13 December 2010

Ski Days 4 & 5: Waterlogged Tryouts, Damp Calibration

The first of (hopefully only) two back-to-back day weekends on the patrol started out with a nice wintry morning at Ski Bowl for the patrol's annual tryouts. I was one of many evaluators for the ski-test portion of the day's activities, and it was looking like it'd be a nice snowy day on the hill. But we knew it would switch to rain at some point in the day, so we weren't getting too excited about the new snow.

I got paired up to evaluate with one of my first coaches on the patrol, a guy we call "Tool Time" who patrolled at Smugglers' when he was going to school at St. Mike's in VT. After meeting some of the new candidates, we sat around for a bit waiting for the interviews to finish so we could take our first group over to Ski Bowl to put them through their paces. The snow changed over to rain before we even finished our first run, and our evaluation cards were soaked pretty quickly. We ended up having to improvise with our "Rite in Rain" notepads.

Tool Time and I were "lucky" enough to also have the last group of candidates for the day's tryouts. So, after we finished our first group, we went inside to try and dry off a little bit. This didn't really work. We got our eval cards for the group, and got back out on the hill. We tried to move things along a little quicker the second time around, and I think we managed to do that. After going over all the scores and making sure we had accounted for everything we did, we finally got back over to the patrol building in town and finished things up.

I got home, peeled off all my wet clothes, pulled everything out of all my pockets and tossed it all in the dryer. I had other pairs of gloves and goggles ready in case they didn't dry out (didn't want to over-'cook' the gloves, so was cautious with the dryer), but I didn't need 'em.

Sunday was the coaches' calibration clinic, where we get all the toboggan coaches together to get on the same page regarding everything from the paperwork aspect to the points of emphasis for the season. This year, we spent a little less time talking, and headed out to Meadows for the on-hill part. We expected rain and wind, and we got it, though not as bad as I figured. It was good to be out there, and aside from having to wipe off my goggles constantly, it wasn't a half-bad day after all.

We have a couple of PSIA instructors on the patrol, so we got them involved in our calibration clinic. They were able to provide a little more perspective on the teaching process as it relates to skiing fundamentals, as well as show us old dogs a few new tricks. As good a skier as I am, I picked up something I could work on, too. I can't wait to get out there and start coaching.