March 27, 2021 – Shaun’s first taste of patrol

After getting several days on the hill earlier in the season, Shaun felt like he was ready to tag along with me for a full day of ski patrol. I was pretty excited that he wanted to ski with me for a full day, and it looked like it would be a warm day with decent snow conditions. We hit the road early, and arrived in the parking lot around 7:40 am.

Early morning at the Pass

I let him stay in the truck while we conducted our morning meeting on patrol, and then I headed out to help open the mountain. The temperature was around 25 degrees, and conditions were firm as I opened RTS, but it was easy to keep an edge in.

Patrol 2 morning meeting

After opening RTS, I headed back to the car, helped Shaun gear up, and we headed out a couple of minutes past 9:00 am. It sounded like Eagle’s and Charlie’s were groomed on the front, so we headed up EPA for his first ride of the morning.

Shaun and I ready to head out
Shaun at the top of EPA

We made a run down Eagle’s, and it was in pretty good shape, and we headed back up for another lap. At the top, several patrollers were hanging out, since conditions were still a bit firm. Matthew suggested we get a quick P2 photo, so I pulled the camera out and snapped a pic of the crew and Shaun.

Shaun and Patrol up top

After taking a pic of patrol, I made a quick switch of my lenses and put the telephoto on the camera. Diamond Peak was glistening in the sun, and I wanted to get a few close up shots of the mountain. The below pic turned out nice, and I’m looking forward to getting back in there later this spring…

Diamond Peak in the late March sun

Shuan and I made three or four more runs on the front, alternating between Charlie, Eagle’s, KP, and the Rosary’s, and then headed down for a quick break. While Shaun had a snack and some water, I snapped a few pictures of the base area with my fisheye lens…

Fisheye view of the Pass

Our break was relatively short — I had to explain to Shaun that when you’re patrolling you don’t get long breaks:) — so we headed back out on the hill. By this time, the snow was starting to soften quite nicely, and Shaun was skiing with quite a bit more confidence.

Shaun skiing Good Time
Up top on a beautiful day

Soon, the snow became pretty sticky, so we decided to head over to Peak 2 to check out the conditions on the back. I’m glad we did, because it turned out to be the last day Peak 2 would turn for the season. We spun a few laps on Peak 2, checking out the various runs, and then headed back via the James Bond trail to hit Charlie on our way back to the base.

A quick break on Escalator
Cruising down Good Time

Shaun wanted to do a lap on Twilight, so we headed over there and skied a couple of runs, and then it was time to head back to Peak 2 for sweep. Ironically, after a super busy season, with several double digit incident days, we didn’t have one incident on this day. Nevertheless, Shaun was excited to help sweep, and be the last skiers on the hill.

Getting ready for Peak 2 sweep

We closed Waldo, and it was pretty cool to see Shaun skiing down the run, stopping every couple hundred feet and yell ‘Closing!” We met up with the other sweepers at the bottom, and rode the last chair of the Peak 2 season back to the top.

Shaun Sweeping Waldo

We helped put the sled away at the top, then made the ski/hike back to the top of EPA for upper mountain sweep. I happened to catch John and Joe standing up top with Diamond in the background, so I asked them to hold that pose for a moment to frame a shot of them with the Peak, which turned out below…

John and Joe ready for sweep

For upper mountain sweep, Shaun and I drew Eagle’s, and the snow was pretty soft as we headed down. We met the other patrollers at the intersection of KP, then finished sweeping the fun back down to the base. Shaun and I were in the back, and I think we was really enjoying getting to be the last skiers on the hill…

Sweeping down KP

At the base, we conducted a quick evening meeting, and then everyone headed to the parking lot to change out of gear and enjoy a cold beverage. My beer of choice for the day was a refreshing Steady Orbit from Ninkasi Brewing, and Shaun photo bombed my picture…

Shaun photo bombing my Ninkasi Beer shot

Once out of my patrol gear, Shaun hung out in the truck with his phone, and I joined my fellow (fully vaccinated) patrollers for some post apres` ski fun in the warm parking lot. Watching folks sit around in t-shirts and shorts, I knew the season was almost over, which is always bittersweet. That said, I was super happy that Shuan was able to enjoy a great day on patrol with me, and am looking forward to more father/son patrol days next year!

Post patrol fun in the parking lot