April 22, 2023 – High Pressure and Hibernating Rodents

It was shaping up to be a fun weekend, and I took Friday off from work to take Shaun to Mt Hood Meadows for a day of turns prior to patrolling at the Pass on Saturday. We had a great day at Meadows, and it was hard to believe it’d been more than a decade since my last visit. We spent the day running laps on the Shooting Star, Hood River and Mt Hood Express lifts, and even made it out to Private Reserve. We’re already making plans to get back next year. I capped the day off with a tasty Hazy in the Gorge IPA from Backwoods Brewing Co, and we hit the road home to prepare for patrol the following morning.

Hazy in the Gorge IPA from Backwoods Brewing

The next morning, we hit the road early and made our way to Pass. Shaun was planning on staying overnight for the SPY sleepover, so we had a bit of extra gear with us when we unloaded. The SPY got to work early by digging out some steps outside the patrol room, and I readied the patrol room for the day.

SPY working on the steps outside the patrol room
Patrick and Amy prior to opening

A little later, it was time for the morning meeting, and shortly thereafter we headed out to open the hill. The day looked to be sunny, and corn was on the menu. I headed to the top of EPA to help open the upper mountain, and snapped a few pictures of the crew before folks headed out.

The crew up top on EPA
Looking out to Diamond

Before I shoved off to open Timburr, which was “unbelievable” to borrow a term from Fischer, I took some shots with my telephotos lens of Diamond and Lakeview, which were basking in the sun…

Telephoto shot of Diamond
Lakeview from the top of EPA

Then, it was time to slide down and check out Timburr, which was breakable crust. The turns were nothing to write home about, but the views down to Odell Lake didn’t disappoint. It was nice to see that the ice on the lake was still holding…

Ice on Odell
James at the top of EPA

After heading down to the base, I spun back around to the top of EPA and made a lap down RTS with Patrick. The snow wasn’t too bad, having not iced up as much as the big 4 on the south face…

Patrick after skiing RTS

By the time we worked our way down to the bottom via George, we caught the SPY heading out after completing the morning duties and run reports….

The SPY crew loading EPA
SPY heading up the EPA lift

After one more lap, I got on the radio and announced to the rest of patrol that I was heading down to base to check out the vacuum splints. The patrol had purchased a couple sets of vacuum splints to test out to determine whether or not we would like to include them in our lineup of medical supplies. Having not used them much in the past, I found them to be fairly intuitive with application for several types of possibilities.

Gretchen working the vacuum splint
Ken and James working the vacuum splint

Several of us took a turn in the whole body splint, and it was quite rigid when all the air was vacuumed out. A few concerns were expressed, but in general I think folks were pretty happy with the idea of including them as another tool in the tool kit for our work.

My view from the vacuum splint

After the splint session, the rest of the day was spent running laps on EPA after lunch. We had a couple of incidents, but nothing serious. I even had the opportunity to photograph a little of the local wildlife as a marmot (I think) came out to play on Success and a few Red Crossbills were working up at the top of EPA.

A Red Crossbill at the top of EPA

The day wrapped up with a little tower pad work (lowering tower pads is always lame; I’d much rather raise them instead!), and a few more runs before we finished for the day to enjoy some excellent bean dip and cold beverages after our evening meeting. My beer of choice for the evening was a tasty Mogul Madness from Rogue brewing.

Mogul Madness from Rogue Brewing

An hour or so later, after the patrol room duties were taken care of, I bid Shaun farewell for the night. He was looking forward to a night of fun with the SPY for the SPY sleepover, and they had plans to watch ski movies, build a jump and head out with the grooming crew early in the morning for a ride on the snow cat.

Ready to head out after a fun day

The drive home went smoothly, and I was happy to complete another fun day of patrolling at the Pass.