04 March 2008

Ski Day 19: Coaching at Meadows

The new Patrol HQ at Meadows. Very nice facility.

Sunday was a fantastic day of sled-training. We started off a little rocky, with some folks unsure of when/where to meet, but we got out on the hill to help with opening on-time more or less, the sun was out and it was beautiful.

We had 4 apprentices and two coaches, so we split the groups to help with opening. I took Ben and Nate out with me over to North Canyon to check on anything that needed doing over there. We handled some 'slow' signs and stuff, but the highlight was catching the aftermath of some of the avalanche control work that was going on. I managed a pretty decent shot of an avalanche that had been triggered on Elevator. You can clearly see the crown face on this one.

Shot this from the top of North Canyon, looking up towards Elevator. Pretty massive slide, triggered by the control work the patrol was doing.

After opening up, we headed over to Shooting Star to do some area orientation, then we got into a few skiing drills before moving on to sled-running. We got a lot of good runs in, and the guys were making good progress. We even practiced a scene approach scenario, where the apprentices worked on how to approach an incident scene, where to place the toboggan, how to secure it for patient loading, and so on.

Nate, Ben, and Scott with a Clipper uploading.

Things got a little interesting when one of the guys who hadn't had a lot of time in the handles bobbled a transition and went down. The situation was exacerbated by the tail-roper also losing control and going down. They managed to stop the sled, but were likely aided by a quick (and very impressive) bail-out by their passenger. Sadly, I wasn't shooting video of that run, so I can't show you what happened.

Ben gets back in the sled after having to bail out from a crash.

Nate driving, doing traversing drills.

Towards the middle of the afternoon, I met a co-worker on the hill, but not in the manner one would have liked. His son had hurt himself crashing into one of the metal barriers they use for the lift line corral. We heard dispatch send someone, but since we were close, I decided to go check it out in case I could help. Turned out the kid wasn't seriously injured, but I helped the pro patroller who responded, and off they went to the clinic. I caught back up with the training group and we continued working.

We bugged out at around 3:15 since we weren't needed for sweep this time around. We took the sleds back to the Patrol building in Govy, talked about the day's training, and called it a day. I'm getting the hang of this sled-coaching stuff, but I'll be putting in a regular patrol day this coming weekend. Haven't really done that in a while.


BJDorr said...

Sadly, I wasn't shooting video of that run, so I can't show you what happened.

That's probably good news for the trainee.