16 March 2010

Ski Day 19: A Practical Demo For My Trainees @ Timberline

Hey, look - I didn't wait almost a week (or longer) to get around to blogging about a patrol day. I'm proud of myself, but not to the point that I'll be testing my flexibility by patting myself on the back.

Or did I just do that?

Whatever. Anyway, Sunday was another day of apprentice coaching for me, and this time I didn't have to fly solo. I don't mind doing so, other than I prefer not to have to be the one jabbering on all the time. We didn't have our full complement of trainees, so Brett and I had to take turns being a passenger in one of the toboggans.

We got kind of a late start to dragging the sleds around, because we both misread a message about where the toboggans would be. Turns out that not only were they not where we thought they'd be, they weren't where they were supposed to be. Confused yet? Good. Or, dammit. Despite being at Timberflats, we did manage to find some decent steeps to train on, and the snow was nice. It was sunny, cold, and breezy, but it did warm up a bit throughout the day. We pretty much did our laps in the lower part of the area through the morning.

In the afternoon, we went back to work on the lower area, then decided we should go check things out up top, so off we went to Palmer. We weren't even really off the chairlift before a call came in, and due to the lack of patrollers up there (why? where was everyone?), we got to respond. I was first on scene since I volunteered to be the first responder, and it was pretty obvious to me what I was dealing with before I even took the guy's jacket off to see his shoulder - dislocated. My own right shoulder twinged a little when he showed me that he couldn't lift it, and my suspicions were confirmed upon checking it out.

I made the appropriate calls, and got him into a blanket roll to stabilize the shoulder, with some assistance from Brett and the apprentices. Loaded him into the sled and off we went.

I'd forgotten just how long a toboggan pull I had ahead of me, when I said "I'll drive." We were a couple towers up from the bottom of Palmer. Anyone who knows Timberline knows that while not steep up there, it's a pretty long haul. I wondered to myself briefly how the knee would hold up - I hadn't had the opportunity to test it like this. Sure, I've skied 18 days to this point, and a couple of those days were above average intensity, but I hadn't skied a run that long all in one shot, much less having to do so braking a rescue toboggan behind me. With an apprentice watching.

I needn't have worried.

Yeah, of course I was sore at the end of the day, and there wasn't any time to dwell on the run when I got the guy down to the first aid room. I didn't really think about it again until after they got him on the ambulance gurney. Pretty proud I did it, and silently thanked my Ortho Doc and my PT.

Oh, one thing that was really cool was that the ambulance guys complimented me on my blanket roll. They almost didn't want to cut the cravats to remove it so they could use their contraption. Good thing they did, though - we got our blanket back. Those things disappear quite a bit, apparently.

Anyway, we put the sled back out on the hill, helped a girl find her dad and brother, then helped with sweep. Ended the day back at the Govy building, signing training cards and grading map tests, drinking a cold Pipeline Porter.

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