March 16, 2019 – Spring Patrolling at the Pass

Mid-March means longer days at the Pass, with weather that’s usually snowy or sunny. For Patrol 2 on Saturday the 16th, it was the later rather than the former. We pulled into the parking lot around 7:30 am like normal, stepped into the patrol room and began gearing up for the day. After the morning meeting, several of us headed out to open EPA in the morning sun.

Craig up top

After opening RTS, which was pretty nice, I headed over to Peak 2 for a few runs. Since we were closing in on the end of the season, I decided after a few runs that it was worth hiking the Avy route one more time for the season. I hiked out to the Nose and snapped a few pics with my fisheye lens. The Nose offers one of the best views of the backside of the Pass…

The view from the Nose

After I left the nose, I met up with Jodie and Jon, and we headed over to the Meadow for some beacon practice. The Fish had hid a couple beacons; we found the first one quickly, and the second one a bit later, reinforcing the fact that in the event of an avalanche you’d better hope there isn’t more than one victim if you only have one or two rescuers.

Jodi at the top of Waldo

After the avy practice, we stashed the gear back at the top of Peak 2 and headed in for some lunch. I snapped a few pics of Hannah and Meghan before I headed down, including the shot below…

Hannah and Meghan on Peak 2

I headed down to the base via the Rosary runs, which were nicely groomed and made for some fun turns. In the aid room, the Social Committee (Rich and Hal) were busy making lunch for the patrol. On the menu for today was corned beef and chili, and it hit the spot. Rich and Hal make patrolling on Saturday worth it no matter what the conditions are like!

Rich and Hal – The Social Committee
Saturday’s Corned Beef

After lunch, I headed out to catch the EPA lift for a 1:00 pm bump slot. Bump was pretty slow, so I killed the time by talking to folks up top as well as shooting a few pics of the surrounding scenery with my telephotos lens…

Lakeview Peak and Beyond

After bump, it was time for a few runs down RTS, which was skiing great in the afternoon sun. I headed in to the patrol room around 2:20, with the goal of snapping a few photos before heading back to Peak 2 for sweep. While I was focusing on a couple subjects, a call came over the radio from Fischer that Kris Kross was closed. For a brief second I thought I was late, then realized John hadn’t turned his clock back. Sure enough, he took a rift of shit over the radio before sheepishly announcing that Kris Kross was back open.

The Pass the Snowbank Along the Highway
The beer out and ready for the post patrol meeting

With my urge to snap a few photos satisfied, it was time to head over to Peak 2 for another lap and then sweep. The snow on the backside runs was still skiing nicely, and I headed down Destiny, one of my favorites, especially in the afternoon.

Ian heading up for sweep
Greg relaxing at the top of Peak 2

As patrol started to gather around the top of Peak 2 for sweep, I volunteered to run the show and assigned runs. As usual for the weekend, we had several folks show up and were able to have one person per run. Before everyone set off, Schweitzer grabbed the camera and snapped a photo of all of us at the top…

Peak 2 Sweep Crew
Patrol coming up after closing

After Peak 2 sweep, everyone unloaded the chair and started off for upper mountain sweep. We decide one more photos was in order, and this time included the Peak 2 lift crew in the shot…

The gang after Peak 2 sweep

We made the short ski/hike over to EPA, and after last chair, swept the mountain clean. Twilight sweep followed, and then it was time for the evening meeting followed by those beers we’d all been waiting for. Hanging in the patrol room after the day was over, drinking a cold one and bullshitting with everyone, there definitely was the bittersweet feeling that the season was waning down. Regardless, it’s been a great season, and there’s still a month or so left to enjoy it until the end.

Sweeping KP to End the Day