25 March 2008

Ski Day 22: Spring? Riiiiight...

Well, technically it's Spring. But up on the mountain on Sunday, it was most definitely still Winter. It was simply overcast when I arrived at The Large Ski Area (thanks, B-news) and went into the patrol room. When I went out to meet my trainees (just two of 'em), it was a blizzard.

Not much photography was going to happen Sunday anyway, given that I was the only coach dispatched, but the weather wasn't conducive to beautiful mountain vistas either. I did take a shot of a fleet of groomer cats doing their thing early in the morning.

Groomer cats on parade!

We helped open up the mountain, and headed over to Shooting Star, where I had hoped the Saturday training crew had left us a training sled or two.

They hadn't. It's probably as much my fault for not checking with someone there before I went up, but the usual procedure is that the Saturday guys bring sleds up and the Sunday guys bring them down. At any rate, the pro patrol at The Large Ski Area was gracious enough to let me use one of their sleds, so long as we were available to run cases over where we were training, if needed.

No problem there. I kind of expected we'd jump on anything in the area anyway. Turned out we didn't need to, but we certainly would have.

The day was pretty uneventful, and the only thing remarkable was getting to train one of the pro patrollers, who hadn't had any training running the tail-rope. He explained a little about their training program, so I learned he had already trained in the handles. We worked with him on tail-roping, and while he struggled with it at first, he was starting to get the hang of it after a few runs. He still needs more work, but he was improving when he had to go back to "work".

The one thing that sucked for the apprentices was they didn't get any practice rigging the sled for upload or uploading the sleds, since we didn't have sled carriers - The Large Ski Area doesn't use them. The good thing (I think) about that was that I got loads of practice lap-loading the sled to take it up the lift.

We managed to get in some free skiing in on the Experts-only part of the area, and got to sweep some of that space as well. The snow was excellent all the way 'round, but we paid for it on the chairlift rides - the wind was positively howling, right into our faces every time we rode up. I don't think it let up all day. Visibility was poor as well.

Can't win 'em all, I guess. At least the apprentices had a good day of training, and they both made good progress.


BJDorr said...

Groomer convoy!

Ghost Dog said...

10-4, good buddy. They got the hammer down.