March 27, 2022 – Closing day at the Pass

As hard as it was to believe, Sunday, March 27th was the last day of the season at the Pass, with the closing day having been announced earlier in the week. Like many of the other day’s this season, I grabbed Shaun in the early am, and we headed out, stopping to pick up John at LCC before heading up Highway 58 to the mountain. As we pulled into the patrol lot to park, we were all quite amazed at the lack of snow on the frontside of the mountain.

The Pass on closing morning

The morning meeting went quickly, and we chatted about what activities we’d need to take care of during the day. Given that many of the upper mountain frontside runs were already closed, we decided to close Success just after opening to facilitate getting tower pads off the upper part of EPA early. In addition to needing to clear the mountain of all gear, we were also doing ski testing, which would add to the day’s activities. After the morning meeting, we headed out to open the hill, and I dropped into RTS to see how it was holding up. The conditions were firm until the breakable crust at the very bottom, but even so it was nice to ski my favorite run on the mountain.

RTS in the early morning

A few minutes before 9:00 am, I headed to the car to get Shaun, with the goal of doing a couple of runs with him before having to devote the rest of the day to work activities. Dave was nice enough to snap a picture of us at the base, and then we headed to Peak 2 to spin a couple of laps before I had to help out with ski testing.

Matt and Shaun at base
Shaun skiing Escalator

Before heading over to give them a hand however, I grabbed the saddle tube sled and took it down to the base, then rode the chair back up to EPA to head to Peak 2. At the bottom of Peak 2, while waiting for the ski testing group to arrive, I walked into the woods to take a leak, and then snapped a few shots of the base area from a different vantage point than normal. Awhile later, after waiting for a much longer time than it takes to ski Waldo, I radioed Hutch and he told me to just meet them on the run; one of the members was having a wardrobe malfunction which was really slowing them down. When I finally arrived on scene, they were just wrapping the issue up and were ready to go.

Peak 2 from the base
Hutch and Laurie in the meadow

After doing some controlled turns down Waldo, we spent a little time doing drills down Northern and then skiing crud snow in the Meadow, before ultimately finishing up with some snowplow drills on Boundary. Generally what we are looking for is folks that can ski in control, can follow direction, and have the foundational skills that will enable them to pull a rescue toboggan.

Hutch demonstrating a skill drill on Boundary
Patrol and ski testers

After several runs and several drills, we talked it over and agreed that the five folks that tested on this day were strong enough to pass and take the next step and interview with the patrol in the fall. Given that we’ve lost a few patrollers over the last couple of years, I’m looking forward to welcoming a few more members onto our team!

Talking it over
Hutch and Laurie at the top of Peak 2

After the ski testing was done, I headed down to get a quick bite to eat, and then it was time to start getting gear loaded and down to the base for closing. I worked my way back up to Peak 2, and helped Tyler and Anna get the evacuation gear and medical gear loaded onto the sleds that were at the top of Peak 2 so they would be ready to take down at the appropriate time. The next order of business was, in coordination with area management, to take down the tower pads on Peak 2. We closed Northern at 2:00 pm, and a cadre of patrollers headed down to pull the pads and ski them to the base of the lift.

Tyler and Anna loading a Peak 2 sled
The Fish bringing down a tower pad

Getting the pads down to the base of Peak 2 was the first order of business, and then getting them back up to the top of the lift and down to the base of EPA was another. I captured a few pictures of the pads being skied down, as well as coming back up the lift, including the two shots below of Dan.

Dan skiing a tower pad to the base of Peak 2
Bringing the tower pads up the Peak 2 chairlift

Skiing the pads down KP was a bit interesting, but we managed to get across the flats in the sticky snow without coming to a stop (or getting blown off the run on the steeper sections due to the pads acting like a giant sail), and finally got them to the base to put away. Then it was back up to Peak 2 for sweep and to take the sleds down to the base. I managed to sneak a run in on (closed) Good Time Charlie, and was able to slide the whole thing without taking my board off, but had to enter in through the trees and then slide over dirt sections in three or four places.

Hutch and Tyler at the top of Peak 2
Looking down Good Time Charlie

A few minutes before 4:00pm, we were gathered at the top of EPA for sweep, and once the final chair unloaded we took the remaining sleds/gear down, and swept the upper runs. Of course Dan and I had to “sweep” RTS, even though it was closed for the day, since we were needed at Twilight, and Patrick joined us as well. The snow was quite nice by the time we hit it, having softened significantly since the morning. The upper part of the run was pretty burned, and we had to avoid the rocks, trees and stumps, but once we got in, the turns were fun.

Dan skiing RTS with Patrick looking on
Harvesting some corn on RTS

Once down at the top of Twilight, it was time to sweep the lower mountain. Dan and I each grabbed a sled to take to the base, and I ended up sweeping George. The snow was sticky, but I thoroughly enjoyed my last lift assisted run of the season with the sled in tow, dodging bare patches of dirt on my way down the hill. As I worked my way down the hill, I reflected back on the season, and although it wasn’t a really epic season by any measure, I was grateful to be able to have had so many good days at an area I love with a great group of people on patrol. At the bottom, I stopped to roll up some fencing, and Craig skied up with a load of ‘boo, and we skied together down to the base with our loads of gear.

At the base, we spent a few minutes unloading the sleds and getting the gear put away before it was time for the evening meeting. Folks were pretty happy with how smoothly closing went, and we shared a few of our favorite stories from the season before it was time to enjoy a beer. To celebrate closing, I had brought up a 12-pack of mixed IPA’s from Deschutes Brewing, and there were several Oakshire pounders left over from the day before, so we had plenty of beer to go around. My beer of choice for the afternoon was a Grower Direct IPA, and it hit the spot.

Last run on ByGeorge with Craig
Grower Direct IPA from Deschutes Brewing

We hung around the patrol room for a half hour or so enjoying the company and the beer, and then Joe, Dan, John, Shaun and I headed to Gold Lake to cook up some brats and enjoy another beer to commemorate a good season. Hanging out at Gold Lake reminded me of several good trips the previous spring (and more to come this year I hope). I enjoyed another Deschutes IPA, this time a Symphonic Chronic, and soon the brats were cooked up to perfection.

Enjoying brats in the parking lot at Gold Lake
Symphonic Chronic IPA

A little while later, with both the food and the beers gone, it was time to hit the road, and it was hard to believe the season was over. All in all, it was another good year at the Pass, and though we’ve seen better snow years, I’m thankful that we were able to be open as long as we were. Hopefully next season will be even better, and deliver fresh snow early and often! 

March 19, 2022 – A brief return to winter

It was a welcome sight to see a coating of fresh snow on the mountain as we pulled in for a lazy Saturday patrol day towards the end of March. Around 3-4 inches of snow had fallen the night before, and the forecast was calling for snow showers throughout the day. After getting parked in the patrol lot and making sure Shaun was set for an hour or so before opening, I headed over to the patrol room to get ready for the day.

Early morning view at the Pass
A little last minute grooming

The mountain was looking like it was in much better shape than the previous few weeks, even if the new snow was only a thin coat. Morale was high with patrol based on the conditions, and after a quick morning meeting we headed out to open the hill. I opened RTS and it was in pretty good shape, so we pulled the closure so the public could get back on it as well. Once back at the base, I grabbed Shaun, and we headed out.

Patrol 2 before opening
Shaun ready to head out

Since there wasn’t any training on the schedule, nor were there many people at the Pass so incidents were minimal, I was able to spend some time skiing with Shaun, which was a real treat. He also didn’t have any friends up for the day, so he didn’t mind getting a few runs in with dad.

Skiing down the Peak 2 lift line
Shaun riding the EPA lift

We skied a few laps on the back, and then he wanted to go to the front and do RTS. He hadn’t been on RTS all season since it was pretty icy and closed most, if not all, of the days he had been up this year. Nevertheless, he was excited to ski it. I was a bit nervous when he dropped in, but he did great and wanted to do it again.

Shaun skiing down RTS
At the intersection with Lois Lane

I suggested we head over to High Lead and sneak in through Timburr to see if we could find some fresh snow, and then maybe head back to RTS. It was tough getting in (we had to cross over some rocks and dirt), but once in the snow was nice and it was cool to see Shaun get to ski some untracked snow.

Sneaking a run in on High Lead
Ready for another RTS lap

Back at the bottom, we met up with Dan, and headed back over to RTS for some more runs. Shaun skied it over and over again, and ended up doing it 9 times throughout the day (including closing). Dan gave him a few pointers about form, and by the end of the day he was skiing it a little more smoothly.

Negotiating a steep pitch on RTS
Shaun skiing while Dan looks on

With light radio traffic and no training, the day went quickly as we pounded out run after run, and soon it was time to head over to Peak 2 for closing. We skied Destiny down to the Peak 2 chair, and when we got to the top, patrollers were gathering to assign closing runs.

Shaun and Dan at base
Julie, Anna and Aimee ready to close Peak 2

Peak 2 sweep went smoothly, and soon everyone was gathered at the base and ready for one last chair ride back to the top. Tim was at the bottom bumping chairs, and Shaun and I got the last chair of the day for the ride back up. It had been snowing a little during sweep, but as we rode the lift up, the snow really started to come down and it felt like winter.

Patrol heading back up after sweep
The P2 crew up top on Peak 2

At the top of Peak 2, it was dumping snow. Everyone made the ride/hike back over to the top of EPA, and gathered for upper mountain sweep. I pulled out my camera to take a few pictures while the storm continued to puke snow.

Patrick and Julie enjoying the storm before upper mountain sweep
John and crew waiting for sweep to begin

Once last chair had unloaded, Patrick called upper mountain sweep on, and it we headed down for the day. Shaun and I cleared RTS, and then headed down ByGeorge while the rest of patrol covered lower mountain sweep.

Patrol right before upper mountain sweep

At the bottom, Shaun headed for the car and I took care of some paperwork in the patrol room before we gathered for our evening meeting debrief. The meeting went quickly, and everyone was pretty stoked on the day, the conditions, and the fresh snow. Given it was Saturday, everyone enjoyed a cold beer after the meeting, and it was somewhat bittersweet because we knew the end of the season was approaching. My beer of choice for the day as a tasty Pop Demand Haxy IPA from Sunriver Brewing Company, and it hit the spot.

Pop Demand from Sunriver Brewing

Before too long, it was time to hit the road and head home, after another enjoyable day on the mountain. After loading the gear in the car, we said goodbye to the parking lot crowd, and headed down Highway 58, and another good patrol day was in the books.

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.

February 13, 2022 – Avalanche Refresher & a Little Opera

Another week on patrol, and another week of no precipitation across the west coast. The number of days it has actually snowed during this season can nearly be counted on one hand. Nevertheless, I headed up to the Pass with Shaun for a day of patrol. We pulled into the patrol parking lot early, and before long it was time for the morning meeting. After discussing the day’s activities, several of us headed out for an avalanche refresher led by Hutch.

Hutch leading the avy talk at base

We started off at the base of EPA with a discussion about the rope, harness, belay setup, etc., and then moved up top once the lift started spinning.

Continuing the discussion up top

A bit later, when we had discussed running the route, it was time to head to Peak 2 and actually run the route. The hike to the top went quickly, and soon we were skiing down to June’s Run and then walking the ridge line out to the nose. The lack of snow along the normal route was pretty stunning.

Talking it over on Dragon’s
Heading to the Nose

Once we reached the nose, we set the belay up and talked through how we cut the cornices and windslab that builds up around the nose. From the nose, we moved down the ridge to then second belay point, setting up the belay once more and discussing how to make appropriate ski cuts in avalanche conditions when the slopes are loaded. Finally, we worked our way out into the meadow below, skiing from island of safety to island of safety, and then down to the bottom.

Setting up the belay on the Nose
The crew in the meadow

After running the route, I took a lap or two on Peak 2 to enjoy the snow, and then headed down to the base for a lunch break.  At the car, I couldn’t resist pulling out my beer for the day — a Stash Bandicoot Hazy Imperial IPA from Hop Valley Brewing — but just to take a picture. Enjoying it would have to wait until the end of the day.

The Pass from the base
Stash Bandicot from Hop Valley

After lunch, I headed back up to the top of EPA to check on some OEC training that was going on. Gretchen was working on leading a femur fracture scenario, and Fischer and Tyler were assisting, with Laurie supervising. Things appeared to be going pretty well, so I then headed out for a couple of laps before meeting at the top of Peak 2 to supervise some sled training with Ian and the sled candidates.

Gretchen leading a femur fracture scenario

When I arrived at the top of Peak 2, Ian informed me they were hoping to do a full scenario, including a mock injury, treating the patient, loading the patient into the sled, and then running the loaded sled down June’s to the base of Peak 2.

Patrick and Ben treating Gretchen, with Anna holding the sled

It was fun to watch the sled candidates apply all the training they had been doing over the year, including discussing where to park the sled, applying the necessary OEC treatment, and then loading the patient into the sled before ultimately wrapping them up and heading down the mountain. Overall they did a great job!

Talking over how to load the patient
Anna holding the sled

After a bit of discussion and trouble shooting, they were able to get Gretchen in the sled without issue, and the ride down to the bottom of Peak 2 was smooth and easy. The overall progression of Anna, Ben and Patrick on the sleds has been great, and the following weekend (after running the RTS Belay Sled), they became full fledged alpine patrollers!

Anna and Ben heading down with Gretchen
Ian and Laurie talking over the entire scenario

With all the day’s activities, the hour was getting late and it was almost time for Peak 2 sweep. I met up with Shaun, and we were able to ski a few runs on together on Peak 2. Our final run before sweep was on Destiny, and I was able to grab a few photos of him as we headed down…

Shaun on Destiny
Heading down for Peak 2 sweep

Peak 2 sweep went off without a hitch, and soon it was approaching the end to another day of patrolling. Clouds were starting to move in as well, which hinted at the slightest possible change in the weather pattern.

Peak 2 Sweep Crew

We loaded the Peak 2 chair, rode to the top, and headed to EPA for upper mountain sweep. The light on Diamond Peak was looking really pretty, and I was able to snap a few pictures before we started sweep, including the shot above as well as the one below framed by a chair from EPA.

Diamond framed in an EPA chair

While I was taking pictures, Gretchen began belting out Happy Birthday to Kyle… Opera. It was Kyle’s birthday — all the lifties had let us know about it earlier, and everyone stood there in awe. Gretchen absolutely rocked it, and at the end there was a big round of applause. In all the years I’ve been on patrol, this was one of the coolest moments in recent memory.

Gretchen singing Happy Birthday in Opera

After the opera show, it was time for upper mountain sweep, which went off without a hitch. Lower mountain sweep went without incident as well, and finally it was time to enjoy that beer in the parking lot after we cleared the mountain and held our evening meeting.

Stash Bandicoot

Even in the midst of ridiculously long extended ridge of high pressure, it was still a really good day on the mountain, and I’m looking forward to getting back up again soon. Here’s a parting shot from the day of Shaun skiing down Destiny…

Shaun cruising down Destiny

February 5, 2022 – Patrolling at the Pass

With the unrelenting ridge of high pressure hanging tough off the Oregon coast and showing no signs of abating, I headed up to the Pass for another day of patrolling and to escape the valley fog. The forecast was calling for blue skies and sunshine, and it turns out that’s exactly what we got. As usual, I pulled into the patrol lot around 7:20 am with Shaun in tow, and donned my gear before heading over to the base area. After checking in with management about the day’s activities, I was able to capture a few photos before we settled in for the morning meeting…

Early morning look at the Pass
Getting the last of the grooming done before opening

After the general announcements and discussion about the day’s activities, Hannah led a conversation for the medical minute about mid-shaft femur fractures and the sager splint, which gave me time to step away from leading the discussion as hill chief and shoot a few photos, including the one below.

Hannah leading the medical minute

Once the medical minute was over, it was time to head out and open the hill. I headed up EPA, and opened one of the frontside runs, and then went down to grab Shaun and get him out on the hill for the day. We had time to make a couple of runs before meeting up with the SPY at 10:00 am…

Shaun up top after opening
Matt and Shaun on Peak 2

A few minutes before 10:00 am, I had to head down to the base, while Shaun wanted to spin a few laps on Peak 2. My conversation with the SPY focused on aid-room activities, and then I headed out to check-in on the OEC candidate training that was occurring at the base area. I found several scenarios going on at once, and decided to take the opportunity to snap a few pics with my camera to document the action…

Richard and Jen doing OEC drills
Alex leading a scenario

It was looking pretty serious with several folks evaluating, and it was good to see both Jen and Matthew on the hill, as both were recovering from health/injury issues….

Jen and Matthew evaluating
Dan, Laurie and Gretchen

About the time I headed back to the patrol room to grab my gear, the area completely lost power. We later learned that most of central Oregon from La Pine to Klamath Falls was out of power, but nobody knew it at the time. To keep in communication, as a patrol we had to switch to channel 6 (line of sight), and I was able to establish connection with John Fischer at the top of the hill to relay to our folks on Peak 2. After about 20-25 minutes, the area had everything up and running on backup power, and we were back in business.

Richard working on Jen with Brian and Shannon evaluating
Diamond Peak from atop EPA

I quickly hopped on the EPA lift and made my way to the top. With all things considered, I was pretty amazed at how well the area management was able to get everything switched over (including running the Twilight lift on diesel power) to get everyone back in business. I waited up top for a few minutes for Shaun, who I knew would be coming up soon, and snapped a few pictures of Lakeview Peak through the barstool at the top of EPA, as well as a self-portrait reflecting in the glass of the EPA summit shack….

Lakeview Peak
Self portrait at the top of EPA

A short time later, after another lift stoppage of about 20 minutes, Shaun arrived at the top of EPA and we headed over to Peak 2 to check in on the sled training Ian was leading with Anna, Ben and Patrick.

Shaun arriving at the top of EPA
Heading down Escalator

The sled candidates were working with the 350, and although conditions weren’t ideal, they were rocking the unloaded sled on Waldo.

Anna and Ben headed to Waldo

I took a few pictures of Anna in the handles and Ben in the rear handles as they came down, and then skied down the run with Shaun.

Anna working the 350 handles
Anna and Ben on Waldo

We ended up spinning one more lap with the sled group, and then it was time to head back over to the front side for some more turns…

Ian providing feedback to Anna and Ben
The sled crew and Maiden Peak

A bit later I found myself back at the top of EPA, and I wanted to take a few photos with my Canon f/1.8 50 mm lens. Anna and Austin showed up a few minutes later and made for a suitable subject.

Anna and Austin at the top of EPA

Ian and Dan were next, and obliged while I fired off a few shots. Finally, I turned my attention to Brian, as we supervised some of the OEC training that was happening up top.

Ian and Dan
Brian up top

Given the power failure and that we were running on backup power, I was happy to have the extra patrollers and candidates at the top of EPA for training as opposed to the base, in the event that we needed extra hands if something went awry.

Laurie surveying the OEC candidates

As it usually does, 3:30 pm rolled around before I knew it, and it was time to sweep Peak 2. I headed over and met up with Shaun, who was game to help with sweep as well. At the top of the lift, I snapped the below picture of Anna, Tyler and Patrick before we closed the runs off for the afternoon….

Anna, Tyler and Patrick

Shaun and I were assigned to sweep Waldo, and it was awesome watching him sweep the run after everyone was off the hill. He clearly enjoyed being the last person on the run, and as Fischer said, he’s clearly got a little patroller in him….

Shaun sweeping Waldo
The sweep crew ready to load Peak 2

Down at the bottom, we loaded up and headed back to the front to sweep the upper mountain. The sun was low enough in the sky that I was able to get a few decent shots with my wide angle lens, including the one below of a group of patrollers unloading Peak 2.

Patrollers unloading Peak 2

After unloading Peak 2, we made the short walk to the top of EPA, and the light was still really nice, so I grabbed a picture of Kyle at the top terminal, as well as the P2 crew just before we shoved off for sweep.

Kyle at Closing on EPA
EPA sweepers

Shaun wanted to sweep Success, so we headed down and found some really nice corn. I was pretty happy with how Shaun was skiing, and he made really nice turns down the good snow.

Shaun sweeping Success
Last run down Success

We headed down the bottom, not needing to sweep George since it was covered from the Twilight closing crew, and found the OEC candidates getting their jackets. OEC candidates no more, they had successfully passed their training and were now full fledged patrollers!

New Patrollers Chris, Sarah, Richard, James and Jen!

A few moments later, the rest of the patrol trickled in, and we had a quick evening meeting and then celebrated with post-patrol beers. The social committee had a cooler full of Oakshire, and I was happy to drink a tasty beer that had been in my fridge for a few weeks — a Tangerine Express Hazy IPA fro Stone Brewing.

A well deserved hazy IPA from Stone Brewing

The beers hit the spot, and it felt really nice to hang out with fellow patrollers after a long day on the hill. I did manage to escape for a few minutes to head in and review the incident reports in the patrol room, and then it was time to make my way to the car to load gear and hit the road. All in all, it was another great day on patrol, even if it hasn’t snowed in several weeks!