occasionally buy them beer.

After looking at the photos a little more closely, they looked a little grainy to me. Turns out I was shooting all day (and probably since I got the camera) on the lower of the two quality settings. Oh well. Hopefully I can take some more photos of my fellow patrollers making turns later this spring or into the summer on the higher quality setting.