15 June 2008

Ski Day 30: Father's Day @ Timberflats

Couple of ski teams from my home state were up. A later version of the board indicated that Sugarbush was also up. Wonder if Smugglers' is sending any kids to ski camps this year...?

So, the only thing that sucks about summer patrolling is the wake-up time. 4:10am for me today, but it was a nice quiet drive up to the mountain. Rancid's "Daly City Train" chunked from the Sorento's speakers as I pulled into the lot.

Perhaps foreshadowing the kind of morning I was going to have, I slipped and fell getting out of the SUV. There was a nice sheet of ice under the front wheels extending to mid-way under the vehicle. As I fell, I subluxated my right shoulder. To quote Uncle Benny from Lethal Weapon 4, "Bruddy Mahverus". It hurt like hell, but the pain subsided quickly.

Earlier in the week, it was looking like it would just be me and one other guy. I was stoked to see 3 more hill patrollers and an associate up there when I got to the patrol room. It was gonna be a good day.

Mt. Jefferson off in the distance, from the top of the Magic Mile lift.

Well, mostly. We had to install a crapload of tower pads, and set a bunch of boundary markers. While tedious, those tasks were actually kind of fun. I liked the technique of "tail-roping" the tower pads instead of trying to carry the suckers in all that wind.

Another picture of patrollers doing patrol-y things. JG and Juergen install tower pads. It was my turn next.

It was still early and the conditions were still reminiscent of Vermont Frozen Boilerplate (I wonder if the Burke kids were thinking, 'I came out here to get away from this crap'?), when I got the call to head down to a possible injury at the top of the Mile lift. I took off, and about 10 turns down, I chattered right out of both skis.

Bruddy Mahverus.

I have a nicely bruised right hip (No, you don't get to see. Trust me when I tell you the bruise is about the size of the palm of my hand.), a little bruise just above the left boot-top (presumably from my right boot), and oh yes, some more right shoulder pain from a second subluxation to show for my rather spectacular crash.

The scene of the crime. I guess about 300 feet below where I shot this.

I slid far. REALLY far. Like so far I wondered if I would stop sliding when I reached Palmer midstation. It took seemingly forever to get my body turned around and get my feet below me so I could attempt to stop. I finally did so, and popped right up on my feet.

Yes, another patroller saw me. I bought a pitcher of beer at the Rat afterward.

One ski kept pace with me, more or less. The other, not so much. It outran me by at least 500 feet. A bystander saw and came over to ask if I was okay. Nice little role reversal, I thought. Laughing about the whole thing between grimacing in pain, I told him I was okay, stepped into the one ski that was near me, and attempted to ski down to the other ski. I did okay, but it wasn't the smooth one-ski drills I remembered being able to do 20-some years ago. Something to add to my practice repertoire, I suppose. Maybe make next year's crop of hill apprentices do it with me when I coach them.

The case had been taken care of by the time I'd arrived, by one of the pro patrollers who'd already been there. Wasted trip in the first place. I wish it had just been a wasted trip - y'know, without the whole falling on my ass part. I checked the DIN on my bindings after the crash and found they were well below where I would have set them. I guess that's what I get for assuming the shop got it right the first time.

Everybody and their dog (not pictured) was climbing today. I missed out on the chance to haul an injured one off the hill.

The skiing the rest of the day was glorious spring (okay, summer) snow. The west side of the lift was opened up, and there was some excellent snow over there. It was so wide open and uncrowded that you could make these giant looping carved turns that took up what felt like acres of space. It was so satisfying and fun that I didn't feel the bumps and bruises.

I sure feel 'em now, though.

Sweep found me on the west side of the hill for some more hero turns in the epic summery-ness, and the gang hit the Ratskeller in Govy for beer, pizza, and chatter. Monkey Face Porter from Cascade Lakes Brewery was the pitcher I bought, and it was damn good. Nice way to cap the day.


Bryan said...

Something doesn't look right. After all that snow this year, it appears to be melting very fast. We didn't have much of summer-like weather this season so far either.

brando said...

What awesome pics.

I get vertigo from an 18inch image, cause I'm that much of a wuss.