22 February 2009

Ski Day 10: Definitely A Cover Day

A look uphill from Lower Bowl. The sun almost made an appearance in the morning.

The forecast for Government Camp today was 42 degrees and rain when I checked last night. I knew it would be a pack-cover day, but was pleasantly surprised that I didn't really need it until after lunch.

I met up with my guest coach Toby and the rest of the 'D Team'-ers at the patrol building in Govy, which was a rather busy place since avalanche training was also happening today. We got everyone all signed in and headed over to Ski Bowl. We only had 5 of the 10 or so we usually have. No idea why.

One of the paid patrollers setting a rope line. Apparently, this was for some kind of speed-trap.

As usual, we spent the morning helping out with opening. It was hard to resist just skiing the beautifully groomed trails right off the bat, but there was work to be done. Fortunately, there is one good thing about the lack of recent snowfall or freezing precipitation - very little needs to be done to the rope lines, tower pads, etc., so we were done quickly. And I did get to make some nice sweeping carved turns on the corduroy. As much fun as skiing the steep and deep is, there are few things on skis more satisfying than perfectly carved turns at the ski's natural radius.

The obligatory 'Hi Mom & Dad' shot.

We did some skiing drills and worked on some other fundamentals in the morning, but really wanted to try and take advantage of the groomed stuff in the Upper Bowl. It was pretty much like spring conditions up there, and even the off-groom stuff was pretty decent. We did a couple practice transceiver searches in the morning (the first one was unsuccessful - the person who hid it forgot to turn it on), then grabbed the sleds and went over to the east side for lunch.

After lunch, it was sled-running time. The gang is getting better, and we were running loaded sleds over on Raceway off the Cascade chair. After last session, we felt like the pitch on Raceway was a perfect choice to get them working on some steeper stuff before throwing them down Accelerator or Radical. I would have liked to have done some work on the Upper Bowl, but the guys I'm coaching just weren't ready for that, in my opinion. They should be ready for some steeper stuff at Meadows next week, though. I'm going to spend some time thig week picking out some new drills for them for Sunday. They've all got a similar set of flaws I want them to fix.

After sled-running, we headed back to RC for a quick transceiver-search - mostly so we could put the thing away for next week - and then rounded back up for Outback sweep. Sweep was fun, as I took a route I don't recall having taken on sweep in a good long time, and the snow was a nice mix of spring-like crud and mush. After sweep, we zipped on back to the Palace to hoist a brew to a fallen patroller who'd passed on a week ago. I never met him, but everyone who'd been on the patrol a while and knew him had all kinds of great stories and surely miss him.

I moseyed back over to the patrol building to finish my paperwork (brief rundown of the day and comments about the apprentices' training and progress), fax it off, and head home. Despite being a bit soaked from the afternoon's rain, I felt good.


Tailwag said...

In the few short years I knew him, he was always upbeat and a can do attitude!! He was a patroller for all patrollers!

brando said...

So is a transiver fix practice for finding someone by their cell phone or something?

Ghost Dog said...

Brando, it's for finding people wearing avalanche transceivers. Anyone who does a good bit of back-country skiing will/should have one.