11 April 2011

Ski Day 24: Toboggan Testing at Ski Bowl

After taking a weekend away from patrolling, I was kind of excited to get back into it. I'd been sick the couple days prior, which meant missing out on dragging pal Barkernews up for night skiing on Thursday night. Pretty frustrated about that. But Saturday was looking to be a decent weather day, and I was pretty stoked at the prospect of getting to see some of the folks I've helped train this season take their toboggan tests for the patrol.

I was also kind of stoked to get back to Ski Bowl. I hadn't been there since all the recent snow, and since it was a day after the second anniversary of my ACL repair, I hoped I'd get the chance to visit the scene of the crime.

I carpooled up with one of the other coaches (last year's Alpine Coach of the Year, in fact), and he was going to be spending the morning training the folks that hadn't yet been recommended to test, then sending folks from that group over to myself and an instructor-trainer for evaluation in the afternoon.

We started the day just getting warmed up, and seeing how the snow was in various places in the upper bowl. Just about anywhere that'd had a lot of direct sun was hard and choppy, the typical result of the melt-freeze that happens, but the stuff that didn't get the direct sun was pretty sweet. Around the middle of the day, I found a line in the trees that was so much fun I was chuckling aloud.

The toboggan testing started out a little shaky for a couple of the apprentices, and I attributed that to some pre-test nerves. They settled, mostly, and once we really got into the meat of the test program, things got better for the most part. We had one apprentice who had been out of town for a couple weeks, so she missed some key training days, and I think we rushed her into testing. We should have just had her train instead of test - in hindsight, I don't feel it was fair to her to throw her to into a test scenario without having seen her run toboggans recently. I was kinda bummed for her, because she's worked pretty hard and has had a great attitude all season. She's not far off from passing, however.

I'm not going to go into the other person who didn't pass, other than to say I was more than a little disappointed in how things went down on Saturday with regard to his performance and some of the things he said.

The four apprentices who passed looked pretty solid, and I'm pleased to see more of them finish up. I'll get to see them finish OEC as well, since I've signed up as I usually do to help out at OEC finals night next month.