January 2, 2011 – 1st Patrol day of 2011

My first Patrol day of 2011 couldn’t have started much better, with blue sunny skies, good snow and cold temps!

Running sleds with Diamond Peak above the fog

After a quick morning meeting in the patrol room, we headed out to open the mountain. I grabbed my camera, noting earlier that the light would probably be excellent for taking a few morning shots. The views upon arrival at the top of the Eagle Peak Accelerator didn’t disappoint….

Looking east from the summit of EPA
Diamond Peak

I made an opening run down Good Time Charlie, and the bumps were pretty soft and nice. There still was a bit of fresh snow in the trees down lower on the run. Back at the base, I loaded the EPA chair and headed back up for another run. After the mountain was opened, we were able to do some sled running. High Lead was the run of choice for running the sleds, and Todd, Ken and I formed a 3 man team for the task. Ken and Todd started out running the sled while I sat in it. Once we all had a turn in the handles and on tail rope, we worked over to By George for some fun running the sleds without any weight.

Sled practice
Rich running the Cascade 100

We did a few sled drills, reached the base of EPA, then headed back up. Todd and I headed to the backside to check out the Dragon’s Back area on the advice from another patroller. The area was really filled in, and Gravity Chute was almost doable, but we decided against it since there were still a few rocks showing. The views to the north were excellent……

Todd skinning towards Dragon’s Back

The snow was pretty good lower down in the trees. At that point, I headed back to the EPA and the frontside for a chance to test out a couple of different sleds from a different manufacturer (Edge Clipper). The sleds ran pretty nicely, the most notable difference being that they were lighter than the Cascade 100’s. Again, High Lead was the run of choice, followed by By George.

More sled running

Before lunch, I snapped a few more photos before heading in for some food. Back on the hill, I was able to enjoy a few more runs before sitting bump on EPA. Here’s a shot of John I took earlier in the day…

The Fish

Sweep went off without a hitch, and the sunset on Diamond Peak was incredible! The snow was excellent all day long – one of the things I love about mid-winter on the ski hill. Overall, it was the perfect way to start 2011!

John & Greg before Sweep