01 February 2011

Ski Days 11 & 12: Sunny Training and Foggy Captaining @ Timberline

Got lazy again and haven't posted, sorry about that. But back on the 22nd, I actually had a patrol day where I didn't need my pack cover. Or rain gear of any sort. I even had time to take some pictures.

Ski Day 11 was a freakin' GREAT day. Clear skies, warm temperatures, and pretty fast snow awaited us, and I was guest-coaching with B Team. They're a pretty fun bunch, and they all seem to 'get it' - not just in terms of picking up the stuff we're trying to give them, but understanding the big picture. They have a good set of coaches, too, so I don't know how much more time I'll get to spend with them this season. I hope the 22nd wasn't the last time before they test out.

We worked on a lot of sideslipping fundamentals and some carving work throughout the day, and the morning was focused more on 'rope-a-goat' - drills without the toboggan where we get them used to handling the tail rope of the toboggan. Tail-roping is the toughest aspect to get totally wired, so we're giving extra emphasis on it and starting early.

They did get to drag empty toboggans around, too, and learn how to upload them on the chairlift. Later in the day, a couple of them got to feel what it was like to lock the handles and have a little weight behind them. It was a good exercise to help stress the importance of all the stance and balance stuff we'd given them earlier in the day.

Ski Day 12 was last Sunday, and while it started out beautifully, the weather didn't stay that way. I was Hill Captain for the first time at Timberline, and things there are a little different than at Ski Bowl. I think I did okay for my debut there, but there are a handful of things I'd like to do better next time. I had a good crew, though, which is always a good thing.

It was a pretty busy day, and the terrible visibility on the lower part of the mountain didn't help things. I don't know if any of the cases we had could be attributed to the visibility, but it certainly seemed like it could have been a factor if people weren't careful. I ended up spending a lot of my time covering for some bump shifts, since we had so many cases in the late morning to mid-day. But I managed not to botch anything up, sweep went okay, and everybody made it back for the debrief.

I did manage to visit with the training group very briefly, and it was nice to see the C Teamers again. Looked like they've continued to make progress.