June 10-11, 2023 – Nuts & Bolts Clinic at Mt Hood

The second weekend in June meant it was time for the annual Nuts and Bolts Clinic at Mt Hood, and I was looking forward to attending this year for the first time in 10-years. I was extra motivated to head to the mountain and enjoy the fun this year because Shaun was able to come with me, and he was really looking forward to a few days of late season skiing. We left our house on Friday afternoon, and made our way to Government Camp in time to get in on some of the evening shenanigans at the Ratskellar, including pizza and beer. We met up with the rest of the crew from Willamette Pass, and after a couple of hours headed to crash at the Edelweiss for the evening.

Shaun at Timberline on our first morning

The next morning, everyone woke early and enjoyed a quick breakfast before making the short drive up the road to Timberline. The check-in process was pretty smooth, and soon Shaun and I were hanging with the rest of the crew representing patrollers from all over the northwest. After some announcements and discussion about the plans for the day, we took a picture of the Willamette Pass crew and headed out to load the Mile chairlift.

Hanging out at registration
The 2023 Willamette Pass Nut’s & Bolts Crew

I was stoked to show Shaun the area, since he had been to Timberline before but never to ski. We loaded the Chair up the mile and I ended up with a sled in tow, and we worked our way over to load the Palmer. Seeing a bunch of patrollers descend on the mountain is pretty cool, and I took a few shots of patrol queuing up in the lift line from the air.

Waiting for the Palmer Chair
Looking back at the Palmer station

We made our way to the top of the Palmer, and after unloading the sleds we broke out into various groups to get instruction in different disciplines. I took several shots of Shaun, and someone (can’t remember who, maybe James?) took a few shots of me and Shaun as well.

Shaun and a sea of patrollers at the top of the Palmer
Matt and Shaun

Once everyone made their way to the top of the Palmer, we headed off to our respective clinics. Shaun headed off with some others to take a ski enhancement seminar, and I headed out to the east side of the snowfield with several patrollers from Mt Hood to have Toby show us some tips and tricks for running the edge sled.

Toby talking it through with some Mt Hood Patrollers
Checking out the Edge

To start things off, we took a lap down the Palmer running the sled unloaded, and really worked to exaggerate getting the sled up on edge by working the handles. It’s always nice running the edge, and I enjoyed my time in the handles while enjoying the views as well.

Hood Patrollers running the Edge
Heading down the Palmer

After our first lap running unloaded, we headed back up at the mid-station and spent the next several laps running the sled loaded. Everyone got a turn in the handles and on the tail rope, and when I wasn’t doing either of those two tasks or being ballast in the sled I fired off some pictures with the camera.

Talking it over at the mid-station
 the Palmer
The Mt Hood crew
My view from the sled

After running several laps with loaded sleds, we switched over to doing a few drills with boo. One of my favorite was the uphill traverse, a trick that Toby showed me how to perform which involves the patroller in the handles turning 90 degrees to the sled and pushing on the uphill handle while the tailroper pulls the sled from behind while out in front (or nearly in front) of the patrollers in the handles (kind of like a slingshot). When done properly, you can actually traverse the sled uphill.

Toby and Jeffrey working the boo course
Skiing the edge in the timed trials

To cap off the clinic, we ran a few timed trials with the sled unloaded but with a patroller in both in the handles and on the tailrope. I ran a couple of laps with Toby and overall it was a pretty fun experience. Once the clinic was over, I called Shaun on the radio and caught up with him at the top of the Palmer. He wanted to ski down through the half pipe and then all the way to the base of the Mile, so that’s what we did and the snow was in great shape.

Shaun and the Pipe
Skiing above the Lodge

The last couple of hours were spent free skiing, and it was fun running laps with Shaun and the rest of the crew from Willamette. I snapped a few pictures of our group in between runs, as well as while they were getting some turns in.

Our crew at the top of the Palmer
James, Shaun and Amber enjoying some free skiing

A few minutes before 2:00, we shoved off from the top of the Palmer and made the last lap of the day since the lifts were closing. It was a leg burner skiing all the way down to the lodge again, and Shaun and I enjoyed cruising through the Park as well on the Mile. Skiing to the lodge parking lot is always a treat, and I was stoked to get to do it with Shaun and the rest of our crew.

James cranking turns on the Palmer
Stoked at the bottom of the Mile

Once down to the lodge, we made a quick pit stop at the cars to ditch the ski gear and change out of boots, and then headed over to the lodge to enjoy a beer at the Ram’s Head. After ordering our beverages, we found a nice spot to sit and enjoy the scene. A half hour later or so, it was time to head down to Govy and get ready for dinner at the Mt Hood Ski Patrol building on the west side of town. Our crew made the short walk down and found a Hawaiian party happening…the Mt Hood Ski Patrol definitely knows how to throw a good party.

Shot ski table
Meghan and our friend from Alaska enjoying the party

We hung out for quite awhile, and found some good offerings for food and beverage. Shaun enjoyed the spiced chicken before checking out and heading back to the condo, while the rest of us stayed and enjoyed the company and drinks. There was quite a beer selection on ice, and I chose a tasty Superfuzz Pale Ale from Elysian Brewing Co. and it definitely hit the spot.

Superfuzz Pale Ale from Elysian Brewing
Matt & Jen enjoying the scene
James chilling at the luau

After enjoying a couple of cold beers, Ian and Meghan decided it was time to hit the shot ski, so we took turns with that. I snapped a few pictures while they tipped the ski back, and then enjoyed a shot ski of my own with them a bit later.

Readying the shot ski
Tipping it back

Eventually the scene died down at the patrol party, and we made our way back to the condo. We enjoyed the company of Larry Davis from Santiam Ski patrol who hung out with us for the evening, and then eventually made our way to bed in anticipation of the next day’s activities.

Shaun ready for day 2

We woke early, enjoyed a quick breakfast, and then made our way back up to Timberline. Similar to the day before, we had a quick orientation at the Wy’East Lodge before heading up the Mile and then the Palmer. It looked like it would be another gorgeous, sunny day as we unloaded at the top.

Back at the top of the Palmer
Jen and Meghan on Sunday

Shaun was planning on free skiing on Sunday since there wasn’t any specific clinics that he could attend, and I tagged along on a couple of different clinics to shoot some pics and enjoy the turns. I started out with the Women’s clinic, and snapped several pictures of the ladies rocking the sleds down the slope.

Women’s clinic with the 350
Jen and Amber running the Palmer
Jen pulling the 350
Jen and Amber near the mid-station

After spending some time with the ladies, I headed over and found James working with the Edge sled. I fired off a couple of pictures of him on the tailrope and lapped back to the top before riding down and finding Meghan working with the 350.

James tailing on the Edge
Meghan working the tail handles on the 350

It was awesome seeing Meghan work the sled like a pro after getting a few tips from the women at Hood. Even though it was her first time running a sled, you wouldn’t have know it and clearly she was a natural…

Meghan on the tail handles
Working the 350 down the Palmer
Meghan rocking the 350 and the tank top
Cruising down the Palmer with the 350 in tow

Shortly after noon or so, the clinics wrapped up and I regrouped with Shaun to do some free skiing. We ran a few laps on the Palmer and he also wanted to hit the park on the Mile so I did that with him as well. We thought about quitting at 1:30 pm or so, but Shaun wanted to ski until closing so we headed back up to the top.

Shaun cranking turns on the Palmer
James, Shaun, Matt and Meghan at the top of the Palmer

We found several of our crew at the top of the Palmer and it was fun to run laps down to the mid-station with absolutely nobody around. By 1:00 pm the place had cleared out, so we had the entire upper Palmer basically to ourselves.

Last lap on the Palmer with the Pass crew
Pass patrollers heading down the Palmer

Skiing the Palmer with nobody around reminded me of several past trips with Dan and Joe later in the season after hiking up and dropping in when the lift was closed. This was just about as good, and made even better with the lift assist! Around 1:45 pm, we dropped in for our last lap and Ian had an idea for a fun picture with four of our patrollers simultaneously shredding the Palmer. I headed down and set up, they dropped in, and after firing several shots, I was pleased with the below picture…

Enjoying the Palmer all to ourselves
Amber enjoying the Palmer on a quiet afternoon

We worked our way down to the Palmer and then the Mile, and Shaun skied through the Park on the way down. We were fast enough that he was able to head back up for another lap, while the rest of us headed to the car for a beer and some treats. It was cool to see Shaun going until the last chair! At the car, it was good to get out of ski boots and enjoy a cold beer. My beer of choice for the afternoon was a Stratus Hazy IPA from Worthy Brewing, and it hit the spot (so did the cold Blue Moon I had afterwards as well from Ian!).

Worthy Hazy IPA
The crew enjoying some food

We sat at the car basking in the glow of a great ski day, and enjoyed a good spread of food. Shaun showed up a few minutes later, and I got a good photo of everyone with the wide angle lens and the mountain in the background, capping of a fitting way to end a perfect couple of days on the mountain. Overall, it was a great trip to Hood, with great people and great conditions. I’m already looking forward to heading back again next year!

May 6, 2023 – May I Ski More, Please?

A week after the end of the “regular” ski season at the Pass, Shaun and I were looking forward to some bonus lift-served turns during the extended season. With the healthy late season base, the Pass was planning to operate for an additional two weekends in May, and we were signed up help on Saturday. I was hill chief for the day, and after recruiting Brian and Shannon the night before at the patrol banquet, we had a total of 5 patrollers to take care of the hill.

Last early patrol morning of the year

As usual, we arrived early at the Pass, and it was nice to be greeted by a little bit of fresh, wet snow. We didn’t really have a morning meeting, and headed out early to chat with the lift ops while waiting for EPA to spin. A few minutes later, we made our way up the hill and to the top of EPA, where the snowcat was still busy grooming.

Waiting to load EPA
Watching the groomer up top

We spun a couple of laps and got the fencing setup and the front opened, and then worked our way over to Peak 2 to open the backside runs. The snow was skiing decently early in the morning, and then started getting sticky as the morning wore on. Shaun and I headed down to the base, and Mindy had all of her waxing supplies out and was putting on a clinic. She offered to wax Shaun’s ski’s so her gladly took her up on it, and I threw a coat of wax on my board as well….

Mindy putting on a waxing clinic

After the waxing, Brian and I headed into the lodge to grab some breakfast, and ended up talking to Tim for a half an hour about various things happening with the area and planned for the coming year. It was nice to sit back and relax in the lodge for a few minutes, and enjoy the rather slow day for a change in contrast to the hectic days for most of the season. After breakfast was over, we headed out and spun a few more laps.

Brian and Shannon with some free swag

Dan and Joe made their way to the hill for some lift-served turns as well, and I met up with them around 11:00 am or so and we ran laps on RTS. Although usually by May we would be skiing RTS together, under normal circumstances we’d be doing it by climbing the hill so it was nice to be able to use the lift-assist.

May turns on RTS
Joe ripping RTS

Around noon I headed in and ate lunch, then found myself back at the top of EPA to sit bump for awhile with Shannon, Brian and Mindy. It was good to hang out in the bump shack and enjoy the conversation, and made even better by the fact that the hill was slow and we didn’t have any incidents.

Hanging out in the bump shack

By early afternoon, I was ready to take a few laps with Shaun, and we skied Good Time and a few other runs. I pulled the camera out and snapped a few photos of him coming down, and was pretty happy with how he was skiing at the end of the season compared to where he was at to start it — he definitely improved a lot over the year.

Shaun enjoying a lap on Good Time
Enjoying some of the last lift accessed turns of the season

After skiing a few runs together, we headed into the patrol room for some mop-up duty. The snow was melting hard, and as a result we had water in the aid room and patrol room. We’d mopped it up a bit in the morning, but it was pretty fruitless. Regardless, Shaun wanted to do some more work so we spend a half an hour mopping and brooming water out of the aid room into the garage and out of the building.

Mopping up the patrol room

By the time we were done, it was time to close Kris Kross and start Peak 2 sweep. I’d assigned Shaun the duty of closing Kris Kross, so I helped him set up the fencing, and then we radioed that it was closed. Given that we only had a few patrollers, we left the closure in place and swept Destiny and Boundary to help with sweeping Peak 2.

Kris Kross Closure
Headed up Peak 2 after sweep

It started snowing heavily during sweep, and it seemed like a fitting way to end the season at the Pass. Even though the mountain would be open for another week, this was going to be our last day of the season and it was pretty special to have it puking snow on us in May after a great year!

James and Shaun on the final Peak 2 chair of the day

Once back to the top of Peak 2, Shaun headed back to the Kris Kross closure and waited for upper mountain sweep to begin, and I made the short hike to the top. We took the obligatory photo of the closing crew, including Brett and Gordon from the area as it continued to dump snow, and then shoved off after last chair to close the hill.

The crew ready for upper mountain sweep

Jan led lower mountain sweep, and it went off without a hitch. Brian took a 350 down since it wouldn’t be needed for the rest of the year, and rode it down Timburr Glades cowboy style.

Brian taking down a 350 to base
Heading in via KP

We swept our way to base, and it was time to enjoy a frosty cold beverage after a long season and good day of patrolling. My beer of choice for the day was a Perfect Storm Double IPA from Oakshire Brewing and it was just right! I caught a picture of it outside the patrol room and then enjoyed it thoroughly.

Perfect Storm Double IPA from Oakshire Brewing

Back in the patrol room, it was still looking like a lake, so Brian, Shannon and I thought it would be funny to make a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign and leave it for for Hutch who was coming up the next day. It turned out pretty well I thought…

A little patrol humor

Finally, we gathered our gear and it was time to hit the road, satisfied with a good day and a great year. All things considered, even though this season was one of my most challenging in patrol in a number of respects, it was definitely one of my favorite years ever. Getting to spend so much time with Shaun and seeing him flourish in the SPY program was awesome, and the conditions this winter were all-time. My main hope is next year comes close to being anywhere as good as this year. If it does, I know we’ll all be happy skiers and riders!

April 30, 2023 – Final Patrol 2 Day of the Season

After an amazing year, the last day of the “regular” season at the Pass had finally arrived, and Patrol 2 was on the schedule to close things out before we headed into two weekends of operation for the month of May. As we’d done several times throughout the season, Shaun and I woke up early and this time we convinced Carson to come along with us for a fun day of turns at the Pass. We arrived at the patrol room early, and got situated before heading out after the morning meeting to open the hill.

Patrollers ready to open the hill early in the morning
Edward bringing a sled to the base of EPA

The sun was out and it was looking like the corn was going to be good. As a patrol, we were a bit early to the base of EPA, so I caught a couple of photos while waiting to load, including the shots below of the groomer heading in for the day as well as a few patrollers hanging out at the base of lift.

The groomer finishing the morning work
Patrol ready to load up EPA

A few minutes later, we loaded the chair and arrived at the top of EPA. The weather was beautiful, and I caught a picture of Shaun before we headed out to open runs. After my first run, I stopped in to check on Carson, who was geared up and ready to head out with Stone, the son of another patroller. We agreed that he would ski a few runs with Stone in the morning and then we’d ski together in the afternoon.

Shaun at the top of EPA on a beautiful morning
Jon and Joe enjoying the sun

 Around 10:00 am, I met up with Andy who was up for the day, and we caught several laps together. It was fun to ride down RTS and some of the other frontside runs in good corn and brought back memories of the old days. Dan showed up about 10:00 am as well, and was skiing really well after his recent shoulder surgery.

Andy and I at the top of EPA
Dan skiing RTS

The skiing on RTS was excellent, so we spun several laps on it in a row. Laurie joined us, and it was nice to see her having fun without her patrol coat on…

Laurie in a rare moment without her patrol coat
Skiing down RTS

Around noon, the snow started to soften quite a bit, and Andy, Laurie and Dan all headed home. I went in for a quick lunch, and then Carson and I headed out to ski the rest of the afternoon together. Carson made a lot of progress skiing, and was excited to ski Good Time, Escalator, June’s and Destiny.

Carson skiing Good Time
Carson heading down Escalator

We had a lot of fun on Peak 2, and soon it was time for last chair and sweep. Carson decided he was ready to head down once Peak 2 sweep began, so I sent him off and went to check on Shaun who I’d assigned to close Kris-Kross. I helped Shaun set up the closure and then swept the backside before heading up to EPA for upper mountain sweep.

Riding the Peak 2 chair
Closing crew up top on EPA

Upper mountain sweep went off without a hitch, and I swept KP so I could ski part of the run down with Shaun, who was closing Upper and Lower Rosary. We had a couple of slow skiers heading down Rosary, but eventually worked our way down to the base, where a cold beer was calling my name. My beverage of choice for the afternoon was what has since become one of my new favorites, a smooth and refreshing Cosmic Creatures IPA from Deschutes Brewery.

Shaun closing Rosary
Cosmic Creatures IPA from Deschutes

Our evening meeting was quick, and just like that the regular season at the Pass was over and done. I was looking forward to at least one more day of patrolling at the Pass in May, but still it was bittersweet to have our season end.  Here’s a parting shot from the day of Dan, Joe and Jon enjoying the sun from atop EPA!

Parting shot

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.

April 1, 2023 – Best April Fool’s Day Ever!

Somehow the winter of 2022-23 kept flying by, and before I knew it April was upon us. Patrol 2 was on the schedule for April fool’s day, so Shaun and I headed up early to prepare for what was shaping up to be a good day. The forecast was calling for several inches of new snow overnight, and by the time we arrived it was looking deep!

A powder morning outside the patrol room

There was a least a foot of new, and it continued to snow all through our morning meeting. We headed out the door to the patrol room a few minutes after 8:00 am, and it was clear it was going to be a bit before EPA started spinning. Patrollers were lined up at the bottom of the lift, and I snapped a few pictures before walking up to the race shack to help Brian and Tyler with the fencing.

Some of the crew at the base of EPA
Wrestling the Race Shack fencing before opening

Walking up to the snack, I knew it was going to be a great day, and with each step we post-holed up to our knees in fresh powder. Tyler took one side and Brian grabbed the other, and we rolled out the fencing and worked to get it setup. I snapped a few pictures of the action, and it was hilarious watching Brian wallowing in the snow.

Brian taking a break
Setting up the fencing

Brian started on one end and I worked up from the other, and soon we had it setup. We strapped in and made some fun turns back down to the lift, and it sounded like it would only be a few minutes until we were able to load.

Fencing up!
Waiting to load EPA

The liftline was growing, and once we got the go-ahead for patrol to load, I made sure we let the lift ops know that we wanted to get to the top of EPA to start our avalanche work on RTS before public loaded the chair. 10 minutes later at the top of the hill, I radioed down to dispatch that we had shoved off and that public could load.

The lineup ahead of opening
Anna opening RTS

I took Anna and Patrick over to RTS with the goal of showing them how we ski cut the slope during avalanche conditions, and Brian, Tyler and Jon headed over to Peak 2 to start on the avy routes on the backside. We eased our way into RTS and were able to get a little snow to slide on the cornice above Success, and one by one ski cut the slope. The snow was surprisingly stable, and after a few traverses across the run we were halfway down and able to ski the side of the run out.

Anna ripping pow on RTS
Patrick enjoying the pow after controlling RTS

The snow was super nice, and easily one of my top three runs down RTS all season. I snapped several pictures of Anna and Patrick as they headed down, and everyone had a huge grin on their faces at the bottom.

April pow at the Pass

After opening RTS and Ambers, we headed down to the base, rode the chair back to the top, and headed over to Peak 2 to work on getting the backside open. Anna and Patrick hiked to the top to take the lower avy route above Gravity Chute, and I hiked with them with the goal of helping Tyler and Jon on the upper route.

Heading up to Peak 2
Anna taking a quick break at the top
Tyler working on the end of the rope

Once at the top of Peak 2, I worked my way over to the upper route and found Tyler on the end of the rope with Jon belaying. I was hoping we would get to see some big slides, but the snow was surprisingly stable given the significant depth, and we mostly got a few larger sloughs to run but no major slabs.

Jon on the belay
Tyler dropping in to cut the slope

The first belay went quickly, and Tyler and Jon worked to get the second anchor setup quickly to start the second belay. A few minutes later, Tyler was on the rope again and working on the lower half of the route…

Bringing in the rope for the 2nd belay
Heading down for the lower part of the route

We finished the route rather quickly, and radioed to Anna and Patrick that we’d down in the meadow shortly and that they could begin their control work on Gravity.

Jon running the belay
Brian overseeing the operations

Once our control work was over, it was time to make some fresh turns in the meadow, one of my favorite parts about doing the avy route. I dropped in first and then setup to shoot a few shots of the guys as they came down. Below is a sample of a few of the primo turns we encountered….

Blasting through the trees
Brian ripping a turn in the meadow
Jon’s enjoying the cold smoke
Waist deep snow on April fool’s day

At the bottom of the meadow, I radioed to dispatch that we were ready for the backside to open, and I knew it was only a matter of a few minutes before the masses would descend on Peak 2 en masse. We took a brief minute at the bottom of the chair to catch our breath, help make sure everything was in order with the fencing, and then loaded up for the top.

The buried Peak 2 chair
John and the Peak 2 crew

About the time we reached tower 3 or so, the public came over the roll on Escalator and we could hear the whooping from the top.

The masses descending on Peak 2

At the top, Brian and I met up with Shannon, and we decided to take a run in the trees between Down Under and June’s. It was a great decision, as the photos below show….

Brian catching some air in the glades
Shannon entering the white room
Shannon in the white room
Shannon exiting the white room

We made a couple of more laps on the backside, and then took the avalanche gear back to the aid room. We got busy with a few incidents in the mid-morning, and then I managed to find time for a quick lunch around 1:00 pm before heading out to finish out the day. Brian switched out of his patrol coat since he wasn’t technically on duty for the day, and we decided it was worth riding the trees between Success and Timburr. It was another good decision…

Airing it out in the Success-Timburr trees
Shannon calling Brian on the radio

We momentarily lost Brian, and as usual he was already down at the base by the time we decided to call him on the radio to find out his whereabouts. Shannon and I rode down and caught up with him, and then I spun another lap up to the top and headed to Peak 2 to check out the snowcat that was broke down near the top of Escalator.

A broken snowcat at the top of Escalator

I finished the day by working tower pads on EPA with Gretchen, and between our work and a few others, we had the whole place looking good by the end of the day.

Gretchen working on tower pads

The rest of the afternoon went off without a hitch, including sweep on Peak 2, upper mountain and lower mountain, and everyone was in a joyful mood for the evening meeting. I pulled out my now famous bean dip from the microwave, and we enjoyed some good food and beers after a great day. My beer of choice for the evening was a very tasty Magnetic Fields from Fort George Brewery.

Magnetic Fields from Fort George Brewery
Amber and Greg after a great day

After a half hour or so of visiting and hanging out with patrol, it was time to close up the patrol room and make sure all the incident reports were in order. When those tasks were completed, I grabbed Shaun and we loaded up the truck. It was still snowing when we left, and was a fitting end to probably my best April fool’s day of turns ever!

Shaun at the end of the day

Here’s a parting shot of Anna skiing RTS in some perfect powder!

Parting shot of Anna