February 18, 2024 – Carson’s Second Shadow Day

The work week flew by, and before I knew it, Sunday rolled around, which meant another day of patrolling at the Pass. I headed out early with both Shaun and Carson in tow, stoked for my last day of patrol before my upcoming hut trip to Tam Rim. It was going to be Carson’s second day of shadowing patrol with Brian for his school project, and we pulled in early to the patrol room as usual to get ready for the day. After booting up and holding our morning meeting, we headed out to open the hill.

Carson and Brian opening Peak 2

Brian found a training bib for Carson, and after clearing it with dispatch, he was able to open the mountain with us. He and Brian headed up to EPA, and later I heard Carson calling in the medical equipment in the bump shack over the radio. I caught up with him and Brian, as well as James, a bit later when we were opening Peak 2.

At the base of Peak 2 while opening
Riding the Peak 2 chair

Once the mountain was fully open, it was time to take a few runs and enjoy the few inches of fresh snow before doing some sled checks. After hitting Destiny with Carson, Brian and Shannon, I worked my way back over to base and then up to the top of EPA where Joe and a few of our alpine patrolers were gathering.

Ready to ride Destiny
Joe going over sled running details

After enlisting Silas from our SPY ranks to ride as ballast in the sled, and listening to Joe discuss the points for feathering the handles and running a loaded sled, we shoved off for Eagle’s. Gretchen started out in the handles and James was on the tail rope, and they ran halfway down the run before switching places.

Gretchen in the handles
Heading down Eagle’s

Both Gretchen and James are strong sled runners, and both fresh off of training from the last year, and they made short work of running the loaded sled down the hill.

Running sled checks on Eagle’s
Silas taking a turn in the sled

As usual, I snapped a bunch of photos while they headed down, and noticed Silas filming from the toboggan. At the bottom, everyone unloaded and then we ran the sled back down to EPA unloaded and took it back to the top.

James in the handles
Running Eagle’s with the loaded sled

At this point, it was time to head in for lunch. I caught a photo of Dave and Andy down at the patrol room on my way out after enjoying some tasty Pad Thai, and then headed back to the top of EPA to sit bump for a bit.

Dave and Andy at base
Amber and Gretchen during bump

I found Shannon and Kerstin sitting bump in the shack, enjoying a break from the cold, windy weather up top, so I joined them for a bit. A few minutes later, Carson and Brian showed up, and I headed out to make a couple of laps with them.

Shannon and Kerstin on bump
Carson and the crew outside the bump shack

Carson wanted to ski Good Time, and I couldn’t believe how much progress he’d made under Brian’s tutelage for the day. I got a call on the radio regarding an incident, dispatched a couple of patrollers, and by the time I looked up Carson was already at the bottom of the run.

Brian ripping on the skis
Skiing Good Time

We spun a couple more laps on EPA, and then it was time to head over to Peak 2 to get ready for closing. Peak 2 sweep went smoothly, and then we made our way back to the top of EPA to ready for upper mountain sweep.

Running the KP gauntlet
Shaun and Carson at EPA

Ian was kind enough to grab a photo of me with both Shaun and Carson, which is somewhat of a rarity since the three of us haven’t been able to ski together all that often. Before we shoved off for sweep, I grabbed a photo everyone who was left up top.

Readying for closing at EPA
P2 closing crew

I hung back with Emily for a few minutes while she ran upper mountain sweep, and then headed down to sign duty cards, review incident report forms, get the queso in the microwave and the beers and sodas on the table. My beer of choice for the day was a tasty Stashadelica IPA from Hop Valley, and I had just enough time to get a picture of it before the rest of the patrol started to roll in from Twilight sweep.

Emily waiting up top
A tasty Stashadelica IPA from Hop Valley

A bit later, after clearing the mountain and holding our evening meeting, everyone enjoyed a beer (or soda) as well as some warm queso while de-booting and putting gear away. Finally, after everyone was gone, I locked up the patrol room and loaded the car with Shaun and Carson, happy with another fun day on the hill. Here’s a parting shot from the day…

Parting shot of sled check training