18 February 2008

Ski Day 17: Training In The Sun @ T-Flats

Illumination Rock. Such an interesting terrain feature.

I think yesterday was the first patrol day in a very long time that I didn't have to use the rain-cover on my patrol pack. The drive up to Govy was uneventful, even pleasant, and clear skies greeted me as the sun rose. Despite us training at Timberline, I figured it would be a good day.

We gathered at the patrol building in Govy, and I chatted with some of the guys and gals going to the other areas, as well as with my other coach, Jim. We were expecting at least 7 apprentices, but only ended up with three. This would prove to be a good thing for them, at least. Jim and I had to haul training sleds up to T-flats, so we each strapped one to our respective roof racks and headed up.

We helped out with opening, per usual training day process, and then spent the morning working on some out-of-the-handles drills. Also, we did some area orientation, just like usual, but the early-day snow was all pretty hard. It was kinda like skiing back home in Vermont, but I'm not picky. The Outlaws seemed to play fine on the groomers and the chattery hard stuff that wasn't groomed.

After lunch, it was time to drag sleds around. From all the scouting we'd done in the morning, it looked like running sleds off of Molly's Express was the way to go, given the couple steep pitches here and there and the noticeable lack of guests in that part of the area. So, off we went. We were only a couple runs into our training when the liftie up top notified me of a possible injury down near the bottom. I knew Jim and the apprentice he had with him (Nate) were much closer than my two guys and I were, so I radioed for them to check it out.

Ben and Chris relax a little, after a good sled load on Molly's.

They did so, and ended up having to run the case. They didn't need our assistance, so we continued to train. Ben - a guy who was with us last weekend at Meadows - and Chris were taking turns at the handles and the tail rope, and I was basically working on just a couple things with them. I didn't want to overload either of them with too many things to think about, so I just focused on the couple points they needed help on. Chris was on his 4th or 5th day, but I found out that he hadn't really been instructed on how to handle the tail rope. So, we went over that, and I demonstrated the technique in a walking demo for him. That really clicked, I think, as he picked it right up on the next run. They both made good strides today, which was nice to see.

Ben driving, Chris on the rope. Ben needs to square the shoulders more, and well, I caught Chris before I gave him instructions about tail-roping. His subsequent runs were better.

As we wrapped things up to get ready to help with sweep, we finally caught back up with Jim and Nate. Turns out their injured guy had a posterior dislocation of the right shoulder. Having had several anterior dislocations myself, I was intrigued about what caused one to come out the other way. I got the 2nd-hand play-by-play from the guys and it just sounded like a FOOSH that happened to end much worse than they usually do.

Anyway, we stashed the sleds near the top of Molly's so we could just park at the maintenance shop to pick them up later and headed off to help with sweep. Other than a few stragglers - folks with tired kids - sweep was pretty uneventful. Ben and I drew the Kruzer assignment, which is probably the easiest of the jobs on the Floodo sweep, so we happily cruised the long run, pulled some closures so the groomer cats don't chew up 'boo/signs/rope, and met up with the rest of the crew at the bottom.

The apprentice trio awaits sweep assignments near the top of Stormin' Norman.

After sweep and de-brief, we grabbed the sleds, took them down to Govy, put them away and signed some things off of the apprentices' checksheets. Aside from some pretty decent wind, it was an outstanding day at Timberline.

I guess I'm a real coach, now that I've hauled a sled on my vehicle...


brando said...

That looks like so dang much fun.