March 6, 2022 – Eagles on Eagle Peak

After a fun trip to Tam McArthur Rim, it was time to head back to the Pass for my first day of patrolling in March. With all the rain in the previous week, expectations for the day weren’t high, but at least the sun was shining when I pulled into the parking lot a little before 7:30 am. After donning gear and getting the assignments put up on the white board outside the patrol room, it was time for our morning meeting. Dan and Patrick did a good job leading the medical minute on the proper use and installation of the beach chair, and then it was time to head out and open the mountain.

Medical minute in the morning
Patrick and Dan leading a beach chair demo

I headed up to EPA to help with opening, and it was nice to see Odell Lake again after being away from the Pass for a couple of weeks.

Opening at the top of EPA
Patrick and Greg with the 100 atop EPA

I spun a lap or two on the lift before heading down to check in on Shaun and Tanner, who had come up with me and were planning on skiing together during the day. The snow was quite firm, but it was apparent the rain had really put the hurt on the front side of the mountain, and there was quite a bit of dirt showing on the big four. By the time I came back up to the top, we were ready to open Peak 2, and I grabbed a quick pic before dropping the rope and heading back.

Looking off to Peak 2
Andy, Dan and James at Peak 2

Around 10:00 am, I met up the SPY at the base, and we headed out to show them a few of the out of the way areas to help get them familiar with them in the event we ever had incidents that needed responding to. We spun a few laps on the backside, and skied through Obvious Choice, Lighthouse, Cherokee, and the Meadow. The snow was pretty terrible, but it was still fun to visit the out of the way spots and show Cesca, Calvin and Silas around.

P2 SPY – Silas, Calvin and Cesca in the Meadow
Diamond Peak from Peak 2

By the time we were done exploring, it was nearing 11:30 am and I headed back down to the base to get an early lunch. Once finished, I headed back up to the top of EPA and found Dan sitting bump.

The memorial outside the patrol room
Dan at EPA

I waited around up top and bit, and soon Shaun and Tanner arrived, and I was able to have Dan grab a picture of me with them. They didn’t want to wait long though, since they were skiing with some other friends. Before long I wonder if I’ll even be able to keep up with them!

Shaun and Tanner at the top of EPA
Looking up the EPA liftline

After Shawn and Tanner took off, I decided to check out RTS to see how the conditions were. It had been closed for quite awhile, but I wanted to give it a go. Dropping in, it was pretty firm. I made my way to the bottom, and headed out via Lois Lane. Spinning around back to the top of EPA, I snapped a quick pic of Andy and Craig with their matching skis.

RTS from near Lois Lane
Andy and Craig up top

Even though it wasn’t that great, I decided to drop into RTS for another lap, and before I got to the top of Twilight, I got a call regarding a courtesy ride there. I dispatched Patrick to respond, and when I showed up he took me up on my offer to provide a tail rope. We ended up doing a double, in more ways than one, in that the courtesy ride was for two small girls who were sisters and not older than probably 6 or 7. The other part of the double was that as soon as we got to the base, we got a call for another courtesy ride for a snowboarder with a broken binding. We made a quick turnaround with the sled, and headed down again with the snowboarder in tow.

Patrick giving a courtesy ride
A broken down snow cat on Duck Soup

After a couple of courtesy rides, I was ready to get away from Twilight, and headed back up to the top of EPA. I chatted with Buz for a few minutes, and then Dan and I headed down and worked our way over to Swoosh, which was skiing quite nicely.

Buz on bump at EPA
Dan skiing Swoosh

We headed back to the top of EPA again, and it was time to start getting ready for sweep. While I was talking to a few patrollers at the top of EPA, we noticed a couple of bald eagles circling above us. I quickly put on my telephoto lens, and was able to take a few pics that turned out when one of them landed on a dead snag in the tree farm.

A bald eagle perched above EPA
Taking flight

By the time I was done taking pictures, I noticed I was a little late for Peak 2 sweep. It turned out not to matter however, since there were plenty of others that had it covered. So instead of sweeping, I hung out with Greg at the top of EPA and monitored the radio traffic while we waited for everyone to come our way to start upper mountain sweep.

Greg just before closing
Patrollers done with Peak 2 sweep and heading to EPA

Soon, everyone was back at the top of EPA, and we swept the upper mountain after the final chair unloaded. Both upper and lower mountain sweep went off without a hitch, and everyone was happy for the day to come to a close because it meant it was time to crack open a beer after our evening meeting. Since it was a Sunday, I had brought up a mixed 12-pack from Pelican Brewing, and we also had a 12-pack from Ninkasi Brewing that was given to us from a visiting patroller earlier in the day.

Cape Crasher from Pelican Brewing

My beer of choice for the evening was a Cape Crasher IPA from Pelican, and it definitely hit the spot while hanging out with fellow patrollers after a long day. Eventually, after the beers disappeared and everyone was through with the BS, it was time to call it a day and head home. I did a quick look through of the day’s incident reports, locked up the patrol room, grabbed Shaun, Tanner and our gear, and we hit the road, satisfied with another good day at the Pass.