09 March 2008

Ski Day 20: Springing Ahead @ Ski Bowl

Wouldn't be a ski patrol post without a shot of Hood. No, I'm not tired of shooting the mountain.

Before getting into the gloriousness of the wonderful sunny day at Ski Bowl, I have to get into how this morning was almost rather massively fracked-up.

I awoke at about 5:20am, plenty of time to get up, take a shower, get dressed, toss all my gear into the Sorento and get to the mountain with enough time to spare a brief trip to the patrol building in Govy in case anyone wants a lift over to Ski Bowl East. I showered, got dressed, and fired up the new compy (that I built all by myself, which could be why the power LED doesn't appear to work - but it runs great, more about that later - maybe) to check the Avy report and the weather, as well as double-check who I'd be patrolling with.

I read the avy report and then noticed the system clock reading 6:40am. WTF, I thought, that's weird...I haven't been sitting here an hour, and if that's correct -

"Oh, SHIT. Shitshitshit! Goddamn it! Idiot! I can't believe I didn't set my frackin' clock ahead!!"

More cursing ensued. I won't repeat it here, but if F-bombs were actual bombs, the house would be a smoking crater 500 feet deep.

I skipped breakfast, skipped making and packing a sandwich, and hurried the hell out the door. I did make sure I put fresh water in my Camelbak and triple-checked that I wasn't missing anything.

We won't get into just how fast I drove, but I managed to dart in the door at the Palace just barely early enough to make the morning meeting. I get in there, and everyone is talking to me like I'm coaching hill apprentices today. Uh...nope - I'm not scheduled or dispatched as a trainer today, guys.

Well, that didn't go over well, but since we had only 4 apprentices, we hastily worked out a plan where we could get some training done today without impacting our usual high-quality service to the area. This plan basically consisted of myself and another patroller giving up our "unassigned" shift from 12-2, which meant no free-skiing in the nice soft crud.

Mount Adams (I think), from Tom Dick Peak. Skiing the West Boundary at the Bowl first thing that morning was brutal, but the view was worth it.

It was a small price to pay, really. And the apprentices got some good work in, despite things being thrown together kind of loosey-goosey. I managed a couple runs after we finished sled training, and I did get to go on the Peak Hike earlier in the morning with one of the apprentices. Got some good photos today as well.

I've been wanting to shoot this sign all season. I chuckle a little every time I see it.

We did a scenario with the apprentices aimed at having them demonstrate the skills they'd need for securing an incident scene, approaching with a toboggan, securing the toboggan, loading the patient, and so on. Things were going swell until they got their 'patient' loaded in the sled. One of the apprentices was on telemark skis, and had used them to secure the sled. Unfortunately, there weren't any ski brakes on his skis. This is important to note, because as soon as the 'patient' added his weight to the sled, one of the skis popped out of the snow.

Apprentice Ed driving the Clipper near the bottom of Calamity.

More sled driver training on the lower part of Radical.

Remember the part about no ski brakes? Yeah, well we were near the top of Radical. The ski shot down the trail, headed into some trees, popped up over the trees and rocketed down the hill. How it managed to land base-down is still a bit beyond me, but it finally came to rest in the flats just below the bottom of the upper bowl chair.

What's more unbelievable is that it didn't hit anyone. That could have been not only tragic, but a colossal embarrassment. As it was, the apprentice whose ski it was became the 'patient'.

The pro patrol relieved us of our usual task of Outback sweep, citing a later closure due to the daylight savings change. But we ended up waiting well past the time we would have finished sweep before the pros relieved us at Rescue Center. *sigh*

After getting back to the Palace, returning my radio, and signing off a couple things on the apprentice training logs, I headed back to the patrol building to find one of the apprentices getting ready to leave. Unfortunately, there was no one around to lock up after he left, so I had to go get the key. Upon returning with the key, I saw NoPoGirl pull up. She'd been at Timberflats today while her hubby Barkernews was patrolling at Meadows. We chatted for a bit while the apprentice packed up his gear and left, and I decided to keep her and pooch Noah company until her hubby arrived. The side effect of hanging around was missing most of the traffic off the mountain. I hadn't seen NoPoGirl in quite a while, so it was nice to catch up 'beyond the blog' so to speak.


BJDorr said...

Daylight saving hasn't been a real problem for me.

It's that stupid damn little dot on the alarm clock. Is it AM or PM, is it the alarm indicator?

It's no wonder why I love the 24-hour time format. Could never mistaken 05:00 with 17:00.

BJDorr said...

Okay, I checked myself.

I'm going to wreck myself now.